|| Working Papers on Environmental Sciences ;
||Within only two decades olive oil developed from a niche product which could hardly be found in food stores outside the producing regions towards an integrated component in the diets of industrial countries. This paper discusses the impacts of the promotion of the “healthy Mediterranean diet” on land use and agro-ecosystems in the producing countries. It examines the dynamics of olive oil production, trade and consumption in the EU15 in the period 1972 to 2003 and the links between dietary patterns, trade and land use. It analyses the underlying socio-economic driving forces behind the increasing spatial disconnect between production and consumption of olive oil in the EU15 and in particular in Spain, the world largest producer during the last three decades. In the observed period olive oil consumption increased 16 fold in the non-producing EU15 countries. In the geographically limited producing regions like Spain, the 5 fold increase in export production was associated with the rapid industrialization of olive production, the conversion of vast Mediterranean landscapes to olive monocultures and a range of environmental pressures. High amounts of subsidies of the European Common Agricultural Policy and feedback loops within production and consumption systems were driving the transformation of the olive oil system. Our analysis indicates the process of change was not immediately driven by increases in demand for olive oil in non-producing countries, but rather by the institutional setting of the European Union and by concerted political interventions.
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Oli d'oliva ;
Indústria i comerç ;
Unió Europea, Països de la ;