by Cristina Weber
14 June 2016
On the last day of Slow Fish, Slow Food’s biennial fair dedicated to sustainable fishing, Slow Food presented its first ever national Presidium, the Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Presidium.
The Presidium is Slow Food's response to the crisis faced by Italian olive oil producers. The industrialisation of olive oil production by the big corporations has lead to market prices so low it's near-impossible for the producers focussed on high quality extra virgin olive oil to compete. On top of these commercial challenges, last year's terrible weather conditions have lead to poor harvests and parasite infestations which devastated last year's olive oil yields.
"The Presidium will promote the environmental, landscape, health and economic value of Italian extra virgin olive oil, and inform the consumers about the qualities of good, clean and fair oil".
The Presidium gathers 26 producers from all over Italy (Monna Giovannella and Antellino being the only representatives for Tuscany) who produce extra virgin olive oil from hundred-year-old plants of local varieties, with oilves harvested by hand or with the help of minimum-impact machineries. It is also required that the trees not be fed with chemical fertiliser or treated with chemical herbicides. At Monna Giovannella, we have always carried out our farming activities using strictly organic methods and processes, always aiming to valorise the greatness that comes naturally to our land and our plants. It has been our pleasure to see Slow Food giving recognition to these 'good farming' practices.
As part of the Presidium we will be adding Slow Food's 'narrative label' to our bottles, in which the consumer can find all of the information necessary to make an informed choice when buying an organic olive oil. The narrative label will indicate the harvest year, the name of the olive mill, information on farming practices as well as the philosophy and story of the producers.
At Monna Giovannella, we are all very enthusiastic about this new adventure and are very proud and excited to be part of it.
Sources: Slow Food News