As you’ll see in my behind-the-scenes video, I use a long-handled vibrating tong to harvest olives from the trees. This is used on all the trees, catching the olives in the netting that has been laid on the floor. Then, when they’re all gathered together, they’re taken to the processing plant where they’re separated from any foliage that has fallen and cleaned.
The olives are transferred into one large crate so they’re easier to handle and feed into the machinery. After being weighed, the olives are tipped into the hopper which collects everything and feeds it through to the escalators which splits the large amount into more manageable quantities.
The leaves and branches are separated from the olives, to be discarded. The olives are cleaned, and then an extra step of suction is used to remove any foliage or bugs that were missed.
A drill separator draws the olives together, to then be deposited into the section where they are crushed.
The two stone wheels then crush the olives to make a paste. This paste is sent onto the mats, which are then stacked and taken to the hydraulic presses, so all of the goodness and juice comes out. This oil is all collected at the base of the presses. Then, a mixture of oil and water is taken into a drum, which uses centrifugal force to separate the water and oil.
At the end of the process, the dry husks of the olives are left over. These are recycled and used to create fertiliser, so nothing gets wasted.