Return to work, the other fruit of the olive tree

Between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, a job placement facility focusing on the traditional crafts of olive growing will help fifteen persons to approach a stable job in the farming sector.

Social and Employment

Bouches-du-Rhône, France

Jean-Marie Estebe

9,500 € to the Selection Committee at 2008/01/29

Project leader


The revitalized taste for olive oil among consumers, the new "yellow gold", has given the overall olive oil industry in France a second wind, breathing new life into more than 200 mills and some 30,000 olive growers spread over thirteen districts in the south of France*.
In the Bouches-du-Rhône, for example, more than 3,400 hectares have been devoted in recent years to new plantations. But to sustain this local dynamic, the sector needs to raise the level of skills of a workforce mainly consisting of relatively unskilled seasonal workers. With the creation of the "Les Olivades" integration agency, the association Medit'action, engaged for years in upgrading olive farming and its traditional knowhow, proposes a promising model to meet this challenge.
Supported by an experienced team (trainer-technicians, socio- professional referents, specialized consultant, etc.), five jobseekers and eleven minimum wage earners will find a structuring framework to acquire the specific techniques of these crafts and to boost their chances of finding a stable job in the farms of the region.

Upgrading one of the symbols of the provençal heritage

The beneficiaries will be expected to work both in recent and older orchards, helping to rehabilitate, maintain or preserve these assets of the regional heritage. An agreement signed with the State services will accordingly release an area of about twenty-five hectares to the association.
By partly funding the purchase of the agriculture equipment and tools, the Veolia foundation is joining this solid project, supported by all the local players in the olive oil profession, and jointly backed by the authorities, the general council of the Bouches du Rhône, four municipalities and two communal communities.

*Source Association Française Interprofessionnelle de l'Olive (Afidol)