THE TRADITION OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IN TRINITAPOLI
Trinitapoli has been referred as "The city of olive oil" for centuries. This area of Puglia is worldwide famous for the production of one of the finest extra virgin olive oil. A tradition that has always been based on the quality of the olives in a sustainable production process. This means press of the olives within a few hours from the moment they are picked, cold press of the olives without chemical alterations and no mixture with any other kind of oil at all: this is how a pure extra virgin olive oil is made. The base of the mediterranean diet. Unfortunately due to the competition of big producers (that use mixed and chemically altered products) and natural elements as climate change and periodic diseases of the plantations, taking care of the land has become more difficult and expensive. Small local producers are giving up their lands. In the small town of Trinitapoli, for example, 2 years ago there were 8 active producers that were producing and commercializing extra virgin olive oil, this year there are only 4 of them. The others? Closed their activities and gave up their lands with secular olive trees, most of which are now unsold and untreated.
ADULTERATION OF ITALIAN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Unfortunately big producers, like most of the brands that can be found in the big distribution, in order to improve their revenue, are using questionable production methods. These methods involve using cheaper olives from third countries and mix the olive oil with cheaper oils or, in the worst case, the product is chemically altered. The New York Times define it the "Extra virgin suicide, adulteration of Italian olive oil". (watch here the nice animation by Nicholas Blechman). This is killing the market and it is putting in danger the survival of small local producers and their lands, since being competitive on the market is becoming more and more difficult.
From 2014 the bacteria xylella hit Puglia and its olive trees and, in combination with unfortunate weather conditions, the production of olives strongly suffered. Puglia, that produces about 40% of the italian olive oil, is losing a lot of olive trees. The EU and the italian government already ordered to cut down hundreds of olive trees and about 11 million of them are in danger of being distroyed. The farmers need to take extra care of the trees in order to treat them and keep them healthy. Local producers are facing difficulties in covering the costs of these extra expenses.
WHY ADOPTING AN OLIVE TREE?
Adopting an olive tree will allow you to be personally involved in the life cycle of the product you are using. With an adoption you know exactly where the primary product comes from while keeping it in the good hands of the local farmer. More clients means more olive oil sold, so more funds to invest in treatments for the trees. For the small producers and for Trinitapoli itself this gesture it also a way to safeguard the local secular olive trees. You will receive olive oil of higher quality than what you can find in big distribution but comparable and honest prices since you are buying directly from the source.
HOW DOES IT PRACTICALLY WORK?
It is really simple. You can in a few steps adopt your olive tree on www.pierluigi.nl. Within a few days you will receive at home a certificate of adoption and the olive oil. On the tree a tag will be attached with your name (or the one of a person you want). The adoption period is for 1 year, after the year it can be easily renewed on www.pierluigi.nl
The adoption also includes an empty stone bottle with a pourer which you can use for refilling.
WHERE WILL THE OLIVE TREE PHYSICALLY BE?
The olive trees are physically based in the Trinitapoli area, Puglia. The olive tree you will adopt is at the moment in the land of the trusted olive oil producer Domenico LaBianca. Domenico and his family produce olive oil from 4 generations. The goal is in future to extend this project to more and more producers of Trinitapoli. You will receive gps coordinates so you can always go and visit your tree if you want :). In Trinitapoli you are always welcome!
For this reason I organized the Pierluigi's Olive oil experience. Every year people that adopted an olive tree can come with me in Trinitapoli in order to harvest the olive trees and live an authentic experience in the heart of Puglia. Do you want to know more? Have a look tho the article to the last tour here
See you in Trinitapoli!