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.
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 Bari||3,876||4,830||24.6%||38.6%|
|Val Di Mazara||1,082||1,166||7.8%||9.3%|
|Olio di Calabria||40||213||433.6%||1.7%|
|Valle del Belice||66||70||7.3%||0.6%|
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.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A GI
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.
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.
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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