Olives and Cordoba

By Bobby Soileau, Ph.D., LSU AgLeadership Class XV Coordinator

We left our view of the Mediterranean Sea this morning and headed north for Cordoba. On the way we stopped at OleoAlgaidas, an olive co-operative and mill.

It is an 800 member co-op that has suffered from a lack of rain. They will harvest 25,000 metric tons of olives which is more than 55,000 pounds. An average year is typically 35,000 metric tons which is more than 77,000 pounds.

We were led on our tour by the director of the co-op, Javier Schoendorff. He showed us the entire process from the cleaning of the olives once they are unloaded to the final product. The mill can handle more than 2 million pounds of olives a day during their harvest season which begins in September and ends next month.

Their members are small and large farms. They range in size from as small as 1 hectare to as large as 600 hectare. A hectare is equal to 2.47 acres.

After our tour we had an opportunity to buy some of their olive oil and other products in their store. Then we continued toward Cordoba, a beautiful and historic city.

Tomorrow we will do a walking tour of the city and visit the Mosque-Cathedral. In the evening we will see a traditional Flamenco Show.