Meet Hakim Alileche, An Award Winning Algerian Graphic Designer Turned Olive Tree Farmer

Hakim Alileche, originally a graphic designer, is now a 48-year-old farmer after leaving a life behind the desk, he moved to Algeria’s countryside, where he makes his “magic potion,” a type of organic olive oil that has landed him on the spotlight of the world. His olive oil won first place at the Dubai Olive Oil Competition in the Extra Virgin Early Harvest in February 2021 and won the silver at the Japan Olive Oil Prize.

Time to dive in and find out who this magical Hakim Alileche is!

Alileche currently lives in Ain Oussera plateau, a choice he made to live in due to its good water supply, and has a farm of 40 hectares with 15,000 olive trees planted. He’s been planting since 2005 due to his love for farming, particularly olive trees. Alileche has done his fair share of learning when he traveled around the world, learning the methods of production and planting be it from Greece, France and Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina. But, it’s not just about farming for him. In Algeria, the olive oil tree is considered a sacred tree, and to Alileche, planting an olive tree is his way of respecting and protecting the planet.

His magic potion brand is called Dahbia, named after both his mother and his wife! It’s his particular method of production and its quality that has caught the attention of many. The oil produced from the olive trees is completely organic and according to Alileche, it can be used for food or for medicinal uses as well. One of his unique methods is to harvest early before mid-November, which is a standard time for Algerians to harvest their crops.

“An early harvest allows you to get all the benefits of the olives, all the natural antioxidants,”

Hakim said.

After picking the olives by hand, he crushes them the same day in order to avoid the oxidization of the olives. The entire process is completely environmentally friendly and does not include the use of fertilizers. For every 100 kilograms of olives, right liters of olive oil are made. Alileche has always dreamed of getting certified in Europe for his olive oil, and well, his dreams were realized!

Hakim Alileche inspecting a batch of olives in Ain Oussera

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