Order of Malta Palestine

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

HomeOur work in Palestine The Olive Oil Project

The Olive Oil Project

Olive Oil

 

The Olive Oil 

Volunteers at PressThe oil is made from ancient Rumi olive trees, grown naturally without chemicals, on land that has been recently restored using traditional methods. The olives are harvested by hand by local employees and volunteers, and the oil pressed in a cooperative press in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem.

The oil is bottled and packaged by the New Farm Company, owned by a group of socially conscious agricultural cooperatives, the Peasants Union and three Palestinian NGOs, all dedicated to social and economic agricultural development. The oil is tested and certified to meet the international standards of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Olive oil from the Beit Jala area, where  is considered to be the best in the region.

 

Purchasing Oil

Those interested in purchasing oil should direct enquiries to: repofficeramallah@orderofmalta.int

 

Tantur Olive Grove

Where the Olives are Grown 

The olive grove sits on the property of the Monastery of St John of Jerusalem at Tantur, the Order of Malta’s official seat in Jerusalem. The Monastery is undergoing refurbishment, and will re-open as a centre of the Order with facilities for receiving and housing guests, including those with impaired mobility, in late 2016.

How the Program Works

The Dignity Loan Program under which the Olive Oil Program is run is a job creation and economic empowerment project of recyclable loans run by the Sovereign Order of Malta Representative Office in Ramallah, and partially funded by the Global Fund for Forgotten People. The main focus of the program is the Salfit and Tulkarem governorates. Approximately 50 people were afforded some employment in the course of the first year’s work on the olive oil project (2015/16). Proceeds from the oil are used to supprt the Dignity Loan Program, the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem and other works of the Order of Malta in the region.

History of the Land

The land from which the oil is produced was given to the Order in 1110 by King Baldwin, and a Hospital was built on this site in addition to the Order’s famous Hospital in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem (Muristan). The trees on the property are believed to reach up to 1,000 years old, so it is reasonable to assume that some were planted during the initial ownership of the Order. The property was given to the Order again in Ottoman times, when a Hospital of the Order was re-built on the site, and the Monastery has been owned by the Order since then, despite a turbulent local history.

Sculpture Tree

Commemorative Sculpture

To commemorate the historical linkage between the two historic sites of the Order in Jerusalem, Muristan and Tantur, and the collaborative relationship and shared works between the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Venerable Order of St John, the renowned British sculptor Mark Coreth will sculpt this beautiful tree at Tantur, and the sculpture will be displayed at the site of the Order’s original Hospital in Muristan.

Links

Facebook - Representative Office

Dignity Loan Program

Global Fund for Forgotten People

Holy Family Hospital

St John Eye Hospital

New Farm Company