Italy Launches First Olive Sector Plan

The State-Regions Conference approved the first National olive sector plan that should be implemented by the end of summer

Italian Agricultural Minister Maurizio Martina
Apr. 1, 2016
By Ylenia Granitto
Italian Agricultural Minister Maurizio Martina

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The State-Regions Conference, a coor­di­nat­ing body of gov­ern­ment and regional ter­ri­to­ries, approved the first National Olive Sector Plan that should be imple­mented by the end of sum­mer. “€32 mil­lion has been invested to help the reor­ga­ni­za­tion of the sec­tor, which will be sup­ported by the regional funds for the agri­cul­tural devel­op­ment,” the Minister of Agriculture (MIPAAF) Maurizio Martina announced.

The plan was insti­tuted by law 91/15 of July 2, 2015 that con­tains mea­sures to relaunch agri­cul­tural sec­tors, sup­port to agri­cul­tural enter­prises affected by excep­tional events and ratio­nal­ize min­is­te­r­ial struc­tures. It pro­vides for €32 mil­lion to be spent by 2017 in oper­a­tional mea­sures aimed at increas­ing domes­tic pro­duc­tion of extra vir­gin olive oil and olives, pro­mot­ing prod­ucts and sup­port­ing a stronger orga­ni­za­tion of the national pro­duc­tion sup­ply chain.

With the approval of the first National olive sec­tor plan, we begin to define a pro­duc­tion strat­egy that was miss­ing for too many years in Italy,” Maurizio Martina added. The goal shared with the whole sup­ply chain is an improve­ment in terms of qual­ity and quan­tity. We decided to pro­mote the reor­ga­ni­za­tion of Italian olive oil and olive grow­ing sec­tor, with an act that will be sup­ported with regional resources for agri­cul­tural devel­op­ment. Our work does not stop there. We look at the future of the sec­tor and at the new oppor­tu­ni­ties at inter­na­tional level.”

The MIPAAF said there are about 900,000 olive farms in Italy, pro­duc­ing on aver­age 475,000 tons of olive oil from Italian olives, and the vol­ume of the €3 bil­lion busi­ness accounts for 3 per­cent of the total agri-food indus­try turnover.

According to the offi­cial doc­u­ment, the olive sec­tor plan is a pro­gram­matic pol­icy state­ment which con­sists of the def­i­n­i­tion of strate­gic objec­tives, the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of pos­si­ble enforce­ment actions and the recog­ni­tion of resources. The guide­lines have been drawn up on the basis of the main prob­lems of the area, exam­ined with the assis­tance of regional insti­tu­tions and oper­a­tors, and tak­ing into account the struc­tural evo­lu­tion of the sec­tor. The doc­u­ment pro­vides a pre­lim­i­nary sta­tis­ti­cal-eco­nomic descrip­tion of the back­ground and sup­ply chain orga­ni­za­tion, fol­lowed by a SWOT analy­sis (which iden­ti­fies the strengths, weak­nesses, oppor­tu­ni­ties and threats in the sec­tor). The fund­ing will be invested in the imple­men­ta­tion of actions and mea­sures to pur­sue the fol­low­ing objec­tives:

  • to increase the national pro­duc­tion of olives and extra vir­gin olive oil, with­out inten­si­fy­ing the pres­sure on nat­ural resources, espe­cially on water, through the ratio­nal­iza­tion of tra­di­tional olive groves, the ren­o­va­tion of pro­duc­tion facil­i­ties and the intro­duc­tion of new grow­ing sys­tems which inte­grate envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity, with ref­er­ence to the land­scape value, ter­ri­tory pro­tec­tion and his­tory;
  • to sup­port and pro­mote research activ­i­ties;
  • to sup­port ini­tia­tives which pro­mote the Made in Italy and cer­ti­fied high qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils, includ­ing actions for the pro­mo­tion of the prod­uct on the domes­tic and inter­na­tional mar­ket;
  • to stim­u­late the recov­ery of native vari­eties of table olives in the new mech­a­nized facil­i­ties;
  • to pro­mote and sup­port the aggre­ga­tion and the eco­nomic orga­ni­za­tion of the oper­a­tors of the olive oil sec­tor, in accor­dance with the reg­u­la­tions of the con­tract nego­ti­a­tions pro­vided by the Regulation (EU) no. 1308 of the European Parliament and of the Council, dated 17 December 2013.

We launched the national plan, which was expected by the entire sec­tor due to the recent dif­fi­cul­ties, like the mea­sures on Tunisian olive oil and the Xylella emer­gency,” said the asses­sor of the Apulia Region and coor­di­na­tor of the Agriculture Committee at Conference of the Regions, Leonardo Di Gioia. This impor­tant act is use­ful to carry out a series of actions that will strengthen the qual­ity of Italian olive oil and focus on an impor­tant sec­tor for the future of our agri­cul­ture.”

The green light of the State-Regions Conference at the national plan, defin­i­tively unlocks new ener­gies for the sec­tor,” the President of Unaprol David Granieri affirmed. Now we can take action to increase domes­tic pro­duc­tion, develop research activ­i­ties, pro­mote the Made in Italy, stim­u­late the vari­etal recov­ery of table olives, encour­age new cul­ti­va­tions and enhance and sup­port the aggre­ga­tion of Italian olive oil sup­ply chain,” he added. We have the oppor­tu­nity to restart the indus­try and give new life to the econ­omy of the sec­tor in the pro­duc­tion ter­ri­to­ries.”


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