Croatia, with its long Adriatic coast and an ideal Mediterranean climate, has a centuries-old history in olive cultivation. Traces of olive farming in Croatia date back to the times of the Greeks and Romans. The indigenous variety “Lastovka”, typical of the islands and the Dalmatian region, is renowned for its exceptionally high-quality olive oil, characterized by a distinct aroma and a balance of flavors.
– In the last 5 years the area under olive groves has increased by 12%. Currently occupy 19,000 hectares.
– Average production over the last 10 years: 3,860 tons.
– Consumption over the same period: 7,370 tons.
– 20 per cent of Croatian olive cultivation is intensive
– 30 per cent is in extensive cultivation in hilly and marginal areas
– On average, olive farms have less than 1 ha, and only 20% have more than 2 ha.
– 35% of the oil produced is extra virgin of high quality
It is estimated that Croatia has more than one olive tree per inhabitant, perhaps even two, and in recent years, they have harvested an average of between 35,000 and 40,000 tons of olives. Over the last fifty years, Croatia has quadrupled its production, largely due to the renewal of many old olive groves and the planting of new ones. Olives are predominantly cultivated here on family farms, while large companies are a rarity. There are only a few larger plantations that companies have established on their own land or, more often, on state-owned land leased to them. In contrast, family-owned olive farms number in the tens of thousands, and it is estimated that they own more than 95% of the trees.
The consumption of olive oil in the country is low, averaging 1.06 liters per household member, and if we add restaurant consumption, the total per capita olive oil consumption is 1.5 liters per year. Significant regional differences impact these figures; consumption on the coastal part of Croatia is at the level of the Mediterranean average, while in continental Croatia, it is negligible.