Our olive groves are part of a traditional olive landscape with unique cultural & environmental characteristics. Olive growing, fishing, livestock, agritourism, apiculture, horticultural and fruit bearing trees’ growing are the major occupations for local people, while 90% of the local income comes from the major occupation of olive growing. Economic & social life are directly affected by olive growing and have shaped the local habits and character for centuries.
The importance of the olive tree has remained imprinted in the region’s local culture, where olive growing trees and olive oil production have over the centuries led to the development of a number of practices, customs, rituals and beliefs that have been around since antiquity in practically all areas of life. All the peoples who have lived in this region have contributed their own technology and culture, turning the olive into a commonly used product as well as a primary commodity in trade throughout history.
This olive culture we have just described, which is authentic, Mediterranean and closely linked to nature and agriculture , is very visible indeed in Pteleos. In this region, olives are the socio-economic foundation for a significant proportion of its rural population, who are all linked to olives in one way or another, whether they are farmers or olive grove owners. If we look at olives from a consumer’s perspective, we can also say that most people in Pteleos as a whole, not just the rural population, are linked to olive oil in some way, and that they are experts on olives and everything to do with them. The integration of olive trees into the landscape, the diverse landscapes where olive trees grow, in addition to the economy and lifestyle of populations throughout history have led to the accumulation of a wealth of culture and a number of indications that this tree, its fruit (the olive) and its oil are amongst the defining features of the landscape.
The olive trees in the wider Pteleos region are more than 1.500.000 (Olea Sylvestris is not included) producing table olives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
As an agricultural ecosystem, the olive groves have the same production methods, cultivation techniques and so on. As such, olive groves developed in the traditional way in a semi-mountainous environment, with low levels and a wide range of production, one unique variety and similar management systems .
Another feature that sets Pteleos olive groves apart is that they are overwhelmingly owned by smallholders. In the wider former Pteleos Municipality there are approximately 3000 smallholdings that cover an area less than a hectare, which account for 34% of all olive groves, with 47.5% covering between 1 and 5 hectares. Furthermore, smallholdings covering between 1 and 5 hectares are the most common in the area, occupying 24.6% of the total land. There are 300 smallholdings of less than 100 hectares, and, even though they only make up 0.3% of all smallholdings, they make up 11.3% of the total area of olive groves in the region.