Le Donne dell’olio are more than just the female participants from the sector of olive oil, they’re a group of dedicated entrepreneurs, farmers, producers, merchants, researchers, and experts who are seeking solidarity in the male-dominated business culture of Italy, and promoting principles of quality olive oil production.
Founded in 2000, it is the first association of its kind, born in a time when the “Designation of Origin” label was first being introduced in Italy, when attention to the integrity of olive oil was mounting in the country and abroad.
Olio Capitale marked the relaunch of the group, with a clear set of proposals for the professional market which will serve to strengthen the reliability of extra virgin olive oil as a product. With a stand distributing information about the group and its members, and a conference on March 20 that was open to all, the group made its presence and it goals known.
Laura Turri is the president of the association, as well as a producer and owner of a family olive oil operation. Ms. Turri said the group’s principals are defined precisely to combat “this lack of conviction and faith that is running through the industry, in a time rife with contradictions, when the highest quality products are not getting their proper place in the market.”
Based in Cavaion Veronese on Lake Garda, the association has members throughout the whole of Italy, with a rapidly expanding base. A new website will emphasize communication between professionals to share experiences and ideas among its members. Participation in trade fairs continues to grow, as do creative methods of presenting their objectives. One of the ways the group promotes attention to quality is by giving tastings, including bringing samples to schools and introducing children and school officials to the delicious taste of well-crafted extra virgin olive oil.
For the first time, a key role in the industry, the president of the group Olive Oil Professionals, is held by a woman, Pina Romano. Le Donne dell’Olio is poised to take on an important role in the industry because they have a growing base of women in the professional world, and they are using this base to revitalize the commitment to high quality standards of olive oil production.