Insights & News

Mechanical Harvesting Looks Promising

In the past year, there has been increased mechanical harvesting activity of table olives around the world. Spain has increased mechanical harvesting of the manzanillo variety specifically for sliced ripe olives.

“On a recent visit to Spain, I saw Spanish growers using trunk shaking equipment that removed approximately 40-60% of the fruit from the tree,” said Pat Campbell, Vice President of Operations. “They use a hand picking crew immediately after the mechanical harvester to finish the harvesting process in these orchards.”

The California Olive Commission (COC) is investing over $225,000 this year to improve mechanical harvesting methods in California. This money is funding four different mechanical harvesting projects. “Bell-Carter supports the COC’s mechanical harvesting initiatives,” said Campbell.

“With the improvement in existing technologies as well as the development of new technologies worldwide, the industry continues to improve the mechanical harvesting process,” said Campbell. “We believe the California industry is getting very close to achieving our goal of handpicked quality olives through mechanical harvesting.”