Since the dawn of the civilizations that olive has been playing a critical role on both the society and the economy. Indeed, one can argue that olive and olive oil were as critical as they shaped a form of culture, a seminal pillar that supported the Mediterranean civilizations and that has since then spread worldwide, influencing others. As waves and tides, the use of olive and olive oil has certainly met low points, to the extent that its use even became to be considered old fashioned more recently, when the traditional Mediterranean food and culture started to be jeopardized by very different modern ways of living. Nevertheless, despite defying challenging conditions, stubbornly as always, the Mediterranean diet not only continues to prevail, but keeps granting the admiration of diverse strands of the society and science, being notoriously evident the set of recent research that points to its health benefits, having olive oil as the cornerstone, a vegetable fat, considered to be highly healthy, as it enhances the control of important health indicators, such as the bad cholesterol, serving for nutritional and therapeutic uses, and preventing the occurrence of a number of diseases, including cardiovascular problems and some forms of cancer.
Taking into consideration this framework, the research presented in this book is focused on the examination of the main trends on olive and olive oil in the Iberian Peninsula, from production to retail and consumption, by analyzing several data sets covering recent decades. In terms of findings for more recent years, it was possible to conclude that despite the increasing recognition of the benefits of olive and olive oil by the society, and despite the increase in olive production, the consumption of olive oil has been decreasing internally, being replaced by increases in exports. This is most probably due to the economic conditions that have deteriorated due to the 2008’s financial crisis, which, together with an increase in olive oil prices, has prevented a considerable portion of the population to have financial conditions to access to the consumption of such an important component of the Mediterranean diet.
This work was financially supported by the research unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policy (project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-008540), funded by FEDER funds through COMPETE2020 – Programa Operacional Competitividade & Internacionalização (POCI) – and by national funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência & a Tecnologia.
Lousas, C., Ribeiro, H., Alves, S. and Veloso, C. (2019), "A Study of the Olive Oil Consumption and Economic Sector in the Iberian Peninsula", Weber, Y., Vrontis, D., Tsoukatos, E. and Shams, S.M.R. (Ed.) The Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives of Management: Challenges and Opportunities (Cross-Disciplinary Management Perspectives), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 111-134. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83867-249-220191010
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