The various initiatives to promote quality European olives and olive oils aim to inform stakeholders and the general public about a range of positive product features rarely found in other sectors.
These are top quality products which are all too often overlooked or confined to a niche market because they are overshadowed by better-known, more standardized products.
The special climate, geography and soil of the Mediterranean has seen olives grown here since the dawn of civilization, leading to a dazzling array of olive cultivars and centuries’ old specialist knowledge.
This carefully-husbanded expertise, handed down from generation to generation, has now been further enhanced by modern production methods, and continues to grow through new technologies.
Olives and olive oils are well-supported by current European and national regulations, with strict controls all the way from farm to fork, ensuring consumers only buy safe, genuine products.
Tracking and tracing are now essential requirements to guarantee the quality of European table olives and extra virgin olive oil in general; while PDO and PGI labels are an exclusive club distinguishing the very best products in the sector.
Then there are all the nutritional benefits associated with these 100% natural products. Authoritative international scientific studies confirm all the benefits of the consumption of olives and extra virgin olive oil, especially useful in the regulation of lipids in the blood and for their antioxidant properties.
Finally, olives and olive oil are supremely versatile ingredients, widely used not only in a Mediterranean diet and in traditional dishes, but also recommended by cutting-edge cuisine and advanced nutritional models, making high quality olive products one of the flagships of European agricultural excellence.
To promote this heritage sector efficiently we must also bear in mind all these factors which determine a unique impact on the cultural, socio-economic and geographical landscape of Europe, playing a decisive role in the future of entire territories and communities.