Croatia’s Brač Olive Oil Receives PDO Status from European Commission

After three years of working with Zagreb and Brussels, producers from the small island have received official protection for their mostly Oblica extra virgin olive oil.

Brač, Croatia
By Nedjeljko Jusup
Feb. 15, 2022 08:04 UTC
Brač, Croatia

Olive oil from the Croatian island of Brač received offi­cial Protected Designation of Origin sta­tus from the European Commission on January 31, 2022.

Producers on the island, which sits a few kilo­me­ters off the coast of Dalmatia, began the process to receive for­mal recog­ni­tion of their Bračko olive oil” in August 2018, when the Agricultural Cooperative Supetar sub­mit­ted a request to the Ministry of Agriculture.

According to the def­i­n­i­tion, PDO Brač extra vir­gin olive oil is obtained directly from the olive fruit (Olea europaea L.) exclu­sively by mechan­i­cal means. Furthermore, the indige­nous olive vari­ety Oblica must com­prise at least 80 per­cent of the oil.

See Also:Award-Winning Producer Says Croatians Need to Return to Their Traditional Roots

The oil is char­ac­ter­ized by a low con­tent of free fatty acids, low per­ox­ide value and a high con­tent of polyphe­nols.

Brač extra vir­gin olive oil has bal­anced bit­ter­ness, spici­ness and fruiti­ness with an aroma of fresh olives, leaves and grass.

All the pos­i­tive and spe­cific char­ac­ter­is­tics of Brač olive oil are equally influ­enced by the olive vari­ety, geo­log­i­cal and cli­matic con­di­tions and the skill of Brač olive grow­ers and oil pro­duc­ers.

People have grown olives on Brač since ancient times. As a result, olives and olive oil have become part of the island’s cul­ture and way of life.

As the island’s most his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant agri­cul­tural crop, olives became syn­ony­mous with Brač and its most impor­tant olive vari­ety, Oblica. In the World Catalog of Olive Varieties, the vari­ety is even called Bračka.

Brač olive oil has a long, his­tor­i­cal rep­u­ta­tion, with con­tin­u­ous pro­duc­tion on the island since the 16th cen­tury.

Despite this long tra­di­tion, pro­duc­ers have not been afraid to mod­ern­ize, bring­ing in the lat­est agro-tech­ni­cal pro­ce­dures and milling. This has led the island’s oils to be rec­og­nized at inter­na­tional olive oil qual­ity com­pe­ti­tions.

With this recog­ni­tion, Brač becomes the sixth Croatian extra vir­gin olive oil to receive PDO sta­tus, adding to Cres, Istria, Korcula, Krk and Solta.

Overall, Croatia now has 33 agri­cul­tural and food prod­ucts whose name is reg­is­tered in the European Union as a PDO or a Protected Geographical Indication.

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