Niche producers managed to combine innovation, market demands and sustainability into products that are ready to conquer foreign markets.
A new season of dialog to enhance the value of olive oil. This is the message launched by ASSITOL, the Italian Oil Industry Association, partner of TUTTOFOOD, to promote excellence, which represents the best card to be played by Italy in the sector: the reduced quantity of raw material in Italy, estimated at just 200,000 tons of olive oil, together with the poor results of other producing countries, generated great concern in the sector, which used to guarantee oil to consumers all year round. Inflation and rising energy prices were also weighing on the situation.
Here is the comment of Sara Tanzarella, Communications Manager of Le Ferre: “There’s an increasing awareness and knowledge of extra virgin olive oil as a product. Its value is increasing both in the kitchen and at the table. Attention to quality goes hand in hand with buying bottles with curated packaging or from certified supply chains that allow to simplify or drive the purchasing process. In this context, innovating does not mean distorting: the use of state-of-the-art machinery and new processes to simplify processing, from field to mill, only improved the quality of the product, thus benefiting the consumer and the development of business relations in international markets. For us, the markets of greatest interest are the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Germany; but there are also countries to be monitored such as the United Arab Emirates.”
The great attention to the potential of foreign markets is also confirmed by Fabio Carbonara, Commercial Director of Frantoio Paparella: “Over the past decade, the spread of extra virgin olive oil around the world registered a significant increase even in countries that are geographically and culturally far apart. This is also the reason why we decided to expand the catalog, introducing a very diverse line with as many as 12 flavors. As for sustainability, every day we work while respecting nature, we are in fact in possession of about 100 hectares of property from which we harvest olives of indigenous Apulian cultivars.”
In the processes of innovation and product range expansion, the territory keeps playing a key role. "We are rooted in the territory, an oasis of centuries-old olive groves, 'trulli' and dry stone walls, where we also produce the Terra di Bari - Castel del Monte DOP”, explained Massimo Cassanelli, Marketing and Quality Manager of Frantoio Galantino. “We were among the first to produce all-natural citrus and herb oils, thus fostering the use of lemons, oranges, but also basil, oregano, and chili pepper that we grow ourselves. The ISO 14001 environmental certification attests to our commitment: our olive groves are all grown organically and we use electric cars and increasingly less energy-intensive machinery. And we use all parts of the olive, so that we don't produce any waste.”
Still with respect to the territory, a company in the area of Ragusa that made a particular value of its roots is Frantoi Cutrera, which will be present at TUTTOFOOD in the collective stand of the Opera Olei consortium. One of the owners, Salvatore Cutrera, told us: “The market presents an increasing focus on organic and quality products and on the provenance and origin of raw materials. We cultivate our land through organic farming and select high quality raw materials while paying attention to suppliers, which are required to meet specific standards. In addition, we started offering lectures and tours of the farm in order to educate consumers about the high quality of our products. Foreign markets are a key focus for us, particularly the fast-growing Northern European and Asian markets.”
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