Consumption, Exports of Italian PDOs and PGIs Keep Growing

A survey shows that exports and consumption of Italian extra virgin olive oils with geographical indications grew steadily over five years.
Trequanda province of Siena (Photos: Toscano PGI Consortium)
Dec. 30, 2020
Ylenia Granitto

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Exports of Italian extra vir­gin olive oils with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO or DOP) and Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI or IGP) increased by 55 per­cent over the last five years, ris­ing from €40 to €62 mil­lion.

Annual con­sump­tion of oils with pro­tected geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions in Italy also increased by 28 per­cent, reach­ing almost €150 mil­lion.

We aim to increase qual­ity pro­duc­tion and pre­serve our great her­itage of olive vari­eties, which is a flag­ship for our coun­try.- Fabrizio Pini, pres­i­dent, Italia Olivicola

These are the results of an analy­sis con­ducted by the national con­sor­tium of olive grow­ers, Italia Olivicola, using data pro­vided by lead­ing enti­ties of the olive oil sec­tor and var­i­ous gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions.

See Also:Europe Launches Comprehensive Database of Geographical Indications

The sur­vey also showed that the pro­duc­tion of Italian PDOs and PGIs increased from less than 10,000 tons in 2015 to more than 13,000 tons in 2020, of which almost 45 per­cent is exported.

Accounting for five per­cent of the total vol­umes of extra vir­gin olive oil made in Italy, the major pro­duc­ers are Terra di Bari PDO with 5,000 tons per year, Toscano PGI with 2,500 tons, and Val di Mazara PDO with 1,200 tons.

There are 42 PDOs and seven PGIs in Italy, includ­ing the Olio di Roma PGI, which is in the process of being rec­og­nized. Italy rep­re­sents 40 per­cent of Europe’s geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions for extra vir­gin olive oil.


Olive groves in Tuscany

We aim to increase qual­ity pro­duc­tion and pre­serve our great her­itage of olive vari­eties, which is a flag­ship for our coun­try,” said the pres­i­dent of Italia Olivicola, Fabrizio Pini. Using the Italian PDO and PGI extra vir­gin olive oils is a unique taste expe­ri­ence, thanks to their count­less sen­so­r­ial fea­tures to be dis­cov­ered and com­bined with food.”

As the demand for geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions increases, so do their qual­ity pro­duc­tion stan­dards. Recently, the man­age­ment board of the Toscano PGI Consortium estab­lished that the time limit for milling the prod­uct intended for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is December 10, when pre­vi­ously the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the PGI pro­vided that the end date for milling should be decided by the board on a yearly basis, includ­ing dero­ga­tions for late har­vest.

This is a choice that looks at the respon­si­bil­ity of pro­duc­ers and at a chang­ing mar­ket, where con­sumers are increas­ingly look­ing for qual­ity,” the com­mu­ni­ca­tion and mar­ket­ing man­ager of the Toscano PGI, Christian Sbardella, told Olive Oil Times. They are more and more aware, hav­ing the need to know and rec­og­nize the ori­gin of the prod­ucts, and PDO and PGI cer­ti­fi­ca­tions per­fectly ful­fill this require­ment.”


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