Delighted that The Telegraph has picked up on Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil production coming from handpicked harvesting. Our aim is to bring highest quality extra virgin olive oil from this amazing, undiscovered source to health conscious food lovers in the UK and internationally, through ethically sourced, environmentally sustainable, means.
Olives from the Beni-Mellal region have been grown for centuries using traditional farming methods and are all handpicked during harvest time. This includes ground-work and tillage which is carried out once or twice a year.
Any planting of new trees is done at the beginning of spring. In addition to natural rainfall which is generally sufficient, trees are irrigated as needed during the period of vegetation of the olive tree, normally until the end of September. Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is the product of the soil, the sun and rain, nothing else.
Fruiting sizing and assessment of the maturity of the olive is carried out annually. The planned date of harvest is agreed based on the maturity of the olives, also the generations of experience of the olive farmers. Morocco Gold olives are hand-harvested early in the season when the fruit is young. The handpicked harvesting is carried out using nets and tarpaulins which are placed on the ground to avoid contact between the olives and the ground.
The gorgeously picturesque area in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains where we source our fabulous extra virgin olive oil is hilly and the distribution of the olive trees preclude the use of the types of mechanized harvesting machinery that has caused such concern. This is why handpicked harvesting is of importance to the quality and the provenance of extra virgin olive oil.
Care of the environment is at the heart of the farming methods used. Even the left-over paste after pressing is turned into briquettes for domestic fuel in rural areas. This reduces cutting down trees for firewood and so prevents soil erosion.
Sustainability and care for the environment is carried forward into our carefully designed bottle and packaging designs which are fully recyclable with no waste.
We are delighted to bring this ethically sources and environmentally friendly, delicious tasting ‘superfood’ from this amazing new undiscovered source, which is why we believe in handpicked harvesting as right way to extract our olives. Our extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants and polyphenols which progressively increased with each harvest.
British supermarkets admit their olive oils could be killing birds as they pledge to switch brands
British supermarkets have admitted that they could be selling olive oil produced in a way which kills millions of songbirds every year, as they promise to investigate their sourcing.
Many harvesters across Italy, Spain and France suck olives from trees using machines, and do this at night, which means sleeping birds who think they have found sanctuary in the olive branches are dazzled by the bright lights and sucked to their deaths.
These companies harvest during the evening because doing so is believed to preserve the aroma of the olives, due to the cooler air temperatures.
Birds including robins, goldfinches, greenfinches, warblers and wagtails are among the worst affected during the harvest season which is between October and January. Findings in the journal Nature suggested that over two million birds were killed in Spain alone in a year.
An investigation by The Telegraph found that British supermarket shelves are likely stocking olive oils produced in this ecologically destructive method.
Supermarkets including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s could not confirm whether the brands they stock are machine harvested at night.
A Tesco spokesperson said the supermarket is investigating how it will pick olives for its oils this year after concerns were raised by shoppers.
They said: “All the whole olives that we sell are harvested during the day by hand or by using hand held tools. We won’t be harvesting olives for olive oil until October.
“We’re currently looking into how we pick these olives so, by the time it comes to harvest them, all the necessary changes will have been made.”
Waitrose and Sainsbury’s spokespeople confirmed that their own-brand olives and olive products are hand-picked, but did not confirm whether the other brands they stock are similarly ethical.
A Waitrose spokesperson added: “All the olives that are either destined to be used in Waitrose table olives or Waitrose olive oils are either picked by hand or picked using a handheld tool.”
Major olive oil brand Filippo Berio is investigating its olive sourcing after being contacted. A spokesperson said in a statement: “As far as we are aware, all the co-operatives that Filippo Berio buy olive oil from have mills that work during the day and clean-up at night. We will keep consumers updated as and when we have more information.”
Consumers who want to make sure they are using bird-friendly olive oil should check for ‘FAO GIAHS’ on Italian olive oil brands – it stands for ‘Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System’ which means it’s picked by hand.
Brands which confirmed they hand-pick their olives are mostly the smaller, more expensive companies. These include Clearspring, Donna Lucia, Kalios, Morocco Gold, Olivocracy, Oro del Desierto, Terre di San Vito and Zaytoun.
Author: Helena Horton
Date: 29 May 2019