The olive harvest has just started in Italy. The estimated production is increasing by +15% compared to last year, and the forecasts speak of an excellent level of quality. This is what emerges from an analysis of the Italian farmers association Coldiretti, research firm Ismea, and Unaprol (an association of Italian olive oil producers) made public on the occasion of the start of the olive harvest in Italy with the first pressing in Sicily. There the first olives of the Novellara dell’Etna and Frantoio varieties are being transformed into extra-virgin olive oil, which is the base product of the Mediterranean diet all over the world.
According to estimates the production of oil in Italy could be around 315 million kilos, slightly increasing compared to 273.5 million in 2020. In average with the statistics of the last campaigns but lower than expected.
The start of the harvest is an important moment from an economic and employment point of view, for a supply chain that can boast over 400 thousand specialized farms in Italy and the largest number of extra virgin olive oils with a protected European denomination (42 PDOs and 7 PGIs). All this is based on a heritage of 250 million olive trees and 533 olive cultivars: the largest treasure of biodiversity in the world.
ITALIAN OLIVE OIL EXPORTS
Over the past 20 years, olive oil exports from Italy have doubled in value. Almost half of all export sales are made in the European Union market. But the most significant increase concerns Asian countries, where exports have almost tripled (+162%) in the last year. The main outlet market for Italian extra virgin olive oil is the United States, which alone accounts for almost a third of total exports.