State Olive Tree Production Grows

By Karla Ortiz

While the region may be known for its fine wines and mezcals, Guanajuato State’s temperate climate also happens to produce a lesser-known crop—olives, which can be sold as produce or used to make a large varieties of olive oils. Regional growers have been noticing this and have taken steps to create organizations to promote the growing of innovative crops such as olives here in the state.

The Guanajuato Produce Foundation AC has been dedicated to supporting the project “Characterization of the Phenology of the Olive Tree and Determination of the Physicochemical Properties of Olive Oil in the State of Guanajuato,” and recently held a workshop entitled “Olives and Olive Oil,” on April 10 at the La Casona convention center. Its aim was to disseminate the main techniques for pickling olives and recognizing the main physical, chemical, and organoleptic characteristics of olive oil.

While the climate is excellent for olive cultivation, the terrain of Guanajuato is not considered entirely suitable, so growers have also approached specialists to document the growing behavior of some varieties of olive trees in the state and have approached government authorities to convince them of the importance of promoting this and other innovative crops, hence the abovementioned project.

Around 100 attendees and three speakers specialized in the subject were present: Raúl Grijalva, researcher at INIFAP (Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias); Ricardo Adolfo Rodríguez, manager at the wine company LA Cetto, which also processes olives and olive oil; Dr Iza Pérez Ramírez, professor and chemistry researcher at the Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ).

Another objective of these presentations was for growers and producers to come together to create a stronger association and for people to realize that olives and olive oil are being produced in México and Guanajuato is increasing all the time, thanks to the climate here.

Olive agriculture has been seen as so promising that in 2014, a group of farmers dedicated to this type of production created the Asociación de Olivicultores de Guanajuato (Association of Olive Growers of Guanajuato), whose objective was the promotion and development of olive crops. Today, there are more than 15 associated producers, and membership continues to increase, with an inventory of more than 40,000 olive trees in San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo, Silao, and San Felipe.

 

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