uruguay extra virgin olive oil

Perfect spring weather bodes well for Uruguay olive farms like this one near Minas in Lavalleja.

One year after joining the ranks of the world’s top ten producers in terms of quality, the Uruguay olive oil industry is preparing for another record harvest and rising exports in 2014.

“The Uruguay Olive Begins To Appear Around The World” is the title of Valentin Trujillo’s detailed analysis of the evolution of the Uruguay olive industry from its humble origins a decade ago.

Many Uruguay olive groves planted between 2002 to 2008 are just now beginning to reach maturity, and the country’s Olive Producers Association (ASOLUR) is predicting a 25% increase in Uruguay olive oil production in 2014.

ASOLUR president Daniel Davidovics says Uruguay olive groves should produce a million liters of extra virgin olive oil in 2014. The prediction is based on current weather conditions. This spring is much drier than 2012 when heavy rains hit Uruguay in September and October. Olive trees blooming in these drier conditions bode well for much higher production volumes in the fall (March/April) of 2014.

Trujillo says premium Uruguay olive production, both farms and processing facilities, is concentrated in the southeastern coastal departments of Lavalleja, Maldonado and Rocha. The Tuscan-esque sierras of Uruguay are known for their rolling terrain, abundant sunshine and well-draining soils. They are also home to an emerging tourism destination, the Uruguay Olive Trail.

Uruguay’s status as a premium olive oil-producing country was validated when the country became the eighteenth member of the prestigious International Olive Council. Argentina and Uruguay are the only two Southern Hemisphere members of the Madrid-based IOC whose standards for its member countries are the highest in the world. (Full Story in Spanish)

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