The start

 

A small olive farm consisting of 137 Taggiasca trees on terraces in the Imperia hinterland, a designation that guarantees the Ligurian origin and quality of the extra-virgin olive oil placed on the market.

Two organizations have joined forces in an initiative of the DOP Riviera Ligure Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Protection Consortium that intends to use an innovative monthly feature, “The Riviera Ligure olive grove” on the Consortium’s website (www.oliorivieraligure.it):

–          to provide olive growers practical and useful information to olive on the correct management of olive groves;

–          to describe for consumers, month by month, all the tasks and work, in short, the commitment necessary in Liguria to produce quality extra-virgin olive oil in Liguria.

In practice, the protection Consortium is playing the role of an olive grower and, in full transparency, reveals the entire process of producing DOP Riviera Ligure Extra-Virgin Olive Oil from the tree to the table.

“This initiative is part of a broader strategy that aims to enhance Ligurian products through knowledge and that will include another initiative in the second half of the year, more orientated to the marketing of the various excellent Ligurian products,” said Consortium President Carlo Siffredi.

“It will be an unidealized, very concrete journey that describes the work done in the olive grove: from fertilization to pruning, weed control, defending against the olive fruit fly through to recording all transactions for product traceability and sensory and chemical-physical analysis of the oil that will be marketed under the Riviera Ligure protected designation of origin.”

So, enjoy your trip through the world of DOP Riviera Ligure Olive Oil.

The Riviera Ligure olive grove: the land and plants

To be precise: 4,567 m² of silvery olive trees. Inside it, one crosses the age-old mule track, once the umbilical cord between the village of Lucinasco and the Imperia valley.

At some unknown time in the past, the terrain was terraced to allow working on a flat surface. Five “fasce” (the Ligurian name for terraces) were created, supported by dry stone walls. These were built with what was available on-site, stones and earth, according to an age-old technique. Their average height is one and a half metres, comfortable for manual labour.

In all, there are 137 ancient olive trees. The only variety (cultivar) present is Taggiasca, which is predominant in the Province of Imperia, which corresponds to the designation “Riviera dei Fiori” for DOP Riviera Ligure Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

The contract for the free use of the olive grove

On 28 September 2013, we signed an agreement for the free use of agricultural land, which was registered with the Inland Revenue of Imperia at a cost of € 185.60 (€ 168.00 paid in the Post Office using form F23 and € 17.60 in tax stamps).

Enrolment in the DOP Riviera Ligure Extra-Virgin Olive Oil control system

At this point, we decided to join the DOP Riviera Ligure Extra-Virgin Olive Oil control plan.

Like all PDO products, DOP Riviera Ligure Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, registered in Brussels with Reg 123/97, must have a Control and Certification Plan developed by a third-party certification body, which is examined and approved every three years by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. The purpose is to assure the consumer that the product complies with the provisions of its PDO product specification.
As regards DOP Riviera Ligure Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies has renewed the appointment of the four Ligurian Chambers of Commerce, coordinated by Unioncamere Liguria, to carry out control and certification activities.

You can find useful information on the website of the DOP Riviera Ligure Protection Consortium (www.oliorivieraligure.it) or on the sites of the four Chambers of Commerce: for the Province of Imperia, the site is www.im.camcom.it: here click “Servizi amministrativi” and then “Agricoltura”.

We filled out form B1, the application for enrolment in the control system,attaching the cadastral survey of the land, land maps, a copy of the contract that granting title to the land, an identity document of the owner of the contract and paying the fee of € 50.00 + VAT. It is a one-time expense that doesn’t have to be paid again. 

The documentation was delivered to the Agriculture Office of the Imperia Chamber of Commerce, which carries out control and certification activities on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Imperia Chamber of Commerce technician conducted an on-site inspection on 10 October to check the truthfulness of the application and that the area of cultivation and its characteristics (production area, cultivars and planting distances) correspond to the requirements of the production regulations and control plan.

The cadastral and production data were carefully examined. It was not difficult to see that at least 90% of the trees belong to the Taggiasca cultivar, which is allowed for the Riviera dei Fiori designation of DOP Riviera Ligure. It was also ascertained that the olive grove is cultivated according to the good farming practices required by the regulations and is in production.

We passed the inspection: from that moment on, we were officially enrolled in the PDO control system. The statement issued by the Imperia Chamber of Commerce confirms that we registered 4,567 m² with 137 olive trees they give us the right, based on the production regulations, to produce and sell 3,197 kg of certified PDO olives or to produce, based on a yield of 25%, 799 kg of oil.

If the operator of the olive grove intends to sell the oil produced, in addition to the olives, under the PDO regime, he must enrol in the Chamber of Commerce certification program: the cost is only € 50.00 plus VAT, also in this case, a one-time charge. It is only paid once.

With this initial information, the consumer can already understand the difference between the DOP Riviera Ligure olive oil that will be produced in the grove and ordinary extra-virgin olive oil or Taggiasca cultivar extra-virgin olive oil.

We are spend oly one           335,60
Registration of the free use contract         185,60  
Enrolment in the control system (as an olive grower)         50,00  
Enrolment in the control system (for the sale of DOP extra-virgin olive oil)         50,00  
Auth to print label         50,00  

EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

DOP RIVIERA LIGURE

It is a marketing scheme.

The company places the product on the market, self-certifying that it conforms to the product category EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

This is designation of origin protected at the Community level thanks to registration rules governed by a Community Regulation.

To provide the consumer a guarantee, there is a control and subsequent certification process of the product DOP RIVIERA LIGURE EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL by a third-party certification body assigned to perform this task by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies.

The certification regards the link with the territory of Liguria and the quality of the product (higher than of simple extra-virgin olive oil).

The prior checks of the olive grove by the certification body, the cultivars present, the total maximum production yield of the olive grove and the checks of the olive processing plants (mills) and packaging plants for compliance with hygiene and health and environmental standards.