Table olives should be picked individually by hand and it is recommended that only olives of the required size and colour are picked. Selective harvesting reduces the work-load on the sorters and results in less fruit being rejected.
Harvesting is the costliest orchard operation in the growing of olives, with harvesting labour accounting for up to 40% of total costs in traditional orchards. The peak demand for labour on an olive farm is in the harvesting season.
Although olive trees can survive dry conditions, irrigation is strongly recommended for table olive production to encourage a higher yield, regular cropping and the production of large sized fruit with a high flesh to pit ratio.