This work examines changes in the cultivation of olive groves in the region of Andalusia since the accession of Spain to the European Common Market (1986). The first phase is marked by the triumph of productivism in which some of the basic elements of this model (specialisation and intensification) are overwhelming, according to the statistical sources used for this research, although the behaviour in terms of corporate concentration can be considered unique. Also notable, as we will explain later, are other less desirable effects of the process, which can currently be considered environmentally unsustainable. As the weaknesses and contradictions of the model have become evident, in the recent years - as a result of the new stimuli provided by the Common Agricultural Policy - more attention is paid to the opportunities offered by rural development. For the moment, the results of this approach have been limited, although the 2015-2020 planning period could be decisive for its reorientation.