A New Project to Promote Olive Oil Roads in Puglia

A new law provides funds to mark dedicated networks of olive oil roads, including farmers, tourism venues, millers and local municipalities.

Trullo, Puglia, Italy
Aug. 3, 2022
By Paolo DeAndreis
Trullo, Puglia, Italy

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Local extra vir­gin olive oil and the his­toric olive oil cul­ture of the south­ern Italian region of Puglia will be pro­moted by a new col­lab­o­ra­tive net­work of grow­ers, millers, farm­houses, shops and fairs.

Local author­i­ties recently approved a new law that cre­ates a frame­work to help cre­ate and pro­mote the new olive oil roads in Italy’s largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing region.

The new roads, labeled by ded­i­cated signs, are walk­ways that will pro­mote our envi­ron­men­tal and archi­tec­tonic her­itage, rich in often for­got­ten trea­sures.- Davide Bellomo, coun­cilor, Apulian Regional Council

Along with the olive oil roads, the Fourth Commission of the Apulian Assembly has also approved the devel­op­ment of new wine roads, adding to the exist­ing ones.

Wine and olive oil are two of the most rel­e­vant food spe­cial­ties of the region. Puglia is respon­si­ble for roughly 50 per­cent of all Italian olive oil pro­duc­tion.

See Also:New Law in Sicily Protects and Promotes the Mediterranean Diet

The law sup­ports the cre­ation of infor­ma­tion points and oleo­touris­tic cen­ters ded­i­cated to each olive oil road. They will offer tourists sev­eral ways to inter­act with local wine and olive oil cul­ture and learn about the area’s agri­cul­tural her­itage.

The roads will be marked with a ded­i­cated net­work of road signs to help tourists visit olive groves and farm­houses, mills and food venues focused on olive oil tast­ing and pro­mo­tion.

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Each road will be bap­tized with a name strictly con­nected to local olive oil activ­i­ties and, in most cases, will be tied to local Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) des­ig­na­tions.

To be for­mally rec­og­nized, the new olive oil roads will be pro­moted by com­mit­tees rep­re­sent­ing sin­gle farms or asso­ci­a­tions, millers, farm­houses and local munic­i­pal­i­ties. For an olive oil road to be bap­tized, at least 30 per­cent of the farm­ing com­mu­nity included in the road must sup­port it.

According to Davide Bellomo, the first sig­na­tory of the law, the new roads are inspired by what other European coun­tries, includ­ing France, have done with wine roads.

This ini­tia­tive looks to a future where tra­di­tional tourism oppor­tu­ni­ties are accom­pa­nied by the dis­cov­ery of local prod­ucts,” he said. By sus­tain­ing local cul­tural, edu­ca­tional and recre­ational activ­i­ties con­nected to olive oil and wine, we can also fur­ther sus­tain our food exports.”

See Also:New Rules in Italy Set Standards for Oleotourism Operators

The new roads, labeled by ded­i­cated signs, are walk­ways that will pro­mote our envi­ron­men­tal and archi­tec­tonic her­itage, rich in often for­got­ten trea­sures,” Bellomo added, hint­ing at new funds that the regional author­i­ties will have to deploy to sup­port the new ini­tia­tives.

Along with being a con­tem­po­rary leader in Italian olive oil pro­duc­tion, Puglia is also home to a rich tra­di­tion of fam­ily olive farm­ing.

According to iCribis data, 18.4 per­cent of all Italian com­pa­nies involved in olive grow­ing are based in Puglia. About 30 per­cent of those com­pa­nies are owned by fam­i­lies or sin­gle indi­vid­u­als. Only 13.3 per­cent of local farms have a yearly turnover that exceeds €2 mil­lion.

The new olive oil roads are expected to boost asso­cia­tive activ­i­ties among the dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers as they together pur­sue the goal of devel­op­ing the oleo­touris­tic offers.

The Puglia regional ini­tia­tive comes on the heels of sev­eral other activ­i­ties in the coun­try con­nected to the recent national law on oleo­tourism.



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