563, 2,578, 750,000. Cold figures? Figures, yes, but far from cold. Actually, they are indicators of fertility, of growth and of drive. 563 olive growers have stipulated a supply contract with olive millers for olives from groves registered with the DOP Riviera Ligure oil quality plan. And in addition to these 563 olive growers following the DOP Riviera Ligure quality plan are no fewer than 2,578 hectares of olive groves and 750,000 olive trees. All over Liguria and all involved in the same quality plan.
The figures speak clearly for the Consortium for the Protection of DOP Riviera Ligure olive oil: the filing of 563 contracts is a significant number. In fact, there is an increase on the 454 contracts of the previous oil season and on the 543 of 2013/2014.
For the Consortium, again, they are not just figures. They are people. People who are committed to working the land in a territory tamed by man. They are people who, thanks to these supply contracts, will see a minimum purchase price for olives. And as for purchasers, bottlers will see a partial reimbursement of the cost of the neck label bought from the Consortium and applied to each bottle of DOP Riviera Ligure oil. People, labour, guarantees for everyone.
The olive grower sure of a financial return for his work is the first block in what is the only real, fundamental and widespread territorial support system in Liguria. Support which is reflected in other figures: hectares cultivated, olive trees progressively recovered. A system is growing, to reach, with olive millers and packagers, 650 businesses. Vital.
Vital also means always being in the sunlight. Whoever works as part of the PDO system is involved in a virtuous programme: it is great to be able to show an inspector the neat olive groves, ready to be the first physical element in the testing system. And here too, comes more satisfaction: following good farming practices, being an integral part of the nation’s economy, as recognised by national digital informational processes, seeing the extra-virgin olive oil being analysed for quality. And lastly, proudly attaching the numbered DOP Riviera Ligure neck labels on the bottles. A process that is a guarantee of the origin and the quality for the consumer as well as economic support for the first link in the chain, the olive grower.
Only within the Riviera Ligure Protected Designation of Origin programme is it possible to carry out these certifications and guarantees. It is also a question of belonging, of identity. It is a programme of traceability and support by the Protection Consortium which features all elements of the supply chain: olive growers, olive millers and bottlers. And all of this also means, most importantly, a guarantee for the consumer.