‘Selezione Oli Extravergine’ showcases innovation in the Tuscan olive oil industry

‘Selezione Oli Extravergine’ showcases innovation in the Tuscan olive oil industry

Thu 11 Apr 2024 11:06 AM

The recent 2024 Selezione Oli Extravergine showcase held at Cinema la Compagnia di Firenze served as an opportunity to delve into various aspects of the olive oil sector, including pressing techniques, research into cultivars and future prospects for the industry. The event was organized by Regione Toscana in collaboration with Florence’s Chamber of Commerce, PromoFirenze and Fondazione Sistema Toscana.

2024 Selezione Oli Extravergine

Tuscany’s olive oil industry sprawls across 91,000 hectares, boasting a rich tapestry of over 15 million native olive trees and encompassing 80 different varieties. With over 36,000 companies operating in the segment with 400 operational oil mills, numerous packaging enterprises and a developing nursery district situated in Pescia, Tuscany stands as a contributor to the global olive oil industry.

Tuscany is widely known and appreciated internationally for its high quality of production in the olive and olive oil sector. With an annual production rate of approximately 150,000 quintals, valued at almost 130 million euro, the sector contributes significantly to the region’s agricultural production, while maintaining a commitment to excellence and sustainability.

The Tuscan regional government is encouraging new methods of farming, water management, and precision agriculture thanks to a tender as a part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). The funding, worth over 22 million euro, is aimed at supporting sustainable tourism and urban regeneration, including the modernization of farms with eco-friendly technologies and support for the growth of olive tree nurseries.

Awards were presented at the event to celebrate the finest oils from across Tuscany. Excellence was recognized in various categories, including mono-cultivar and organic oils, in addition to awards for packaging selection and for the title of “Best Oil”. The awards highlight the region’s dedication to producing quality extra-virgin olive oil, while encouraging continuous improvement and development within the sector.

25 per cent of Italy’s PDO and PGI-certified olive oil comes from Tuscany, resulting in an average price per litre of 17 euro for PDO and 12 euro for PGI. Trade professionals regard these prices are being too low to sustain the industry, which faces a market with unclear rules and exports whereby some international products take advantage of “Tuscan-ness” to confuse consumers. According to representatives from the consortia, the certification itself fails to be recognized and understood by consumers, placing greater emphasis on the storytelling surrounding mono-cultivars instead of comprehending the struggles of producing extra-virgin olive oil, which should first and foremost convey a message of quality, wellbeing and protection of the natural landscape.

Olive oil producers also face the challenge of opening their doors to tourism in order to communicate the values of this foodstuff and encourage its use. According to research recently presented by Florence’s Chamber of Commerce, 58% of tourists who travel to Italy want to experience local wine and oil. Official website Visit Tuscany provides plenty of reading about the segment and invites producers to insert details about their business online, so that travellers and journalists can contact them.

Related articles


Ditta Artigianale opens on the ground floor of San Lorenzo Market

The Florence-founded specialty coffee brand celebrates 10 years of business.


Fine dining at Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany

An hour's drive from Florence takes you to a dreamy gourmet scenario.