If Florida can produce 1% of U.S. olive oil consumption, a half-billion dollar industry could result.
Fact: Almost one-third of Florida’s 570,000 acres of citrus grove land lay fallow due to HLB disease and other factors.
Fact: The U.S. olive oil market has grown 35% since 2000. That pace of growth is predicted to continue.
Fact: U.S. farmers produce less than 5% of domestic consumption.
Fact: Olives have been successfully cultivated in Florida for 300 years.
Consumption: The U.S. consumed 92 million gallons of olive oil per year in 2018. According to Olive Oil Market the 2017 producer price for Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO) olive oil was roughly $US630.00 per 100kg (27 gallons) or $23.00/gallon.
Domestic Production: California, Texas and Georgia currently produce olive oil commercially. A small amount is produced in Arizona, Florida and Alabama. California is the largest domestic producer. The California Olive Oil Council estimates the size of California’s olive acreage at 35,000 with an additional 3,500 acres expected to be planted each year through 2020. While production varies by operation, variety and season; a 5+ year old high-density grove in California can typically produce between 100 and 200 gallons (of olive oil) per acre. Management largely determines where, in that range, the grove sits.
Producers: California Olive Ranch is the largest domestic producer of olive oil. They work several thousand acres between Red Bluff and Fresno, CA and recently announced an expansion of 2200 acres with a $35 million infusion of capital. Boundary Bend Ltd. is the largest olive oil producer in Australia. They recently invested $35 million in California and have constructed a new olive mill near Woodland, CA. One of the largest Texas olive operations (there are several) is Texas Olive Ranch, they produce 25,000 gallons of olive oil per year. Georgia Olive Farms, an operation near Lakeland, GA, produces several thousand gallons of olive oil per year.
GOAL: Produce 920,000 gallons of olive oil in Florida
- Establish 10,625 acres of high-density olive grove (400+ trees per acre) @ $4000/acre = $42.5 million
- Maintenance cost until first harvest (3-4 years) @ $1000/acre = $10.6 million
- Mean (20 year) producer price for olive oil = $US23.00/gallon
- Mean annual production 125 gallons/acre
- Average lifetime of producing high-density grove (16 years) @ 125 gallons/acre** = $30.5 million/year or $488 million
* Land cost not included, amounts are rounded up.
** California olive growers normally produce 150-200 gallons per acre.
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