`Plans for New Super-High-Density Olive Groves Receive Funding in Tuscany - Olive Oil Times

Plans for New Super-High-Density Olive Groves Receive Funding in Tuscany

By Paolo DeAndreis
Jun. 19, 2021 07:16 UTC

A few projects for the devel­op­ment of new super-high-den­sity (SHD) olive farms in Tuscany are gar­ner­ing atten­tion from investors.

Banca Carige and Banco Bpm have just approved a line of credit worth €5.3 mil­lion for ArteOlio, an agribusi­ness startup focus­ing on inten­sive olive farm­ing. Its prin­ci­pal project is to develop more than 500 hectares of new olive groves in the region.

See Also:Boundary Bend Plants California’s Second Largest Medium-Density Grove

This lat­est line of credit adds to pre­vi­ous long-term loans approved by Banco Bpm back in August. According to the IlSole24Ore news­pa­per, with the new line of credit, ArteOlio can now count on €10.5 mil­lion of cor­po­rate cap­i­tal and €11.2 mil­lion of cred­its from banks.

ArteOlio founders, Augusto Lippi and Riccardo Schiatti, had pre­vi­ously said that their com­pany has started an Italian extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­tion project with highly inno­v­a­tive tech­niques and pro­ce­dures, focused on the devel­op­ment of the best high-qual­ity prod­ucts while also offer­ing an effi­cient and sus­tain­able use of the farm­ing resources.”

Several of the most promi­nent Italian agribusi­ness com­pa­nies are con­sid­er­ing new invest­ments in high-den­sity and SHD olive grow­ing as well.

The Tuscan news­pa­per Il Tirreno reported that while ArteOlio already planted about half of the new SHD orchards, Monini, Antinori and Bonifiche Ferraresi are actively con­sid­er­ing sim­i­lar invest­ments in the Maremma region, a large coastal plain area extend­ing from Tuscany to north­ern Lazio.

According to the state­ments released to Il Tirreno by Fabio Fabbri, for­mer head of the Tuscan Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the new investors will have to over­come sev­eral chal­lenges.

See Also:Spanish Olive Growers Replacing Century-Old Trees With Young Ones

Among them is the choice of the cul­ti­vars to be used in the new orchards and their com­pat­i­bil­ity with the Tuscany extra vir­gin olive oil Protected Geographical Indication, which defines the cul­ti­vars and lays out other strict reg­u­la­tions to which pro­duc­ers must adhere if they want to label their extra vir­gin olive oil as Tuscan.

However, back­ers of the plan to expand super-high-den­sity groves in Tuscany see it as an eco­nom­i­cally viable option to keep the region’s olive grow­ing cul­ture alive.

High-den­sity and super-high-den­sity olive farm­ing are respon­si­ble for the grow­ing pro­duc­tion capac­i­ties of Portugal and Spain, where these types of groves have been devel­oped for decades.

A 2019 report co-authored by Juan Vilar Strategic Consultants found that while super-high-den­sity groves only accounted for 30 per­cent of all olive farms world­wide, pro­duc­tion from these groves amounted to 40 per­cent of the global total.

The report also con­cluded that super-high-den­sity groves are about 70 per­cent more prof­itable than tra­di­tional groves and highly com­pat­i­ble” with envi­ron­men­tal val­ues.


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