OLEICOLA EL TEJAR, partner of the OLEAF4VALUE project, is a second-tier agricultural cooperative whose corporate purpose is the integral use of olive by-products, especially the wet pomace resulting from the olive-oil milling industry. It was set up in 1967 by a group of five cooperatives and currently has 240 associated entities which, in turn, process the olives of more than 80,000 farmers who cultivate more than 400,000 hectares. OLEICOLA EL TEJAR is one of the largest olive biomass operators in the world, receiving 31% of the Spanish production (~15% of the world’s) of olive pomace, stones and leaves, valorising it by obtaining pomace oil and energy.
Knowing how the agronomic factors affect the composition of olive leaves biomass is key, since it allows the precise selection of the olive leaves with the best composition for certain uses. In other words, with the knowledge about how agronomic factors govern the phytochemical composition of plants, we will be able to go to the field to look for the best candidates.
For this reason, OLEICOLA EL TEJAR, together with other project partners, is working on the study of different cultivation factors with the aim of understanding how they can influence the composition and phytochemical profile of olive leaves. These factors include cultivation practices, plant varieties, origin of the biomass, post-harvest handling of the biomass, geographical factors and seasonal variations.