The olive sector includes table olive growers but also olive oil growers. Generally, the producers produce both types of products through a strategy of maximum exploitation of the production wealth.
In 2015, the olive market in France had almost 30,000 farms representing just over 5 million olive trees (source France Agrimer). The market is facing a difficult situation at this time affected by exceptional weather conditions that have caused the emergence of a killer bacterium. Production volumes have therefore been largely affected by this health crisis. The 2016-2017 season was described as catastrophic by Afidol: French olive oil production, 65% of which is produced by the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, hardly amounted to 3,200 to 3,400 tonnes for the 2016-17 season. The French consume 2L of olive oil per person per year on average.
The sector is very segmented with many small players. Most often, these are CLEC-type farms that have been operating on land held for several generations.
The strategies of the operators are very local, just like the farmers. The players seek to integrate as much value as possible into their business model by internalizing the processing and even distribution phases. On the export side, these producers face strong competition from Southern European and North African countries.
The sector is highly dependent on climatic conditions which can completely affect the level of annual production. There is no political regulation or major technological developments impacting the market except for health research to anticipate the damage caused by killer bacteria.
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