`Italy Pledges Nearly €70M for Olive Oil and Table Olive Sector - Olive Oil Times

Italy Pledges Nearly €70M for Olive Oil and Table Olive Sector

Feb. 17, 2021
Paolo DeAndreis

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Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture has announced €69.2 mil­lion of fund­ing for the country’s olive oil sec­tor, with almost half of that sum com­ing from the European Union.

The money will be used to improve olive oil qual­ity, lower the envi­ron­men­tal impact of the country’s olive farms and on new ini­tia­tives to trace the ori­gin of olive oil sold on the domes­tic mar­ket.

A wise use of resources by pro­duc­ers’ orga­ni­za­tions and their national asso­ci­a­tions will allow the sec­tor to inno­vate ade­quately for the new chal­lenges that await it.- Giuseppe Abbate, under­sec­re­tary for agri­cul­tural poli­cies, Ministry of Agriculture

With the sign­ing of the decree, we are lay­ing the foun­da­tions for the start of the new sup­port pro­gram for the olive oil sec­tor for the next two years that will lead us to the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP),” said the ministry’s under­sec­re­tary for agri­cul­tural poli­cies, Giuseppe Abbate.

A wise use of resources by pro­duc­ers’ orga­ni­za­tions and their national asso­ci­a­tions will allow the sec­tor to inno­vate ade­quately for the new chal­lenges that await it, beyond the dif­fi­cult period of clo­sures to the Horeca sec­tor (hotel, restau­rants and cafes) related to the COVID-19 pan­demic which inevitably had neg­a­tive reper­cus­sions on sales,” he added.

See Also: CAP Updates

The new funds will be made avail­able to pro­duc­ers and other sec­tor mem­bers from April 2021 to December 2022.

Of the nearly €70 mil­lion avail­able, 20 per­cent are ear­marked for ini­tia­tives meant to reduce olive farming’s envi­ron­men­tal impact. The ministry’s goal is to use olive trees as a means to recover cer­tain land­scapes.

The min­istry said these would include works to main­tain olive groves with high con­ser­va­tion value and those at risk of being aban­doned, espe­cially in oro­graph­i­cally chal­leng­ing loca­tions.

The envi­ron­men­tal funds will also cover the local devel­op­ment of improved farm­ing prac­tices, which will be tai­lored to spe­cific areas. The pro­grams will also be mon­i­tored to deter­mine their effec­tive­ness and the results will be made avail­able to other grow­ers

The envi­ron­men­tal funds will also include work­shops to present tech­niques to com­bat the olive fruit fly with­out chem­i­cal prod­ucts and pro­mote organic farm­ing pro­ce­dures.

Among the goals are the pre­ven­tion of soil ero­sion and a focus on pro­tect­ing local olive tree vari­eties and vari­eties at risk of extinc­tion.

See Also: Apulian Producers Call for More Government Support for Olive Oil Sector

The min­istry noted that part of the funds would help adopt new tech­nolo­gies, includ­ing dig­i­tal­ized sys­tems and irri­ga­tion.

They will also cover under­pro­duc­tive olive trees’ replace­ments with new trees and edu­cate pro­duc­ers on the best farm­ing tech­niques.

About €21 mil­lion – or 30 per­cent of the funds – will improve farm­ing con­di­tions, olive har­vest­ing and stor­age before their trans­for­ma­tion, along with the related tech­ni­cal assis­tance to olive oil mills.

These funds will also add value to byprod­ucts of the pro­duc­tion process, cre­ate and improve lab­o­ra­to­ries focused on the organolep­tic and phys­i­cal-chem­i­cal pro­file analy­sis of olive oil, and train new sen­sory analy­sis pan­els.

The remain­ing 15 per­cent of the funds – about €10 mil­lion – will cover projects meant to estab­lish new effi­cient olive oil trace­abil­ity meth­ods to cre­ate a cer­ti­fied pro­duc­tion chain.

The min­istry added that it plans to cre­ate a vol­un­tary cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem based on risk analy­sis and with ded­i­cated check­points.

The funds will also help to develop and put in action new sys­tems and mech­a­nisms needed to ensure the respect of laws and reg­u­la­tions on ori­gin, qual­ity and mar­ket­ing of both olive oil and table olives.





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