DALLAS — Deoleo, maker of olive oil brands Bertolli, Carapelli and Carbonell, is taking steps to guarantee the traceability and quality of its extra virgin olive oil. The company signed an agreement at its headquarters in Spain with some of the country’s leading cooperatives in an effort to achieve 100% sustainability for 80% of its olive oil by 2023.

Spain is the world’s leading producer and exporter of olive oil by volume, producing 1.3 million tons on average annually. In the last three years, an additional 128,000 hectares of olive groves have been planted and 100,000 hectares have been converted from traditional to intensive planting.

Now, a critical situation caused by an increase in supply and product devaluation has led the global olive oil industry to begin a process of comprehensive transformation. Deoleo said meeting these industry-wide challenges requires a “fresh, more sustainable business model.”

"The current olive oil model is not sustainable and prioritizes quantity over quality,” said Miguel de Jaime, North American chief executive officer and chief commercial officer of Deoleo. “We know that adopting a new model is a long-term project, but it is fundamental to transforming the sector with a new structure that focuses on quality while protecting the environment and natural resources, preserving biodiversity, respecting labor practices and promoting local communities."

As part of the agreement, the company is implementing education and training programs for farmers and olive oil mills. It is also working with its program partners to safeguard native varietals, promote early harvest and implement techniques to protect biodiversity in olive groves.

Olive mills participating in the agreement must adhere to protocols related to the environment, product quality and sustainability. They will be audited and certified by an independent third party.

"The purpose of securing this supply chain is to deliver to the world's consumers the best possible olive oils, obtained through the most sustainable and environmentally respectful methods," Mr. de Jaime said. FBN