The quest for the perfect olive

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ounded in Bristol almost twenty years ago by Karin Andersson and Ben Flight, the Real Olive Company is dedicated to bringing you the best olives, from the best growers, in the best possible condition. We think of our mission as a quest for the perfect olive, but what does that mean?

First of all, our olives are grown by real people. We have travelled all over Greece and Italy, France and Spain, building up a network of farmers who grow olives independently and on a small scale. They are artisan and often organic farmers, who understand the unhurried rhythms of the olive tree and know from long experience that the best olives grow where flora and fauna flourish.

Our olives are allowed to take their time. Under azure Mediterranean skies they ripen slowly through the sun-soaked summer months. In the autumn, when the fruit is still fresh and green, our farmers collect the first harvest, and in January the dark, fully ripe olives are carefully gathered in.

Our farmers have taught us how to prepare olives without using intrusive modern preservatives, and they have shared with us the time-honoured recipes we use for our marinades. Following traditional methods, our olives are allowed to mature naturally in brine before being shipped to Bristol, where they are water cured and marinated. To bring out the delicate natural flavours of our olives we use cold-pressed sunflower oil and extra-virgin olive oil in our marinades, along with aromatic herbs and spices blended to offer you authentic Mediterranean flavours.

The perfect olive is not only delicious; it is also sustainable. And so our quest has taken us around the sun-drenched landscape of Greece and Italy, seeking out farms where olives are grown using organic methods. In these groves the farmer works in harmony with nature, promoting the health of both the groves themselves and the surrounding country so that insects, birds and wildflowers flourish and the land remains rich and bountiful.

Our organic olives are allowed to ferment through the winter until the end of March – three months longer than conventional olives. They tend to maintain a darker, richer and more natural colour, remaining crisp and firm long into the year.

In our quest for the perfect olive we are now fully certified by Organic Farmers & Growers as a UK organic producer, and we are delighted to see sales of our organic products growing as consumers become more conscious of the virtues of organic foods.

We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the aromatic flavours and succulent texture of the finest olives, marinated with fragrant herbs and spices in natural cold-pressed oils, so we keep our prices as low as we can without ever compromising on quality. We embrace new technology where it matters, ensuring that our olives reach you quickly and in the best possible condition. Our underlying mission remains the same, to bring you the delicious fruits of the Mediterranean sun, grown for us by artisan farmers.