By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
The Chilean Group Angelini is going to invest more than 3 Million Euros in the construction of what will become one of the country’s most prominent olive oil mills. The ambitious Chilean conglomerate is owner of the company Valle Grande S.A., which produces olive oils under the brands Olave and Montecristo and has just settled and closed on a deal to acquire the brand Huasco.
The group predicts that the new mega-mill will be completed at the end of August 2010. It will process and extract olive oil from Angelini’s own olive groves and is set to produce some 800,000 liters of olive oil annually. Until now, Angelini’s center of production has been the 220 hectacres of land it owns in Melpilla and Isla de Maipo, where it processes around 400,000 liters of olive oil annually. This new olive oil mill will singlehandedly double existing levels of production. According to executive director of Valle Grande, Elvio Olave, “growth has been important, because the demand has been ever-increasing.”
Olave, as well as a number of experts and specialists, believes that the international olive market is being reactivated and reenergized and shows no signs of slowing down in years to come. “The storm has already passed and we have seen lots of recent activity and demands,” he affirms. “In 2009 we had a turnover of 4 million dollars and this year we expect a growth of 20% due to a much better international economic climate.”1 Mr. Olave believes that the future prospects for the olive oil sector in Chile are overwhelmingly positive, “not only because exports are growing steadily, but also because internal demand has developed immensely.”1
Internal consumption of olive oil in Chile has grown steadily over the past several years, a trend that can be seen in countries all over the world as science and technology have made production more and more efficient. Currently Chile is home to some 4,000 hectares of olive plantations and as European subsidies for olive plantations continue to evaporate and prices continue to fall, the South American nation has emerged onto the international olive oil scene with a bang. The country boasts a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean, which makes for excellent growing seasons and high quality olives and oil. Sales to Chile’s top client, the United States grew a staggering 3,700% during the first half of 2004.