The olive crop accounts for an estimated nearly 45% of the cultivated land in Palestine, and often contributes as much as 19% of the country’s agricultural output. (Agriculture alone represents nearly 25% of Palestine’s GDP.) Studies suggest that over 100,000 families depend in some way on the olive crop,whether through sales revenue, or the everyday consumption of to lives and olive oil, Yet even with the olive crop’s clear importance to the economy, with agriculture alone representing nearly 25% of the GDP, Palestinian farmers face drastically low wages and some of the highest poverty rates in the world. Ensuring them even a modest increase in revenue, and the implementation of fair trade practices, would make a life-changing difference.
WHY OLIVE OIL?
Palestine’s climate, consisting of dry, hot, windy summers and damp, cold winters, provides the ideal conditions for olive trees to thrive. (And they’ve flourished for thousands of years—likely before the arrival of people to the region!) For the people of Palestine, agriculture is more than a source of income. It’s central to their history, identity and self-expression.