Producing Our Olive Oil
All our olives are taken on our tractor trailer to the co-operative "Soldebre" which is on the outskirts of Tortosa.
We can only deliver them on Monday afternoons, as all the processing equipment is cleaned on Monday mornings which means there is no possibility of cross contamination from other farmers deliveries which will have taken place over the weekend. While there are a number of collection and processing lines always in use, one line is reserved especially for farmers who want to deliver their olives to be processed for their own use. It is this one that we always use. In addition, we always make sure that we reserve the first available appointment of the afternoon so we can be sure the conveyors and processing equipment of at its cleanest.
When the olives are processed, we are provided with a printout of the weight of olives, the quantity of oil produced (rendition) and the quality of the oil. The unfiltered olive oil is then held in a tank reserved for our use. Each following Monday, more oil is added to the tank until we want to have it filtered and bottled.
Because we are collecting our olives very early in the season, they have a very high water content and we consequently get a very low rendition. This year it was around 10-11%, so our 5,000 kilos only produced 475 litres of olive oil after filtering.
Our oil is filtering using a cold store, which helps the olive particulates congeal to the bottom of the tank leaving the clear oil at the top where it is then siphoned of for bottling. This method ensures that the oil retains its fresh fruity flavour while leaving the minimum of residue at the bottom of each bottle.
Each year's output is produced in a single batch and then labelled with both the bottling and best before dates.