The olive tree grew in the 12th millennium before our era has known real forests. It was not until the sixth century BC that humans began to domesticate it. From the 16th century BC, the Phoenicians implanted it in all Greece and in the Mediterranean basin. It was through Massilla (Marseille) in 600 BC that the olive tree arrived in Gaul. Following a period when it was slightly forgotten after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Crusades and the Middle Ages gave the tree back its status and it resumed its expansion all around the Mediterranean. The olive tree and its fruits are often associated with longevity, as some trees in the south of France are known to be centuries old. Hand picking is still the norm nowadays, especially for green olives as it guarantees the quality of the fruit and the olive oil.
The olives are predominantly of the Moroccan picholine variety. They can be considered as semi-organic, because the olives come from untreated trees and get exposed to small amounts of chemical fertilizers. Table olives are the result of an ancient know-how passed on from generation to generation that transforms bitter olives into sweeter ones. The olives lose their bitterness only under the effect of water and salt. Once prepared, they are consumed only after 6 to 12 months. Olives are used in many dishes, but also as an appetizer or snack. The range of use is as varied as the tastes offered according to the type of olives (black, green, etc.). They can also be flavoured with plants. In Morocco, olive production is located around Guercif, where there are more than a thousand olive farms with an irrigated area of about 3,500 hectares.