S. America

Tamaulipas Province in Mexico Plans First Olive Oil Processing Facility

Oct. 10, 2010
By Daniel Williams

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By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

The town of Tula, sit­u­ated in the Tamaulipas province in the north­east­ern part of Mexico, has been chosen as the site for a new olive oil pro­cess­ing plant. The com­pany at the helm of the project, Aceites Tula, began sowing some 700 hectares, or 1730 acres, of olive trees six years ago with the finan­cial sup­port of the Mexican cen­tral gov­ern­ment.  After var­i­ous con­sul­ta­tions with spe­cial­ists, the town of Tula was chosen for its favor­able cli­ma­to­log­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics.

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Victor de León Orti, sec­re­tary of the Mexican depart­ment of Rural
Development, stated that “cur­rent pre­dic­tions project an aver­age return of 10 tons of olives per hectare of land and these will then be con­tin­u­ally processed into olive oil by the new plant which has the capac­ity to receive and trans­form 120 tons of olives daily.” [1]

Mr. de León Orti has pre­dicted that the semi-arid province of Tamaulipas will soon become one of the most pro­duc­tive regions of the state as a result of the fund­ing from state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments. It is esti­mated that the olive oil pro­cess­ing plant cost the gov­ern­ment and investors some 45 mil­lion pesos ($3.6 mil­lion), but experts pre­dict that the invest­ment is a sound one as the American demand for olive oil has increased con­sid­er­ably in recent years. The prox­im­ity of the Tula plant to the United States means easy access to American con­sumers
hungry for olive oil and paying top dollar in a world­wide pric­ing crisis.

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de León Orti

Mr. de León Orti explained that a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent of the olive oil obtained from this new pro­cess­ing plant will be exported to the neigh­bor­ing United States as the Mexican gov­ern­ment has already estab­lished sig­nif­i­cant con­tacts with var­i­ous American dis­trib­u­tors. Any remain­ing olive oil will then be dis­trib­uted across the Mexican national market.

Mexican author­i­ties explained that the install­ment of the pro­cess­ing plant is simply one step in a larger long-term project. At present, Mexican olive farm­ers are bound by spe­cific rental agree­ments and con­tracts with the pro­cess­ing plant and cor­po­rate land owners, but de León Orti fore­sees a time in the near future in which the olive groves will be passed on to these farm­ers.  At that point, he pre­dicts they will be able to sell their olives freely and directly to a vari­ety of pro­duc­ers.

The project has some 1,400 hectares (3,460 acres) of olive groves in devel­op­ment. The government’s long term plan looks to increase the
amount to some 2000 hectares in the near future.

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[1] “Será Tamaulipas el olivar de México