The European Commission is coordinating a research project aiming to reduce the environmental impact of olive production.

Brussels is keen to encourage olive consumption in Europe because of its health benefits, especially to the cardiovascular system. However, olive production, says the European Union’s (EU) TDC-Olive (technology dissemination centres) project, can consume large volumes of water in semi-arid areas and produce residues that are difficult to dispose of and recycle.

TDC-Olive will create a company with qualified staff pushing new technology that can cut water use and maximise the olive production waste recycling. It said the problem was exacerbated by the small average size of producers.