The 26th of November is globally celebrated as World Olive Tree Day, an initiative spearheaded by UNESCO. The purpose of this day is to promote the preservation of the olive tree and acknowledge its profound social, cultural, economic, and environmental significance. UNESCO’s goal is to raise awareness internationally so that people can recognize the olive tree’s importance to humanity.
Rooted in the Mediterranean, the olive tree is revered as a blessed symbol of peace and harmony worldwide. In Greece, World Olive Day is commemorated through a series of events held in the olive-growing regions of the country.
Olive oil and olives, known for their proven nutritional benefits and integral role in the Mediterranean diet, present a vast array of aromas and flavors. This versatility opens up endless gastronomic possibilities, increasingly appreciated by renowned chefs globally. Beyond culinary excellence, the therapeutic properties of olive derivatives in preventing various diseases are widely acknowledged.
The International Olive Oil Council, established in 1959 and representing countries responsible for 94% of olive oil and olive production, emphasizes a common message during World Olive Day: “We choose the olive to protect the planet and our health!” This collective commitment underscores the dual role of the olive tree in promoting both environmental sustainability and human well-being.
Remarkably, olive cultivation contributes positively to the global effort to combat climate change. The olive tree, throughout its growth cycle, absorbs more carbon dioxide than is emitted during the production of virgin and extra virgin olive oil. This positive carbon balance positions olive cultivation as a constructive factor in mitigating the impact of global warming.