Verde Louro Among Brazil's New Generation of Outstanding Producers

In Rio Grande do Sul, the young producer overcame climate extremes to win four awards at the World Olive Oil Competition.

Harvesting olives by hand in Brazil's picturesque campagna gaucha (Photo: Verde Louro Azeites)
By Paolo DeAndreis
Jan. 29, 2024 19:16 UTC
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Harvesting olives by hand in Brazil's picturesque campagna gaucha (Photo: Verde Louro Azeites)

In the ver­dant expanse of Rio Grande do Sul, Verde Louro Azeites is among a new gen­er­a­tion of pro­duc­ers putting Brazilian extra vir­gin olive oils on the map.

The com­pany has evolved from a fledg­ling farm in Brazil’s south­ern­most state to an award-win­ning pro­ducer in less than ten years.

For Brazil, olive grow­ing is still some­thing fairly new. We are con­stantly learn­ing.- Daiana Fuhrmann, owner, Verde Louro Azeites

At the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, Verde Louro Azeites won two Gold and two Silver Awards, con­firm­ing the com­pa­ny’s long­stand­ing pur­suit of qual­ity. These results prove that we are on the right path and suc­ceed­ing in our goals,” owner Daiana Fuhrmann told Olive Oil Times.

Founded in 2009 after Fuhrmann was inspired dur­ing trips to Europe and the Mediterranean, the com­pany set out to pro­duce high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil from olive trees cul­ti­vated in Brazil.

See Also:Producer Profiles

At that time, a few small pro­duc­ers had begun invest­ing,” Fuhrmann said. Combining this pas­sion with the dream of enter­ing the sec­tor, the Verde Louro was founded.”

In 216, the com­pany cel­e­brated its first pro­duc­tion with 1,500 liters of extra vir­gin olive oil from Arbequina, Arbosana and Koroneiki olives. Since then, Verde Louro Azeites has grown to more than 100 hectares in south­ern Rio Grande do Sul, near the so-called cam­panha gaúcha.”

profiles-the-best-olive-oils-production-south-america-verde-louro-among-brazils-new-generation-of--outstanding-producers-olive-oil-times

Daiana Fuhrmann and family in the Verde Louro olive groves (Photo: Verde Louro Azeites)

It is a region char­ac­ter­ized by a sub­trop­i­cal cli­mate with an alti­tude of 386 meters, with peri­ods of intense cold in win­ter and very hot [tem­per­a­tures] in sum­mer,” Fuhrmann said. These con­di­tions have a strong impact and request increas­ingly com­plex farm­ing oper­a­tions, par­tic­u­larly in recent years.”

In 2022, we also had to cope with a severe drought stretch­ing from mid-November to March 2023,” she added. “[During 2023,] rain­fall began in August, and it is expected to last well into 2024.”

The great­est chal­lenge for us is cli­mate, as weather directly impacts pro­duc­tion vol­umes and the over­all pro­duc­tion costs,” Fuhrmann explained.

profiles-the-best-olive-oils-production-south-america-verde-louro-among-brazils-new-generation-of--outstanding-producers-olive-oil-times

Olives are sorted ahead of milling to ensure the highest quality (Photo: Verde Louro Azeites)

The com­pa­ny’s state-of-the-art mill, a 450 square meters facil­ity nes­tled amidst the olive groves, can trans­form up to 1,500 kilo­grams of fruit per hour.

“[The mill] allows to slash the time between olive har­vest and milling, which makes the whole process faster,” she said.

For Brazil, olive grow­ing is still some­thing fairly new,” Fuhrmann added. We are con­stantly learn­ing and are still very depen­dent on tech­nolo­gies imported by the tra­di­tional pro­duc­ing coun­tries.”

The com­pany is actively work­ing on its resilience by inte­grat­ing ani­mal and veg­etable farm­ing, using sheep to con­trol rival veg­e­ta­tion and fer­til­ize the soil.

See Also:The best extra vir­gin olive oils from Brazil

The com­pany also seeks to reduce the need for machin­ery by deploy­ing best prac­tices in the grove, an ongo­ing process.

In those con­di­tions, the farm expanded its orchards to include more than 25,000 trees aged between five and 12 years. Its groves now com­prise Arbequina, Arbosana, Koroneiki, Frantoio, Picual and Manzanilla.

Like other Brazilian pro­duc­ers, Verde Louro focuses on the domes­tic mar­ket, which is still more used to buy­ing imported olive oil than try­ing the local prod­uct. Brazilian con­sumers know olive oil well, but only the imported one,” Fuhrmann said.

profiles-the-best-olive-oils-production-south-america-verde-louro-among-brazils-new-generation-of--outstanding-producers-olive-oil-times

Fuhrmann believes quality is key to promoting Brazilian extra virign olive oil on the world stage. (Photo: Verde Louro Azeites)

With 85,000 tons of expected olive oil imports in the 2023/24 crop year, Brazil is the third largest importer after the United States and the European Union.

Still, per­cep­tions are chang­ing. Some Brazilian pro­duc­ers recently began to be acknowl­edged as extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­ers, with a small pro­duc­tion but a very high qual­ity one,” Fuhrmann said.

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Consumers in Brazil now fol­low this work of ours, and they express a grow­ing inter­est in award-win­ning olive oils, so con­sump­tion is devel­op­ing, with national olive oils gain­ing trac­tion,” she added.

Olive oil con­sump­tion in the coun­try has been steadily increas­ing over the decades. According to International Olive Council data, olive oil con­sump­tion in Brazil rose from 13,500 tons in 1990/91 to 103,500 tons in 2021/22.

profiles-the-best-olive-oils-production-south-america-verde-louro-among-brazils-new-generation-of--outstanding-producers-olive-oil-times

Verde Louro Azeites boasts 100 hectares of groves in the southern region of Rio Grande do Sul. (Photo: Verde Louro Azeites)

Every day, Verde Louro works to show con­sumers how extra­or­di­nary extra vir­gin olive oil is, how it is pro­duced and the ben­e­fi­cial impacts it can con­vey,” Fuhrmann said.

We also [show them] the care we take in the pro­duc­tion and make them real­ize the dif­fer­ences between a high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil and an olive oil pro­duced in bulk,” she added.

All of this work is com­pen­sat­ing us with beau­ti­ful results,” Fuhrmann con­cluded.


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