05 August 2021, 09:22 AM
  • Italy is a leading source of fine food and drink, with over 300 agri-food products and 500 wines recognised with the Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication accreditation
Olive oil: at the heart of the Made In Italy mission

While this reputation has been built by generations of Italian producers passionate about creating the very best, there is an industry of “Italian sounding” products which have been made to look and sound like authentic Italian products but have no connection to Italy. This is a lucrative market; “Italian sounding” products are worth €100bn worldwide.

The Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK, together with other Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad, has joined forces with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Assocamerestero to combat the diffusion of the “Italian sounding” phenomenon and encourage the conscious consumption of authentic Made In Italy products. The True Italian Taste project is focused on promoting authentic Italian products, their stories, and the PDO and IGP certifications.

The activities organised within this project are addressed to importers, distributors, speciality stores, chefs, food bloggers, journalists, nutritionists, opinion leaders and world-famous food and wellness enthusiasts. Events include business trips to Italy for food and wine buyers, workshops, seminars, and promotional events abroad as well as other initiatives.

As one of the most iconic Made in Italy food products, olive oil plays a key role in this mission. Appreciated internationally and a must-have product for all Italians and restaurants, it is vital that only genuine olive oils are promoted as a true Italian staple.

The home of fine olive oil
Italy is the world’s second largest exporter of olive oil; in 2020, the country produced 270,000 tonnes (26% less compared to 2019, due to changes in climate and bacteria).The majority of Italian olive oil (85%) is produced in the Southern Italian regions including Apulia, Calabria, Sicily, Campania. These are followed by Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio.

The most recent Italian DOP, IGP and STG List - the ultimate rundown of protected products published by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies - contained no less than 42 PDO and six PGI olive oils, which demonstrates the inherent quality and provenance of genuine Italian-produced olive oil.

Protecting the best of Belpaese
In order to protect the reputation of Made In Italy and continue to support producers of authentic Made In Italy olive oil, the Italian Government has introduced stricter rules about the labelling and packaging of olive oil products; it is fighting against bottles displaying the Italian flag or referring to Italy when the oil inside was not produced in the Belpaese.

To recognise authentic Italian olive oils, it is vital that consumers should read the label and look for confirmation that the oil they’re purchasing was produced using Italian olives. DPO and PGI logos also offer a guarantee of authenticity.