Olive Tree - the Tree of Life

Tanja Folnovic

Agronomy Expert

The olive tree, Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It's known for over 7000 years and has a symbolic connotations in cultures around the world.

The olive branch was often a symbol of abundance, glory and peace. The leafy branches of the olive tree were ritually offered to deities and powerful figures as emblems of benediction and purification, and they were used to crown the victors of friendly games and bloody wars. Over the years, the olive has been the symbol of peace, wisdom, glory, fertility, power and purity.

There are hundreds of cultivars of the olive tree. An olive's cultivar has a significant impact on its color, size, shape and growth characteristics, as well as the qualities of olive oil. Olive cultivars have been cultivated for olive oil, fine wood, olive leaf and the olive fruit. 90% of all harvested olives are turned into oil, while about 10% are used as table olives.

Olives are one of the most extensively cultivated fruit crops in the world. They are cultivated in many regions of the world with Mediterranean climates, such as South Africa, Chile, Peru, Australia, California and in areas with temperate climates such as New Zealand and under irrigation in the Cuyo region in Argentina, which has a desert climate.


Areas of olive farming

With Italy the largest importer/exporter and Spain the largest producer, the Mediterranean basin is considered to be the hub of olive oil production and related business.


Countries with the biggest olive farming (harvested area and yield)

The olive's fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance as the source of olive oil. The oil is produced by pressing whole olives and is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Olive oil is used throughout the world and is often associated with Mediterranean countries. There are two types of oil production:

  • Refined olive oils (Pure olive oil, Olive oil)
  • Only about 30 percent of all olive oil production ends at extracting the oil from the olives. Refining involved using solvents and high heat to neutralize the tastes of the oil. This allows producers to use olives that are not in the best condition and blend from oils from a wide variety of sources (even countries) because the bad tastes resulting from oxidized olives and the mass production process are chemically removed.
  • Unrefined olive oils (Extra virgin olive oil, Virgin olive oil)
  • Unrefined olive oils do not undergo chemical refining. In unrefined olive oils, such as “extra virgin” and “virgin” olive oils, the process goes no further than extraction and bottling. Producers of unrefined olive oils need to use fruit that is in good condition and carefully manage various factors, because the oil will not be treated to chemically hide bad tastes that would result from oxidized olives or some other contamination.

The olive tree is often called a ''tree of life'' due to health benefits of its olive oil.

To produce good and quality olives and later high quality oil, farmers need to have good management practices, which they can manage with Agrivi software. In the system farmers can plan all their production in advance, track all resources like fertilizers, pesticides, fuel, mechanization, people and protect their crops on time, because pests can significantly reduce a yield or even destroy it.

To prevent damage, Agrivi alerts farmers about pest and disease occurrence, according to weather conditions on their fields, so they can prepare on time for appropriate treatment. For olive you’ll find many pests with a brief description and active substances to treat them, whether you have conventional, organic or integrated farming. Agrivi offers a variety tools to help farmers managing their production. Beside record keeping and pest alarms, it has reports for each part of the production and also powerful analytics.

Prepare for harvest and achieve higher yields with Agrivi farm software.