Thanks to the brilliant response from around the world we’ll be able to bring even more olive groves in to our adoption programme this year. This is great news because the programme offers a solution to the increasing problems faced by traditional, small scale olive oil producers all over Italy.
Take the Gabrielloni sisters. Elisabetta and Gabriella inherited their olive grove from their grandfather and vowed to stay true to his tradition – they pick the olives by hand and press them within hours in their own press. The excellent quality of their oil has won them accolades around the world, including being five times gold medal winners at the LA county fair.
But these sisters struggle to make a living from their exquisite olive oil.
The problems are manifold. Firstly, the sisters are competing in a market where much of the olive oil that says it’s Italian on the bottle isn’t Italian inside. To say ‘Made in Italy’, oil needs only to have been bottled in Italy; inside could be old, poor quality, badly harvested olives. The one thing for sure is that it’s cheap!
Secondly, the big producers don’t help. Italian olive farmers recently went on strike because they were being offered 30 euros per quintale for oil that was costing them 70 euros a quintale to produce. Clearly the sums don’t add up but it’s almost impossible for small producers to get a foothold in the market on their own.
Thirdly, there’s confusion about olive oil terminology amongst customers. All Nudo olive oil is first cold press, extra virgin olive oil. First cold press is the freshest oil – the first and only time the olives are pressed. We don’t use heat to extract more oil because that would impair the quality, as do second and third pressings. Extra virgin means an acidity of less than 0.8% which equates to the highest level of polyphenols (the healthy bits) and the best, most complex flavour. All the best olive oil is first cold press extra virgin. It is also the most expensive to produce.
At Nudo we believe the answer to these troubles is pretty simple: find olive producers who are passionate about making the best olive oil, pay them a fair price for it and help customers internationally learn to appreciate the value and joys of the best olive oil.
Thank you for already being part of our mission.