People ask us all the time where our Olive Oil comes from so I thought I would take a moment to share the origin of the liquid gold we use in all of our Olive + M formulas. We proudly source our olive oil from the motherland, Tunisia.
Tunisia has earned its title of the Mothership of Olive Oil. The Phoenicians introduced olives to the area nearly 3,000 years ago. Empires came and went, but the olive tree endured as a hallmark of daily life and cultural heritage. Tunisia has been growing olive trees since before Christ. The country is literally covered with olive trees, most of them are old growth and hundreds of years old.
The Tunisian olive oil is most definitely the nectar of the Gods These trees are dry-farmed, which is to say that there is no irrigation system. The only water these trees receive is a gift from Mother Nature herself; rainwater that falls from the sky. Each tree has a 50 foot cleared radius so the root system of the olive tree can accept all the nourishing rain that falls upon its territory. The trees are harvested by hand not machines. They use a system of several people with rakes, a giant net, and ladders. It takes a good crew about four hours of hard work to harvest each tree. The farmers have generations of experience in determining when each tree is ready to be harvested. Not a giant tractor driving over a row of young, densely planted olive trees for cost and time efficiency. These trees are cared for with heart and knowledge passed down from generation to generation, not by technology and careless consumption.
This olive oil is organic before organic even had to be a concern! In the thousands of years that these trees have been flourishing in the Tunisian soil they have never be treated with any kind of pesticide, period! Speeding up production and crop yield has never been part of the farming practice here and the proof is in the pudding. They have kept it old school. They didn’t mess with Mother Nature’s formula. At Olive + M we are incredibly thankful, grateful, supportive, and respectful of these farmers and their gift to us!
So how does Olive + M get this Tunisian oil olive oil you ask? We work with a family-owned business here in the US that imports directly from Tunisia. Josh Moffitt of The Olive + the Grape explains, “By importing directly we eliminate the many opportunities the middlemen have to adulterate the oil by blending cheaper oils into it. The container leaves the production facility in Tunisia with a padlock and no key. I personally use bolt cutters to open the container when it arrives at our warehouse. I then pull a sample from a random barrel and send that sample to SGS laboratories in Louisiana for our own, independent testing. We test for both Quality and Purity. Does it pass the tests for extra virgin grade EVOO? And does it contain any other oil besides olive oil? We have both the Certificate of Analysis from the producer and our own independent test results available to download and print from our website.” Voila, we did the vetting for you!! And Moffitt and his team did the vetting for us!
So that is a brief history of our WHY we use Tunisian olive oil here at Olive + M. I find it fascinating that in the 21st Century, the farming practices are just as venerable as the trees. My hope is that since you have had the pleasure of experiencing the pure unadulterated Tunisian olive oil in our formulas you can feel the ancient unadulterated vibration of the fruit and hence the oil these majestic trees produce. My hope is also, now that I have shared this story with you, that the next time you use your Olive + M product you might pause for a moment and say thank you to farmers that cared so deeply for the trees that produced the fruit, that made the oil that you are so blessed to anoint your body with on the other side of the world.