Olive Oil

Olive oil production provides many Palestinian farmers with as much as 50 percent of their annual income. Olive production also prevents the abandonment of the land and the spread of desertification. However, as a result of the conflict in the region, Palestinian farmers continue to face severe barriers in carrying out their normal day-to-day agricultural activities caused mainly through restrictions on movement, exacerbating levels of deprivation and marginalization. Almost 75 per cent of Palestinians live below the United Nations poverty line of US$2 a day.

Almost half of the agricultural land in the Occupied Palestinian Territory's West Bank is dedicated to olives. However, the Israeli occupation has put much of the most fertile land in the West Bank off-limits and has cut off access to vital water sources. It means that over 30 per cent of Palestinian families in the area now struggle to earn enough to feed themselves. Malnutrition is rising, along with unemployment.

And while Palestinian olive oil can be amongst the world's best and generate a decent income for growers, they lack the agricultural and business skills, and basic equipment to access potential new markets.

Overview

  • While much of the production occurs in Palestine, there is also a cooperative in Argentina producing Olive Oil
  • Some of the trees tended to in Palestine date back 500-2000 years
  • While olives and olive oil are the main products, producers have used the olive to also create many bath and body products

The producers have benefited from the Fair Trade system through premiums and stable prices for their products. The Fair Trade system also ensures proper working conditions and a benefit to the whole community rather than a single owner or corporation.

Information provided by Interrupcion Fair Trade, Fairtrade Foundation, Canaan Fair Trade, and Zatoun.

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