Olive oil, vinegar makers take the lead in transparency

From a controlled supply chain to the certified origin, emphasis is on the “good” side of taste.

Italian manufacturers of olive oil and vinegar are stepping up their game when it comes to providing products that are not only good to eat but healthy and ethically responsible.

A tour of the Italian pavilion at the PLMA show, the main trade event of the United States dedicated to the private label industry, allowed to realize how serious Italian companies are in their initiatives to promote transparency and food safety also for store brands and not only their own.

De Nigris presented an initiative with Coldiretti, Italy’s largest association of food growers, to inform buyers about the importance of a controlled supply chain for growers, producers and supermarket chains.

Also important is to educate consumers to read the label and check that they are buying the true PGI Aceto Balsamico di Modena instead of a generic product that is not from Italy and therefore does not have the same quality.

“Unfortunately, more than 25% of the market is still unregulated,” Raffaele De Nigris told

A pioneer in transparency and traceability, Oleificio Zucchi presented a new label with a QR code to ensure full traceability for consumers, including what cultivar was used in the blend.

The innovative system is now also available for the private label industry, commercial director Marco Bonati said in an interview.

Acetificio Varvello, who has been producing for the private label industry for many years, insisted on the value of being innovative and flexible in responding to the evolving consumer demand. An example of the enriched lineup includes an unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar and a Rose wine condiment. The company also has a block chain system to control full production starting from raw materials, said Marco Varvello, the chairman of the company founded in 1921.

Oleificio Ranieri, founded in 1971, is also focusing on the ability to serve retailers with the greater flexibility to satisfy a demanding and competitive private label market that is witnessing a comeback of established brand players in addition to new entrants.

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