I like to refer to our organic extra virgin olive oil as golden fruit juice. It is something unique with an exceptionally high concentration of polyphenols: the pungent flavour that leaves a tingling sensation on the back of your tongue and throat . The level of carotenoids from the harvested mix of half green and half ripe olives creates a liquid golden in colour with a viscosity that resonates in your kitchen when used in numerous applications.
Although we are obsessed with our olives, their quality and flavour, it is difficult to financially break even. In spite of this we love what we do. The whole system (sales, marketing, processing etc.) is inequitable. Our industry is fraught with issues and a lack of transparency and accompanied by mass production that extracts the quality of flavours, and health benefits. This in turn creates unfair competition with a drastic reduction in the price of olive oil. The oils on the supermarket shelves come from who knows where and have passed through numerous processes and dealers leaving you with an oil that is far removed from its true value and original flavour.
So why buy direct from the olive grower you may ask? Buying from a traditional farmer where the olive tree population is probably less than 400trees/ha you can expect that excellence controls each stage with careful control of critical events ensuring best quality and long term sustainability.
Olive oil prices must reflect these efforts and serve as an incentive for the farmer to consider the benefits of maintaining traditional farming systems. Not succumb to the pressures of an intensive farming operation which ultimately will lead to further dysfunctional soils and desertification.