On June 5 and 6 the small village of San Martino in Pensilis (in the Molise region) will host the 4th edition of Extrascape, an international competition for the best extra virgin olive oil and olive growing landscape.
Extrascape was launched in 2012 and is promoted by the MolisExtra Association and the Municipality of San Martino in Pensilis with the patronage of the president of the Molise Region and of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry of Molise Region. Besides rewarding the best extra virgin olive oils, the event aims to reward the quality of the related landscape. Bearing in mind that those who tend the land and produce extra virgin olive oil, and the land itself where the olive groves blossom and grow, share the same, fundamental importance for the quality of the produce and for the safekeeping and care of the territory.
While continuing a collaboration with the Research Landscape Unit of the Department of Architecture and Design of University “La Sapienza” of Rome led by prof. Achille Ippolito, this year Extrascape will also focus on the importance of innovative tools and strategies to promote the culture extra virgin olive oil.
The competition will follow the rules already established in previous editions: the tasting panel will evaluate the extra virgin olive oils on the base of the methods of the International Olive Council, while the jury made up by University’s experts will judge the quality of the landscapes through pictures and other submitted data.
The overall score will yield the final winners for the traditional and innovative landscapes as well as for the different extra virgin categories.
Due to the unlucky harvest of 2014, this year the norms of the regulation were waived: the farms and companies which were not able to produce any oil will have the chance to enter in the landscape section only.
But the main difference from the previous edition will be in the conference’s program that will unroll alongside the competition: while in the past years the graduate students of the interdisciplinary Ph.D in Environment and Landscape Planning and Management presented their projects about olive growing landscapes, this year the main focus of the conference will be on innovation in marketing and communication. The two-day conference will host talks by Italian and international experts.
On the first day, beside prof. Ippolito’s talk on how to manage landscapes, a Japanese taster Himeyo Nagatomo will talk about how Japanese consumers perceive Italian extra virgin olive oil quality; Antonio Tombolini, CEO at Simplicissimus Book Farm, will draw a possible future scenario for authentic food and the extra virgin olive oil market.
Technology will be another key point of discussion: Vincenzo Nardelli, a young marketing and web consultant, will explain how the web and the digital technologies can help communicate authentic extra virgin olive oil, while engineer Paolo Mario Cipriani — co-founder at OREV with Pietro Bozzelli — will introduce the OREV patent, a downloadable app which is able to detect counterfeited extra virgin olive oil through a microchip.
Differently from the QRCode, the OREV microchip can’t be replicated. This means every bottle will bear its unique and traceable set of information guaranteeing on the oils’ authenticity.
To demo the app capabilities, Extrascape will display a model — “supermarket shelf of the future” — where visitors will be able to check the products’ profile by simply approaching the bottles with their mobile phones.
On the second day of the event there will be more talks dedicated to olive oil’s promotion and communication coordinated by Alberto Grimelli, director at Teatro Naturale, including Colomba Mongiello, vice president of the Parliamentary Anti-Counterfeiting Committee. The day will conclude with the award ceremony, but Extrascape will have a follow-up in Milan July 7-11, when it will be presented at the Expo 2015 Best Practices week.
Francesco Travaglini, president of the MolisExtra association and creator of Extrascape, said, “We want to find a new approach towards the consumer. The second day of the conference, in particular, will be aimed at this. We strongly believe that educating and informing the consumer is a crucial step. Technology also is very important, and the OREV patent will help us a lot to discuss the most relevant information we need to give to people interested in extra virgin olive oil.”