We dedicated an important event to extra virgin olive oil on November 26, the UNESCO international day of the olive.
We undertake a journey across the Mediterranean, an immense olive grove that extends over millions of hectares, one of the defining characteristics of the landscape for millennia. The reason for the extraordinary range of the plant is the tireless work of generations of farmers who’ve spread it far and wide across the Mediterranean basin.
We’ve interviewed producers and activists who work to conserve these landscapes, showing just how numerous and serious the problems we face are. Industrialization, diseases, land grabbing… the list goes on.
Restoring value to the culture of the olive
Conscious of the risks and the problems, Slow Food works to raise public awareness of this important element in our diets, as well as a crop that, over millennia, has profoundly shaped the Mediterranean landscape, becoming one of its most famous and evocative symbols.
For years, Slow Food has had a Presidium for extra virgin olive oil in Italy to restore value to a culture that’s more than just culinary. The olive growers who are part of the Presidium all grow native cultivars of olives without synthetic fertilizers and chemical herbicides. As harvesting olives from ancient plants is harder work than working with young plants, and aiming to avoid the abandonment of the oldest olive groves, the Presidium stipulates that at least 80% of the plants must be at least 100 years old. Finally, the producers must use a narrative label to tell the story of their work, their local area and their plants.
To the same end, Slow Food pulishes the Guide to Extra Virgin Olive Oils (in Italian), a tool we use to restore value to the Italian olive-growing heritage, guiding the reader on a journey across the country via producers, olive varieties and examples of social, economic and environmentla sustainability.
Here we propose an itinerary of business that are present in our virtual showcases, so you can get to know them better, or those that are taking part in our online marketplace , as well as articles and events!