Algerian farmer's olive oil wins global recognition - in pictures

'Magic potion' organic olive oil has brought former graphic designer international acclaim

Algerian olive oil producer Hakim Alileche inspects a dripping batch at the press in Ain Oussera in the Djelfa province, south of the Algerian capital. Mr Alileche left a successful career in graphic design and moved to the Algerian countryside to produce "magic potion"- organic olive oil that has won him international recognition.

A worker picks olives at Mr Alileche's grove in Ain Oussera in the Djelfa province, south of the Algerian capital.

Mr Alileche's oil won first prize at the Dubai Olive Oil Competition in the Extra Virgin Early Harvest category in February 2021 and in May he won silver at the Japan Olive Oil Prize..

The farm measuring about 40 hectares has more than 15,000 olive trees, and so far 9,000 have started producing.

A worker harvests olives. The production process "respects the entire ecological system: no pollution, no fertilisers", says Mr Alileche.

The oil's free acidity - a measure of quality whereby the lower the figure, the better the oil - is 0.16 per cent, just a fifth of the 0.8 per cent limit for Extra Virgin oil.

Mr Alileche inspects olives at the press in Ain Oussera. His farm benefits from a drip irrigation system, but he fears that climate change could threaten his livelihood.

Mr Alileche, left, speaks to a man in front of his olive press. "At the mill, we don't touch the olives much," he said. "We wash them, press them and finally bottle the oil," he says.

Updated: November 7th 2021, 7:54 AM
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