Italian Producers Again the Most Awarded in World Competition

Despite a challenging season, Italian producers earned 158 awards at the NYIOOC World Competition and led the way with organic olive oils too.
Photo: Olio Di Mino
Jun. 22, 2022
Paolo DeAndreis

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Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.


Italian pro­duc­ers won the high­est num­ber of awards for the sixth con­sec­u­tive year at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

At the 2022 edi­tion of the world’s largest olive oil qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion, pro­duc­ers from Italy earned 158 Gold and Silver Awards. Spain came in sec­ond with 128 awards.

Behind each award, there are such inter­est­ing sto­ries, which should be told to raise con­sumers’ aware­ness.- Francesco Di Mino, owner, Olio Di Mino

However, this year’s tally rep­re­sented a sig­nif­i­cant drop from last year’s record-high 211 awards. Extreme weather events in the north of the coun­try pre­vented many pro­duc­ers from enter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

Once again, Italy is con­firmed as a land of immense olive riches,” Francesco Battistoni, the country’s under­sec­re­tary of agri­cul­ture, told Olive Oil Times. The awards won at the NYIOOC cer­tify this Italian record.”

See Also:The Best Olive Oils from Italy

He added that the awards rec­og­nize the his­tory and tra­di­tion of Italian olive oil pro­duc­tion and vin­di­cate many pro­duc­ers’ efforts to pre­serve bio­di­ver­sity while pro­duc­ing olive oils of excep­tional organolep­tic qual­ity.

Precisely for these rea­sons, I would like to address my most heart­felt com­pli­ments to the win­ning farm­ers and com­pa­nies as vir­tu­ous pro­tag­o­nists of the con­stant growth of the sec­tor,” Battistoni said. They offer con­sumers prod­ucts of absolute excel­lence, telling the sto­ries of our land and his­tory through extra vir­gin olive oil with­out betray­ing our tra­di­tions.”

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For many, the high-pro­file results of Italian pro­duc­ers are far from sur­pris­ing due to the country’s strong olive oil cul­ture.

According to the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea), 49 Italian extra vir­gin olive oil regions have received Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication sta­tus from the European Union.

Italy is also one of the world’s lead­ing pro­duc­ers of organic olive oil, which was also demon­strated by the results at the NYIOOC.

Of the 128 Gold Awards and 30 Silver Awards earned by Italian pro­duc­ers, 68 organic olive oils were awarded, more than in any other coun­try. Overall, Italy is the sec­ond-largest exporter of organic goods after the United States.

The suc­cess of Italian extra vir­gin olive oil is a con­fir­ma­tion of the incred­i­ble know-how of our pro­duc­ers,” Cristiano Fini, pres­i­dent of the Italian Agricultural Confederation, told Olive Oil Times. Over time, they have focused on opti­miz­ing agro­nomic and extrac­tion tech­niques, enhanc­ing bio­di­ver­sity and the link with the land and mak­ing invest­ments and coura­geous choices.”

The pas­sion and tenac­ity of our olive grow­ers, who face increas­ing chal­lenges related to cli­mate change and a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket, claim the due recog­ni­tion on the inter­na­tional scene [with these awards],” he added. In par­tic­u­lar, in the United States, where Italian extra vir­gin olive oil has long been appre­ci­ated.”

Once again, pro­duc­ers from across the coun­try were awarded at the NYIOOC. Most of the win­ning pro­duc­ers came from south­ern and cen­tral Italy. Extreme weather events in north­ern regions pre­vented as many pro­duc­ers from enter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion as in pre­vi­ous years.

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Photo: Olio Di Mino

Among the win­ning pro­duc­ers was Olio DiMino. The Sicilian pro­ducer earned a Gold and Silver Award for its mono­va­ri­etal Nocellara del Belice and Biancolilla.

Winning two awards at the 2022 NYIOOC was stun­ning and filled us with pride,” owner Francesco Di Mino told Olive Oil Times. They both cer­tify how affec­tion, pas­sion and respect for the choices of those farm­ers who came before us are found in our extra vir­gin olive oil.”

The awards are a sig­nif­i­cant incen­tive to con­tinue on this path, which we took two years ago,” he added. That was the time when our farm chose to not only grow excel­lent olives but also pro­duce high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil.”

An engi­neer, just like his father and grand­fa­ther, Di Mino decided to pro­duce olive oil at the onset of the Covid-19 pan­demic. In two years, his Sicilian olive oils have won awards in sev­eral coun­tries and were finally rec­og­nized in New York. Di Mino believes such pres­ti­gious awards tell the story of spe­cific olive oil regions and tra­di­tions to the world.

Behind each award, there are such inter­est­ing sto­ries, which should be told to raise con­sumers’ aware­ness,” he said.

However, Di Mino believes that agri­cul­ture-adja­cent pro­fes­sions in Italy and beyond could be doing more to help pro­mote olive oil qual­ity. For exam­ple, he said chefs could do more to incor­po­rate extra vir­gin olive oils into dif­fer­ent dishes.

Producing high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil requires so much pas­sion, sac­ri­fice, faith and love, even though many con­sider it a com­mod­ity,” he said.

This approach harms high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil, which comes from the direct con­tact of human­ity with nature, a fas­ci­nat­ing quest into the realms of oppor­tu­ni­ties, pathogens and weather which you can­not con­trol,” Di Mino con­cluded.


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