Renewed Focus on Quality Pays Off for Brazilian Producers at 2021 NYIOOC

Brazilian producers earned a record-high 18 awards at the World Olive Oil Competition from 19 entries.

Jun. 7, 2021
By Daniel Dawson

Recent News

Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2021 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Brazilian pro­duc­ers enjoyed a record year at the 2021 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, earn­ing a total of 18 awards from 19 entries.

Twelve pro­duc­ers from the south­ern-most Rio Grande do Sol province and south­east­ern Serra da Manteqeira region com­bined to earn 10 Gold and eight Silver Awards, both of which were record-high totals for Brazilians.

The impres­sive show­ing from Brazilian pro­duc­ers came despite a poor har­vest in 2020, which saw pro­duc­tion in both major olive oil-pro­duc­ing regions slump as a result of poor weather through­out the har­vest.

Brazil pro­duced about 140 tons of olive oil in 2020, down from 230 tons the year prior. Despite the drop in quan­tity, Sandro Marques, author of a com­pre­hen­sive guide­book to Brazilian olive oils, told Olive Oil Times that olive oil qual­ity con­tin­ues to rise in Brazil.

See Also:The Best Olive Oils from Brazil

I would cite three rea­sons for over­all qual­ity improve­ment,” he said. Knowledge on grove man­age­ment is increas­ing; millers that have devel­oped solid exper­tise are con­sult­ing for new pro­duc­ers, ele­vat­ing extrac­tion qual­ity; some pro­duc­ers, even if olive grow­ing is a sec­ond activ­ity for them, have been ded­i­cat­ing a lot of time and effort to their groves, over­see­ing closely all aspects from land prepa­ra­tion to oil bot­tling.”

Among the pro­duc­ers who have con­tin­ued to develop their knowl­edge and exper­tise in grove man­age­ment and milling is Rafael Marchetti, the CEO of Prosperato.


Rafael Marchetti

Brazil’s largest olive oil pro­duc­ing com­pany, which is located in the Capaçava do Sul region of Rio Grande do Sul, won two Gold Awards at the 2021 NYIOOC.

We still get the willies before the results,” Marchetti told Olive Oil Times. Even though this is already the fifth year we par­tic­i­pate, we never know what the judges will think about our olive oils. So when you see your bot­tle with a golden seal on the screen, it’s very excit­ing and reward­ing at the same time.”

Prosperato earned the two Gold Awards for a pre­mium blend and medium Koroneiki, bring­ing the company’s total medal haul at the com­pe­ti­tion up to nine.

Prosperato sent oils pro­duced in early 2021 to the com­pe­ti­tion. Marchetti attrib­uted his abil­ity to start har­vest­ing at the begin­ning of March to the region’s unique cli­mate.

We are also the first ones to har­vest green olives in the Southern Hemisphere at the begin­ning of the year, deliv­er­ing olive oils at their peak of fresh­ness for the com­pe­ti­tion,” he said. This is some­thing new for the whole world, that never had fresh early har­vest olive oil dur­ing this time of the year.”


Photo: Rafael Marchetti

For the pro­duc­ers behind Prosperato, these awards have helped the com­pany develop and main­tain a loyal cus­tomer base, pro­vid­ing the proof to back up his claims that their extra vir­gin olive oil is among the best in the world.

It was so impor­tant to us for show­ing to our cus­tomers in Brazil that when we were telling them that our olive oils were not alike the oth­ers avail­able here, we were actu­ally telling the truth,” he said.

More recently, since the awards from 2019, it has also opened the doors for our olive oil to go to the United States, the first Brazilian olive oil ever exported,” he added. Something that is very remark­able for us and that will go down in his­tory.”

Like many other cor­ners of the olive oil world, Marques said that the NYIOOC is highly regarded by Brazilian pro­duc­ers and becom­ing increas­ingly rec­og­niz­able to con­sumers too. This com­bi­na­tion is caus­ing grow­ing num­bers of Brazilians to enter the con­test and prove the qual­ity of their prod­ucts.

For a coun­try with lit­tle his­tory in the field, it’s impor­tant to have our oils com­pared to and ana­lyzed along with tra­di­tional olive oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries,” he said. It shows we are on the right path to qual­ity and excel­lence.”

After Prosperato, Casa Mantiva was another of Brazil’s biggest win­ners, earn­ing a Gold and Silver Award for a medium and del­i­cate Koroneiki respec­tively.


Photo: Carlos Diniz

We entered the com­pe­ti­tion because the NYIOOC is a way of hav­ing our work and ter­roir eval­u­ated by experts from dif­fer­ent coun­tries,” owner Carlos Diniz told Olive Oil Times.

It was very grat­i­fy­ing, as we sent two oils from our com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion and received two awards,” he added. For us it is an indi­ca­tion that we are doing a good job, work­ing to obtain the best expres­sion of the olive tree in our region.”

Casa Mantiva is sit­u­ated in the moun­tains of the Serra da Mantiqueira, which Diniz said makes har­vest­ing a par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge every year.

We carry out a man­ual har­vest, with the help of labor­ers,” Diniz said. This year’s pro­duc­tion was much higher than in pre­vi­ous years and, added to the restric­tions of the pan­demic, it was a great chal­lenge to har­vest all the olives at the point of mat­u­ra­tion that we deem suit­able for high-qual­ity oils. The awards were proof that we did it.”

While many Brazilian pro­duc­ers entered the NYIOOC to once again val­i­date the qual­ity of their pro­duc­tion process, sev­eral other pro­duc­ers decided to sub­mit their extra vir­gin olive oil sam­ples for the first time to deter­mine where they stood.

Among the first-time entrants was Fernando Rotondo, the pro­ducer behind Olivopampa, which earned a Silver Award for a medium Arbequina blend.


Photo: Fernando Rotondo

This was our eighth com­mer­cial har­vest and the sixth in the pro­duc­tion of Ouro de Santana Novello olive oil,” Rotondo told Olive Oil Times. This prod­uct con­cept was an idea that we had in Italy when we par­tic­i­pated in a course on olive cul­ti­va­tion and sen­sory eval­u­a­tion. We wanted to know how a new oil was per­ceived, with­out fil­ter­ing.”

After work­ing for the agri­cul­tural prod­ucts branch of Dow Chemicals in Milan, Rotondo became enam­ored with olivi­cul­ture and earned a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in the dis­ci­pline from the Andalusian Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IFAPA).

In 2008, he returned to Brazil and bought some land on the country’s south­ern bor­der with Uruguay and started to plant mostly Arbequina and Manzanilla trees.

Rotondo said that he was glad to see that all of his and his family’s pas­sion had paid off in the form of the Silver Award. He hopes that this award will help dif­fer­en­ti­ate his extra vir­gin olive oils from cheap imported oils and local com­peti­tors.

We are in a rel­a­tively new mar­ket with many poten­tial con­sumers still lay in olive oil,” he said. There is a lot of work to be done to edu­cate the con­sumer. The mar­ket is flooded with imported prod­ucts of low qual­ity and price. There is still lit­tle per­ceived value in qual­ity due to a lack of knowl­edge.”

Capolivo, another small fam­ily-run pro­ducer based in south­ern Brazil, also entered and won at the NYIOOC for the first time this year.


Photo: Joice Capoani

We decided to enter the com­pe­ti­tion this year because we rec­og­nize how impor­tant and pres­ti­gious it is and how much recog­ni­tion of this level would mean for our com­pany,” Joice Capoani, the company’s com­mer­cial direc­tor, told Olive Oil Times.

We are very flat­tered to have been cho­sen among so many other excel­lent pro­duc­ers,” Capoani added. It is a great honor to receive this award and it is liv­ing proof of the ded­i­ca­tion and seri­ous­ness we put into our pro­duc­tion.”

Capolivo earned a Silver Award for its medium Koroneiki, which Capoani said stands out from its com­peti­tors due to the family’s abil­ity to con­trol every step of the process from har­vest­ing the olives to bot­tling the oil.

We believe a lot in the qual­ity of our prod­ucts and we see the love and effort dur­ing all the processes involv­ing Capoivo oils closely, which makes our com­pany stand out,” she said. We are involved in the jour­ney of our prod­ucts from plant­ing to the fill­ing of olive oil and we believe that this com­mit­ment and seri­ous­ness make the dif­fer­ence.”

Capoani added that despite the logis­ti­cal chal­lenges cre­ated by the Covid-19 pan­demic – a chal­lenge cited by most pro­duc­ers inter­viewed by Olive Oil Times dur­ing the pre­vi­ous har­vest – win­ning the Silver Award made the extra efforts to safely and suc­cess­fully pro­duce well worth it.

The NYIOOC award brings more recog­ni­tion to our brand and opens up very oppor­tune paths,” she said. We had one more con­fir­ma­tion of the qual­ity and excel­lence of our prod­ucts and this dri­ves us to improve more and more and to dream big­ger.”

As Marques men­tioned, part of what is dri­ving the qual­ity rev­o­lu­tion in Brazil is the renewed efforts of pro­duc­ers, who are not specif­i­cally focused on mak­ing olive oil, to cre­ate high-qual­ity prod­ucts.


Photo: Adriana Davo Valencia

The Davo Family Winery, which is also sit­u­ated in the Serra da Mantiqueira, was among the prime exam­ples of this at the 2021 NYIOOC.

The com­pany earned a Silver Award for a del­i­cate Arbequina in their inau­gural olive oil har­vest, which excited the pro­duc­ers behind the fam­ily-run win­ery immensely.

The search for excel­lence is part of the val­ues​of the com­pany founded by José Afonso Davo, and par­tic­i­pat­ing in com­pe­ti­tions of this mag­ni­tude only adds to this search,” Adriana Davo Valencia, the admin­is­tra­tive direc­tor of the win­ery, told Olive Oil Times.

The winery’s expan­sion into olive oil is part of their larger effort to pro­duce a more diverse port­fo­lio of high-qual­ity prod­ucts. As with every other pro­ducer that entered the NYIOOC this year, the Silver Award was a val­i­da­tion of the company’s efforts and pointed them in the right direc­tion for future har­vests.

This award is the result of a lot of effort and the con­stant search to offer the best prod­ucts, elab­o­rated from rig­or­ous tech­niques, inno­va­tion and a lot of love for the land and its fruits,” she said. The award is received with great joy, and we under­stand that it is part of a jour­ney that is being built on a lot of knowl­edge and ded­i­ca­tion.”


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