There is a common perception related to Olive Oils that are imported from Italy; people assume that they're higher quality than those from their Mediterranean neighbors, Spain. Interestingly, there is no direct correlation between higher quality oils when you compare these two beautiful countries' output.
In fact, due to Italy's high consumption by their own population and lower oil production levels, many Italian Olive Oil producers import olives or olive oil from Spain. It is common knowledge that 1/3 to 1/2 of Italy's annual output of olive oil actually has a Spanish (or other) origin. Most often, this oil is sold as 100% Italian olive oil. This is almost unbelievable, but the fact is that Spain has a much larger supply of olives each year (they have over 50 million trees!) and Italy just doesn't have enough groves to keep up with global demand.
In a day and age where corporate giants are looking for ways to keep costs down in any way possible, it is helpful to know that olive oil that originated in Spain, Turkey or Tunisia can have a lower price tag than Italy, because you're not paying for the origin name. Either way, you may be paying for the same end product, you're just cutting out the Italian middle-man.
Topics: Harvest/Commodity Market