Details of the largest olive market of the Mediterranean
Over three days in May Nîmes becomes the Mediterranean focal point for olives. In 2004 15,000 visitors and 100 exhibitors made the event the largest olive-centred market in France. The fact that Nimes olive oil was granted AOC status in November 2004 has boosted the local agricultural economy.
The Gard is one of France’s largest producers of olives, third, in fact, with 8% of total cultivated land and 13% of the number of producers (3410). On its own, the Gard produces over half of regional production (400 our ot 700) of table olives and oil.
The Languedoc Roussillon boasts 13,000 olive producers and comes top of the French charts for table olives and second for olive oil. The number of hectares increases each year, but there is plenty of room for growth, since France only produces 5% of its domestic consumption (around 100,000 tonnes) of olives. She provides 0,2% of Europe’s oil (cf Spain 59% and Italy 24%) and 0,3% of eating olives (75% imported from Spain). The added value of the French oil lies in its quality (AOC) and authenticity and diversity of flavour.
The potential addition of another AOC label for Nimes olives, the picholine, will only add to the marketable value of the region.
For information on events please contact the Nimes tourist office on: tel 04 66 58 38 00