UNESCO proclaimed November 26 as World Olive Tree Day in 2019
Valued by humans for more than 100,000 years, the humble olive may seem an odd crop around which to build a civilisation.
Yet along with grapes and grain, it was the olive that made up the ‘trinity’ of staple goods on which the might and heft of Greek civilisation was founded.
Today, its global ubiquity – a preferred cooking oil, a go-to snack, the veritable cocktail olive, even cosmetics and ‘nutraceuticals’ – supports a global industry that stretches far beyond the olive tree’s Mediterranean origins. An estimated 850 million olive trees grow worldwide, yielding an annual crop of more than 10 million tonnes.
For the farmers who rely on the olive – Spain is the world’s biggest producer, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the global harvest – it’s a commodity crop. Nevertheless, it’s a crop unlike any other, thanks to the spiritual and cultural connotations it’s acquired during its long history with humans.
From the earliest times, we know that olive oil was considered sacred and holy: the 400 million people who watched the coronation of the United Kingdom’s King Charles III in May may not have known it, but during the most sacred part of the ceremony a special oil, created from olives harvested from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, was used to anoint the country’s new monarch.
Meanwhile the tree has lent itself to diverse symbolism of wisdom, fertility, power and purity. Most notably, the olive branch is regarded as a sign of peace – a practice dating back to those ancient Greeks, who used consignments of olives as a diplomatic gift to the Egyptian pharaohs.
In declaring World Olive Tree Day, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, perhaps described it most succinctly and eloquently:
“The olive tree is therefore a universal tree, which has accompanied humanity for thousands of years, embodying its aspirations; because with its legendary longevity and ability to rise from its ashes, it reaches beyond the short-sightedness of the moment: planting an olive tree and eating its fruit is to join the chain of humanity.”
In establishing the Day, UNESCO – whose ultimate ‘parent’ body, the United Nations, incorporates two olive branches in its flag – sought to encourage the protection of the olive tree and the values in embodies. By recognising the tree with a Day, UNESCO recognises its important social, cultural, economic and environmental significance to humanity.
Elevating the olive tree’s importance couldn’t happen at a more opportune time. UNESCO points out that conserving and cultivating the olive tree is a ‘growing imperative’ as the world combats and adapts to climate change.
The years 2022 and 2023 have served to highlight that threat. For a second year, the world’s olive harvest has been struck by a combination of extreme heat, wildfires and drought. In May 2023, Spain reported a drop in production of nearly 50 per cent; September saw the US Department of Agriculture revise its global olive oil production estimate to a quarter lower than 2022 and the five-year average.
What’s more concerning is how it’s not just Spanish producers who are suffering: Apulia, Italy’s most important olive oil production region, has been heavily affected by storms in recent weeks, damaging the imminent harvest for the world’s second most important producer.
And the story continues throughout the Mediterranean with similar stories in Portugal, Tunisia, Greece and Morocco. Indeed, the threat of dwindling supplies has pushed olive oil prices 130 percent higher than a year ago. It’s now ten times more expensive than crude oil.
It’s a very worrying situation, especially as the root cause – climate change – is a factor causing difficulty and upheaval in other key crop markets, too.
Here at FertiGlobal, we’re ultimately focused on providing farmers of all crops with solutions to deliver a more sustainable agriculture. As World Olive Tree Day approaches, we’re looking ahead to the next crop season with our own olive branch to growers: we’re working hard to make our advanced agricultural technologies, such as EnNuVi, supported in olive agronomy.
We believe there’s an opportunity to bring our Total Crop Management approach to the olive grove. By focusing on the defence mechanisms naturally present in the plant, we can improve its tolerance to extreme biotic (pest and disease) and abiotic (environmental) stresses. A vital lifeline for this vital industry, yes – but also an opportunity to demonstrate the validity of the European Green Deal, and its objectives to reduce the use of plant protection products and artificial fertilisers.
EnNuVi encompasses a wide portfolio of products. Get in touch with us to discover how to bring EnNuVi into your own integrated crop nutrition plan.
Regularly referred to as China’s ‘first county’ for strawberries, the city of Donggang – in the country’s north-eastern Liaoning province – has more than 80 years of experience in cultivating the ever-popular berry.
As the most established strawberry production zone in China – itself the world’s largest producer and consumer of strawberries – the crop’s planting area in Donggang continues to expand: even the pandemic marked only a blip in production, as production jumped from 9,867 hectares in 2019 to cover more than 13,300 ha in 2021.
No surprise then that Donggang played host last month to the first China Strawberry Industry Development Conference, a two-day event bringing together the entire strawberry supply chain. On the programme: knowledge exchange, product launches, field visits and networking.
FertiGlobal was there too: we’ve seen some impressive results in Chinese strawberry crops with two of our products, Yinnongwei (Mantus) and Weixiao (Tages). We wanted to share those findings with a wider audience, and what better place than Donggang?
We took the bold step of becoming a co-sponsor of the conference, joining well-known organisations such as Donggang Agricultural and Rural Bureau, the China Horticultural Society Strawberry Branch, and Liaoning Donggang Strawberry Association, to meet more than 600 representatives from 18 provinces and cities across China.
And what a meeting it turned out to be: it’s so encouraging to see our Total Crop Management philosophy, embedded in all our products, receive such good reception whenever we share it with a new audience. Protection of soil, seed, plant, yield or farmer, this crucial aspect is common to every FertiGlobal product. Our products offer protection from beginning to end of a crop’s lifecycle and throughout our customers’ farming businesses.
In both Mantus and Tages are embedded the same innovative, breakthrough technologies – using the best, high quality, bioavailable compounds – that stimulate the crop’s natural defence processes. When we prioritise plant health, we avoid situations that can allow specific problems to develop. Thus there’s no need for individual, specific solutions. It reflects FertiGlobal’s basic tenet – optimising a crop’s yield potential is totally dependent on optimum plant health.
It’s a story that resonated with those at the show, with customers agreeing purchase orders during the event. We’ll look forward to following up with these customers as the season develops: the region produces fruit from November to June, with March through May typically the peak months. Hongyan strawberries are the most famous local variety, thanks to their colour, flavour and consistent quality. They also store well and can be transported long-distances, which is a great advantage towards the end of the season, when they are often the last domestically produced berries available.
EnNuVi highlights role of speciality fertilisers in China
As the world’s largest consumer of agricultural fertiliser, ahead of India, the USA and Brazil, China is an important market for any company that’s concerned with changing farmers’ perceptions about fertiliser use and efficiency.
What better opportunity for FertiGlobal – under its ‘local’ name of SCL China – to sponsor one of China’s most high-profile conferences about fertiliser? Run by the China National Chemical Information Centre (CNCIC), a consulting, research and information unit servicing the chemical industry of China, the Global Specialty Fertiliser Convention has been an annual fixture for the last 16 years.
With objectives to promote and advance fertiliser industry development, and a special focus on innovation and speciality products, the event was held this year in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province and the third most populous city in Western China.
There are more than 20,000 speciality fertiliser products registered in China, demonstrative of the importance attached to value-added fertilisers as China strives to improve its agricultural efficiency and productivity. CNCIC itself expects speciality fertiliser to account for more than a quarter of total sales in China by 2025.
FertiGlobal mirrored the convention’s focus on speciality products by focusing on EnNuVi, our unique approach to crop health and productivity.
EnNuVi stands for ENhancing, NUrturing, and VItalising crops – an approach we’ve adopted to enhance crop resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses at scale, in order to boost crop quality, productivity and soil health.
Combining bioactive polyphenols with select natural ingredients, EnNuVi has been developed to trigger and control plant natural defence and resistance mechanisms. Boosted thus, the crop is better able to defend and protect itself from stressors such as pathogens, droughts, high temperatures and floods.
But there’s two sides to the EnNuVi story. Not only does it deploy an optimal nutrition strategy, focusing on the entire plant lifecycle – our innovative Total Crop Management approach – it also benefits from an optimised formulation that enables a more efficient product delivery to the plant. Farmers not only save money and reduce environmental impact with this resource-efficient approach, EnNuVi also helps farmers adapt to farming with less recourse to conventional chemicals.
EnNuVi’s benefits have shown themselves in trials, where treated crops demonstrate a significant yield increase per hectare, for example in the raised sugar content of sugar beet.
China, alongside the European Union and United States, has already granted EnNuVi a patent for its technology – something that Sun Jin, CEO of SCL China, was keen to emphasise during his attendance at the event. Customers from across the country expressed their interest in the EnNuVi product range, ably informed by representative Zhenjunhua Liu who explained the sustainable development of the products and their potential applications across a variety of common crops in China.
So what is the LIFE ENVision project and how will it change the way agriculture can impact the environment?
Recently we got a tour in the Italian fields where we are conducting some trials to confirm the potential of EnNuVi Technology.
Very interesting to visit the grapevine trial in Puglia.
This trial is a collaboration with Agriproject-Group-srl, to see how EnNuVi Alpan can help to combat the challenge of rachis desiccation in grape crops.
We have also seen some great improvement within our current field demonstration trials on nectarine, apple, pear and grapevine. The trials with our field partners Fratelli Guerra in Emilia Romagna covering a range of crops and climatic conditions demonstrate the enviromental benefits of the EnNuVi Technology in terms of :
💧 reduction of the use of agri-chemicals and water supply
📈 increase of the soil fertility (as an indicator of reduced environmental impact)
✔️ improvement of crop quality and production yield
We are in the South of India, in the Country’s second largest banana market located in Tamil Nadu. Our local team has been following a field trial to test Semia formulation, powered by #EnNuVi technology and OK solution, powered by Foliarel.
These banana plants tell us a lot about the benefits of this powerful combination of active ingredients:
🌿 broad and greener leaves
💪 overall better plant health
📈 excellent growth
The farmers appreciated a significant decrease of infection of Sigatoka (banana leaf-spot disease) and a better resistance against abiotic stresses.
Cutting-edge technology can be very helpful to farmers who are experiencing water shortages in their fields, helping to prolong plant life and prevent cell deterioration.
➡️ FertiGlobal #Alpan is a patented high analysis suspension fertilizer rich in Magnesium complexed by bioactive polyphenols. Its application makes it possible to reduce water consumption and reduce drought stresses in emergency situations.
Alpan is powered by EnNuVi Technology, the beating heart of Fertiglobal’s #ENVisionProject, awarded by the European Union’s #LIFEprogramme. Among the goals of the projects is to drastically reduce water consumption in agriculture by up to 30% 💧
🍅 Tomato is undoubtedly one of the most popular fruits in the world, both for fresh consumption and in processed products.
This crop is rather delicate and requires well-hydrated soils and a fairly dry climate: too much humidity can cause rot and stress throughout the plant, making it vulnerable to developing other diseases.
Through this short video below we fly to China, to hear from a local farmer the effect he could observe after applying Mantus on his crops, in order to nourish tomato plants from within. This innovative solution, powered by #EnNuVi Technology, takes full advantage of the combined action of plant nutrients and bioactive polyphenols.
Satisfying results were not slow in coming, both in plants grown in direct sunlight and in greenhouse. The farmer hightlights:
Mantus is the solution for good results on cucumber
FertiGlobal stands out in the Far East!
Watch the full video to discover the beneficial effect of Mantus observed by our Chinese colleague Wangyu on a cucumber crop 🥒.
We are in the greenhouse of one of our partners: last cultivations had a serious root rot issue, that forced the farmer to prematurely harvest the fruits. In addition, plants suffered of leaf spot disease, due to high temperatures and excessive seasonal humidity.
To avoid this problem, this year the farmer decided to apply Mantus: after just one month from picking the fruits, the results are promising: