`Sicilian Olive Oil Seeks PGI Certification - Olive Oil Times

Sicilian Olive Oil Seeks PGI Certification

May. 20, 2013
Michael Angelopoulos

Recent News

Nine regional orga­ni­za­tions rep­re­sent­ing pro­duc­ers, olive-press­ing com­pa­nies, refin­ers and bot­tlers, are join­ing forces in Sicily to sup­port an appli­ca­tion to the com­pe­tent bod­ies in the European Union, in order to receive a PGI cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for Sicilian olive oil.

The part­ners endors­ing the ini­tia­tive are: the pro­duc­ers Cia, Coldiretti and Confagricoltura; the coop­er­a­tives Agci, Legacoop and Confooperative; the oil mills Aifo and Asfo; and the bot­tler Federolio.

Maurizio Lunetta, pres­i­dent of the coop­er­a­tive Aipolivo, has been appointed unan­i­mously as the pres­i­dent of the newly formed asso­ci­a­tion aim­ing to pro­tect Sicilian olive oil.

Along with Mr. Lunetta the board con­sists of, Francesca Barbato of Coldiretti, Giuseppe Oro of Confcooperative, Giuseppe Giordano of Confagricoltura, Angelo Sillitti of Agci, Calogero Girgenti of Legacoop, Piero Pipitone of Asfo, Mario Russo of Aifo, and Manfredi Barbera of Federolio.

A com­mit­tee has been formed to work exclu­sively and pre­pare all required doc­u­ments that will be used to sup­port the island’s appli­ca­tion for the PGI recog­ni­tion.

Protected Geographical Region (PGI) and Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cer­ti­fi­ca­tions cover all food prod­ucts. They are awarded to reflect on the labeled prod­ucts the char­ac­ter of a spe­cific local region or unique know-how.

The idea of a PGI extra vir­gin oil from Sicily found imme­di­ately a great accep­tance within the olive oil indus­try,” said Maurizio Lunetta. The PGI cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is a tool that, if used effec­tively will increase the added value of Sicilian olive oil. It will help local indus­try to work in a sus­tain­able profit when very often this is not the case,” he said.

The ini­tia­tive is encour­aged by the Regional Department of Agriculture.

Sicily is the third major pro­ducer of olive oil in Italy with a pro­duc­tion of approx­i­mately 3 mil­lion tons of olive fruit and 50,000 tons of olive oil. This pro­duc­tion trans­lates to €220 mil­lion in rev­enues for the indus­try and €500 mil­lion for the related mar­ket. Sicily’s olive crop is essen­tially organic with some 16,000 hectares of olive trees cul­ti­vated accord­ing to tra­di­tional meth­ods of pro­duc­tion.

More than 40 olive oil prod­ucts com­ing from Italy have been awarded either PDO or PGI cer­ti­fi­ca­tions — from as early as 1996 when the first reg­is­tra­tions were pub­lished. Italian pro­duc­ers were among the first to cap­i­tal­ize on such prod­uct dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion and this is reflected in sales and mar­ket share world­wide.

The exam­i­na­tion of an appli­ca­tion takes a long time though. Two Italian appli­ca­tions from Terra d’ Otranto applied on March 1, 2011 and Umbria applied on October 17, 2011 are still in the pro­cess­ing phase.

The first Italian olive oils to receive PDO cer­ti­fi­ca­tion on July 2, 1996, were Canino, Sabina, Brisighella, and Aprutino Pescarese.

Related News

Feedback / Suggestions