Extra virgin olive oil gets a boost by PDO, PGI denominations

The high number of Geographical Indications, the highest in Europe, translates into a certified production between 10,000 and 12,000 tons

Among the many strengths of the Italian olive oil sector there is the wide range, almost 500 varieties, which makes Italian olive oil the richest in the world in terms of aromas and flavours. This richness is also expressed in the high number of olive oils with a denomination recognized by the EU: 42 PDO and 5 PGI.

PGI Sicily and Organic Gift Box – Manfredi Barbera

The last PGI to enrich the panorama of Italian Geographical Indications was that of Olio di Puglia, for which the European Commission approved the application for registration among Protected Geographical Indications at the end of 2019.

Italian olive oil: the main GI in 2018

PDO/PGI 2017 prod. (t)2018 prod. (t)% Var.2018 quota
Terra di Bari3,8764,83024.6%38.6%
Val Di Mazara1,0821,1667.8%9.3%
Riviera Ligure32647545.6%3.8%
Valli Trapanesi2572653.5%2.1%
Monti Iblei298247-17.3%2%
Olio di Calabria40213433.6%1.7%
Chianti Classico8711834.8%0.9%
Colline Salernitane11084-23.2%0.7%
Valle del Belice66707.3%0.6%
Source: Ismea on certification bodies data

The high number of denominations, the highest in Europe as Spain and Greece have 31 GIs each, however, translates into a certified oil production that does not exceed 2-3% of the total (between 10,000 and 12,000 tons). The percentage rises by a few percentage points considering values.

Extra virgin olive oil Toscano IGP – Azienda Olearia del Chianti


According to the latest Ismea-Qualivita Report, in 2018 GI certified production was 12,000 tons in Italy, 22% more than 2017 (10,000 tons). It should be considered that the production basin available in 2018 was that of the 2017/2018 harvest which was very abundant – almost 430,000 tons of olive oil produced.

Organic Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil PDO Val di Mazara – Bonolio

Looking at the list of PDO and PGI production for 2018, there is a rather widespread growth compared to the previous year. In terms of value, with 86.2 million euros estimated for the production considered in bulk, growth is 5% compared to a total value of 1.6 billion.

olive oil
Italian GI olive oil total production over the years (tons)

The value of consumption exceeds 140 million euros. The final destination of PDOs is estimated to be unbalanced on the domestic market, although more than 40% seems to be going abroad.

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