Identifying barriers and facilitators affecting the valorization of olive oil by-products

  • Nicole Echeverria (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The climate crisis, inflicting extreme weather conditions and crop-killing high temperatures, caused agricultural producers to examine their methods to see how they can become more sustainable to combat negative effects. One way to increase sustainability, adopting a circular economic model of production, involves designing out or valorizing waste into economically valuable by-products that can be sold and used as a resource for other products. The production of olive oil, an economically important product for countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece, creates waste like wastewater, solid olive waste, and solid-liquid bagasse that has a negative impact on the environment if left untreated. The objective of this thesis is to identify which barriers are preventing olive oil producers from adopting a circular production model, and which factors are facilitating producers into successfully applying this model. To investigate, we conducted interviews with a random sample of three olive oil producers located in Portugal. The results indicated that the barriers were high transportation costs from rural areas, having a low-risk approach to sustainability, and the lack of vital financial and technological resources. The facilitators that were helping producers become more sustainable included access to funding from the EU, having a high-involvement sustainability approach, and the commitment to make investments in innovation and technology. The implications of these findings emphasize the need for governmental organizations to create financial and technological resources for olive oil producers to innovate their production systems with sustainability integrated into the new design.
Date of Award18 Oct 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCláudia Isabel de Sousa Costa (Supervisor)


  • By-product
  • Biomass
  • Phytochemical
  • Valorization


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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