Olivar de Segura, a second level co-operative endorsed by the Ecological Farming Committee of Andalusia (CAAE) and dedicated exclusively to the production, sales and packaging of sustainably grown extra virgin olive oil, exceeded one million kilos (2,204,622 pounds) in combined exports and domestic sales in 2010, according to the Spanish news agency EFE.
With this achievement, Olivar de Segura has secured its place as the top ecological extra virgin olive oil producer in Spain.
Of the co-operative’s 14 members throughout Andalusia, Sierra de Génave currently produces more than 90 percent of Olivar de Segura’s ecological extra virgin olive oil.
Founded in 1987 in an area of Parque Natural de Cazorla designated to agriculture, Sierra de Génave was the first grower in Spain to produce extra virgin olive oil using environmentally sustainable methods.
Emphasizing quality over quantity, producers at Sierra de Génave strive to preserve and even improve soil quality, obtaining products that are rich in the natural properties provided by the local climate.
Olivar de Segura currently exports Sierra de Génave and other ecological extra virgin olive oils to countries around the world, including Germany, France, Switzerland, United Kingdom, China, Canada, New Zealand and Norway.
Company representatives said that they plan to “keep growing in all of [their] different markets and continue to enter into new ones.”
“Our goal is to bring new formats of our products to the marketplace, while enhancing their quality. That’s why we developed our Aceites Premium (Premium Oils) product line,” a company spokesperson said. Oro de Génave Premium hit the shelves in 2009 and has since become its top-selling ecological extra virgin oil.
“This year we developed Olivar de Segura’s ‘Gourmet Selection,’ which we derive from the best oils obtained during each campaign,” the company added.
Going forward, Olivar de Segura hopes to increase its production and marketing capabilities by forming partnerships with other ecological extra virgin olive oil producers in the neighboring province of Albacete.
Organic farming is on the rise in Andalusia. Casero Rodriguez, president of the Andalusian Committee for Organic Farming, recently told Revista Mercados the region has 363,835 registered hectares devoted to organic farming, having recorded an increase of almost 50,000 hectares in the most recent nine-month period.