This gift in action
Each year for three weeks, families from across the Palestinian Territories get together to harvest olives for pressing to provide the oil they need for the coming year. In addition, there are thousands of Palestinian farmers for whom olive oil production is their main source of income.
However, all growers are facing a range of problems including increasing drought and environmental problems.
But Oxfam training, combined with co-operative working is helping to ensure that an increasing number of growers are making more of their olive harvest.
Today, everyone in the all-women Sir Co-operative harvests olives collectively from their 1,750 trees. It means that they have enough olives to send for processing each day, so their olives are fresher, the quality of the oil is higher, and so is the price that they can charge. And with Oxfam's help, they have gained Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) international certification.
According to Sir Co-operative's Head, Intesar Zaaror, working together has more than just business benefits: "For all the women, olive farming is a family affair. Our children play together in the fields, our husbands and older sons help us with pressing and ploughing. We all know each other and help each other, not just at harvest time but in our daily lives. And our success is increasing our status within our communities."