About Us

Dear Clients and Olive tree enthusiasts,

It is exciting and rewarding to serve as the local olive tree producer and distributor! JR Olives is a wonderful place to work, and we truly enjoy the time with clients, Consumers, and resellers.

Our mission is to be the top suppliers of top quality, true to type olive trees. In a climate such as Cape Town, we engage in opportunities to improve the production of olive trees and the way all consumers view the wonderful production of them.

We provide a nurturing environment in which olive trees can grow on their respective areas with ample space without overloading the ground the trees grows in. The replanting process is of utmost importance for the olive trees not to be damaged and preserved for preparation to be distributed to the consumer.

Olive Experts

We are JR Olives

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The Industry in context

In contrast to traditional olive oil consuming countries where per capita consumption of olive oil ranges between 12 – 24 L, the average South African consumes a mere 80ml (0.08 L) p.a. This highlights the tremendous opportunity for growth and expansion in this country.

The total South African consumption is +-3.5 million litres, of which local production is currently less than 30%.  Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) constitutes more than 50% of imports. Local production is solely extra virgin at present.

Local production of table olives is estimated at 3 000 tons per annum while 2 000 tons are imported annually – 40%. “Considering these statistics, there is no doubt that this farming sector offers significant potential for growth”


Olive trees must be ordered in the year prior to planting from an Olive Tree Nursery that specializes in olive tree propagation.
Planting distances will depend on circumstances, but traditionally trees are spaced 4 to 5 meters in the row and rows are spaced 4 to 6 meters apart.
Deep ripping and criss-cross delving over the entire area is recommended depending on the soil structure.


The choice of which varieties to plant is determined by the following:
• The adaptability of the cultivar to a specific region.
• The cross pollination requirements of the cultivars.
• The ripening period and harvest season.
• The producer must determine his end goal for processing and establish the market plan.


Our trees are available established in plastic planting bags. The trees are well worth the higher initial and transporting costs as they give superior transplanting results as well as more latitude at planting time than bare-rooted trees.

The following precautions should be taken at the time of planting.

1. Trees should be planted to the same depth as, or slightly deeper than they were in the planting bag. Roots should not be disturbed at planting. The bag is cut open on the one side and then removed when the tree is in position.
2. Avoid direct contact between roots and fertilizer or manure that might scorch them.
3. The soil should be firmly packed around the roots, either by trampling or watering, depending on the nature of the soil.
4. Trees should be staked to ensure upright growth and to prevent wind-scuffing. Tie only the main leader, using a bio-degradable twine.
5. Application of 20 liters of water to young trees weekly during summer will ensure that the trees get off to a good start.


The Olive industry is very old; it dates back to early mankind. The past few years’ scientists discover each day more and more health benefits that derives from Olive oil and Olive products.
The world is becoming more and more heath conscious. Olive oil and Olive products are one of the few products that are very healthy and have no cholesterol. The more the people eat healthy, the more the demand for Olive oil will increase.
From the earliest days Olive oil is a sought after commodity, it is also called “liquid gold”

Currently there are no limits to producing Olive oil and Olive products in SA. The demand for Olive oil and products is very high; the producers can only provide approximately 20% of the market demand. The biggest challenge currently is to get suitable Olive cultivars and to plant them. Olive trees start to produce olives after 4 years of planting and get to full production in year 8. Olive trees can get very old; the oldest recorded one that still produces olives is, 3000 years old.
There is big development in the current market due to the fact that the people want to eat healthier and scientist is discovering more and more uses for the Olive oil and Olive products.
  There is a huge market for Olive oil in South Africa. The export market to the SADEC countries and to the rest of the world is even bigger. Although South Africa occupies a small portion of the market our Olive oil is considered among the best in the world.
“our biggest problem is imported adulterated olive oil which is fraudulently labelled as extra virgin.” Not only does this oil cost less to produce, but in some cases producers are paid a subsidy which amounts to as much as it costs a South African farmer to produce one litre of oil.
According to the latest figures, only 32 percent of the 7, 5 million litres consumed in 2016 was produced locally. In the absence of working regulations to expose adulterated oil passed off as “extra virgin” and without a level playing field against imports subsidized in their country of origin, smaller producers are finding it increasingly difficult to compete on supermarket shelves. “By stocking our shelves with subsidized and, in some cases, fraudulently labelled products, we are supporting foreign companies at the expense of our local producers and economy
Olive oil is currently competing with Sunflower oil, Canola oil and the rest of the edible oil range. Olive oil has certain health characteristics that make the oil far better for human consumption.
The demand for good quality Olive oil is very high and the market is currently asking for more oil. The current production of Olive oil and Olive products cannot meet the demand of the export marketOPN O 

Industry Characteristics

The South African olive industry is mainly concentrated in the Western Cape. In addition groves are now being established in areas throughout the country with varying degrees of success.

10% of the players are responsible for 90% of volume produced.  There is a myriad of small growers and boutique style table olive and olive oil processors that add flavour and interest to the industry.  

Based on the rate at which new trees are being planted, olive farming is growing at a rate of at least 20% p.a., i.e. doubling in size every four to five years, which makes it arguably one of the fastest growing sub-sector in agriculture.


The olive is mostly suited to a Mediterranean climate. Typical weather patterns are cool winters and hot summers. Frost seldom occurs.
The olive will also thrive under irrigation in drier areas.
The olive requires sufficient chilling for a period of 15 – 20 days to enter rest otherwise the tree remains vegetative. Maximum day temperatures in June and July should not exceed 21ºC.
Frost can seriously damage olive trees, especially young trees and young shoots. Entire trees can die when exposed to temperatures of minus 10 ºC.
Olive trees are less sensitive to wind damage than other types of fruit.

The olive requires a well-drained, well aerated soil which has been prepared to recommended guidelines to a depth of at least 80cm before planting.
Olives will not tolerate waterlogged soils.
Heavy clay soils (above 35% clay) are unsuitable.
Very sandy soils have poor water retention capacity and will require intensive management in terms of irrigation and nutrition.
Stony soils, especially with high gravel content, are ideal

A young tree requires about 20 liters of water weekly during the first growing season.
The irrigation requirements of a tree, I.e. the amount of water applied at a specific time and the frequency of irrigation, is influenced by the following factors:
the age and size of the tree
the season of the trees
the season and growth stage
the crop size
relative humidity and wind
soil texture and the type of irrigation system.
Double line drippers or micro sprinklers.

“One of the major causes of premature ageing of Mediterranean olive orchards is to be found in the application of irrational, inappropriate pruning”
(Dr Fausto Luchetti, Executive Director, IOOC, 1989)

The main goal of pruning is to regulate production and tree growth by ensuring the formation and maintenance of a strong, healthy and fairly vigorous tree capable of bearing good crops of high quality fruit from an early age, annually, over a long lifespan.
During the first few years in the orchard, pruning is kept to a minimum. Only those branches which are in the way of others or growing too near the soil surface are removed.
There are different approaches to pruning and training olive trees.
The most popular system, three to six main scaffold branches are selected to form a semi-open vase.
All upright growth in the center of the tree is removed to improve light interception throughout the tree.
A Traditional guideline for pruning is that you should see light through the tree after pruning, and the tree should have a “lacey” look.

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