The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Palestinian Olive Oil

The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project is taking orders for Holy Land Olive Oil, an extra-virgin, cold-pressed oil imported directly from Palestinian growers. It is available in 500 and 750-ml bottles or cases at the Madison-Rafah Marketplace, a secure online store. For more information, you can contact or (608) 332-8745.

Buyers in Madison have been impressed with the oil’s quality and flavor. It has a brilliant green color and freshness that you can taste: nutty with a little sharpness or bite, particularly in the finish, that is typical of fresh oil.

Palestinian farmers are having great difficulty selling their produce due to Israeli policies of occupation and closure. Neither Jordan nor Israel, two natural markets, will accept the oil which is the only source of income for many people. An added irony is that Israel has an annual olive oil shortfall of 14,000 tons, while the West Bank has a surplus of 25,000 tons.

This olive oil comes from West Bank villages in the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, a certified fair trade organization. The oil from the 2018/19 harvest had a peroxide value of 7, an acidity of 0.37%, and a pleasant fruity flavor characteristic of fresh ripe olives. It was mellow, not bitter or peppery, and pleasantly aromatic.

These co-ops supply oil for Holy Land Olive Oil:
• The Organic Cooperative of Keereh, Salfit area
• The Cooperative of Koufer-eh-Deek, Ramallah area
• The Oil Cooperative of Bedeah, Salfit area
• The Cooperative of Beit Reema, Ramallah area
• National Cooperative Association of Taybeh, Ramallah