Thanks to its carbon footprint, olive oil production on a global scale can offset the greenhouse gas emissions of a city the size of Hong Kong. The results of the International Olive Council Study are previewed at Sol&Agrifood. The International Exhibition of Quality Agro-Foods is underway at Verona Fiere until tomorrow

Verona, 17 April 2018 – Olive groves are the only agricultural crop found around the world that actually protect the environment, since they counteract the greenhouse effect by capturing more CO2 (carbon dioxide) than the production of olive oil itself releases into the atmosphere. Sol&Agrifood (15-18 April – will see the world première of a study by the International Olive Council – IOC that unequivocally demonstrates that one hectare of olive trees captures the annual carbon footprint equivalent to one person; that the production process from the field to bottling a litre of olive oil has a positive carbon footprint of 10.65 kg of CO2 and even that the entire world production of olive oil is able to absorb the pollution emissions of a city of more than 7 million inhabitants, such as Hong Kong.

It was also announced that, as of June, after the meeting of the International Olive Oil Council in Buenos Aires, a simple app will be made available free of charge to all olive growers whereby individual companies will be able to calculate the carbon footprint of each litre of extra virgin olive oil they produce.

The result can then be included on labels and promotional material to provide useful consumer information as well as encouraging communication about the environmental sustainability of the olive-growing world.

The study by the International Olive Council divided olive-growing areas into four uniform macro-regions: Western Mediterranean (comprising Italy, Spain and Greece), Eastern Mediterranean, South America and North America. Starting from an average carbon balance on a world scale with absorption of 10.65 kg CO2 for each litre of olive oil, this analysis highlights significant differences between these various macro geographical areas.

The average carbon capture level in the Western Mediterranean is in line with the world level: 10.51 kg CO2 per litre of olive oil. The highest level of absorption was found in the Eastern Mediterranean at 12.67 kg CO2 per litre of olive oil and the lowest was recorded in North America, with 6.4 kg CO2.

The factors having the most impact on the environmental sustainability of olive trees are irrigation as well as the vigour of individual olive varieties, thereby demonstrating that biodiversity and environmental sustainability are closely connected.

Source:SOL & AGRIFOOD, 4/23/18 11:50 AM / by Servizio Stampa Veronafiere