TIRANA, January 9
Olive consumption has increased in Albania. According to the data provided by International Olive Oil (IOO), the annual consumption is ten kilograms per capita.
“Albania has a total production of 29,000 tons of olives for 2,895,000 people, thus it results in an annual consumption of 10 kg per person,” IOO’s report says.
During the last 25 years, world consumption of olives increased 2.8-fold. The highest increase in olive consumption was noticed in the member countries of the International Olive Council.
Moreover, the Albanian Association of Olive Producers confirmed the same tendency for 2016. Olive production increased by 30 percent during the past year. Even though several diseases were considered a serious threat to olive groves, producers said that 2016 was expected to be the year with the highest production. Albania has 10-11 million olive trees, 22 varietals and 270 registered factories. 1.3 million olive trees are centennial trees.
Ancient trees estimated at over 3,000-3,500-years-old can be found in Albania. Besides the centennial olive trees, the new olives planted during the last 20 years consist of foreign varietals, mostly Italian and Spanish saplings.
Chair of the Albanian Association of Olive Producers, Silvana Subashi said for Shije.al that olive oil consumption per capita during 2016 was 7.5 litres.
Meanwhile, those who use only olive oil consume over 60 liters per year.
“I would call it a return to our roots. Olive oil has been the only type of fat that Albanians have consumed during the centuries,” Subashi said.
There are several reasons that caused the growth in olive oil production. There is a considerable number of people, who plant their land with olive trees and produce their own oil. Moreover, there are others who buy olives and extract oil in factories.
Even though olive production increased during 2016, Subashi said that it was a difficult year in terms of quality. Production was affected by several diseases.
Further on, Subashi said that best olive oil can be purchased by processors directly at the factory. About 60 percent of the quality depends on the fruit, 20 percent on the factory equipment and 20 percent on the preservation conditions.
Although in low quantities, olive oil is exported from Albania to Switzerland and to the United States.
News Source: shije.al
Photo Credit: F. Cuci