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
By Paolo DeAndreis
Aug. 3, 2022 14:31 UTC
Trullo, Puglia, Italy

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.

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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