The project

Promoting an oil culture

Oil has always been part of our life, our food, our culture. But can we really say that we know all about the varieties, the preparation stages, the infinite differences in taste, colour and fragrance? Every oil has its special story, which stems from the territory and its product: the olive, with its diverse colours and shapes, and the terroir really makes the difference.

Oleario is CREA’s project that aims to combine competence and communication to accelerate the dissemination of knowledge about the olive sector.

The path undertaken is that of a cultural revolution and an evolution process that will open up new horizons and, in the near future, activate further mechanisms that will foster awareness of the world of oil making. The ultimate goal is to elevate Italian extra-virgin olive oil to a product whose excellence is universally acknowledged by consumers, enhancing its perceived value from all perspectives.

Talking about just one oil is reductive, however: there are myriad oils, and all their tales and those of their terroirs are worthy of narration. The olive tree varietals, adapted over millennia to different territorial and climatic factors, give rise to a vast oil varietal diversity. Each with its precise identity, distinct and recognised under a specific name.

So we are not talking about oil in general, but about Italian oils.

Indeed, we reiterate, Italian olive oil has a characteristic uniqueness and is a key element of our food and wine tradition.

And here lies the other aspect of our project: to tell the story of oil as a factor of identity and collective memory. Olive trees are a dominant element in the Italian landscape, from Sicily to the Apennines, an element of beauty, quality and the distinctiveness of the landscape itself. We find olive trees on terraces, on cliffs overlooking the sea, on the shores of lakes, on inland hills, volcanic slopes, among the Mediterranean scrub, in the peninsula’s most disparate landscapes.

Oil – the intangible heritage of our country. 

Oil is bonded with its territory, rich in variety, a valued territorial feature, never completely abandoned even in the areas most afflicted by depopulation, underlining the ancient link with our heritage of culture, knowledge, tradition, and production.

Olive oil – the hallmark of our national character.  

We recount the plurality of extra-virgin olive oil, a key element of our food and wine heritage, ancient and contemporary, the essence of our cuisine but also a widespread driver of small and large rural economies, small and large companies that underpin Italy’s fabric. We tell the story of olive oil to enhance, protect and promote this product that has considerable growth potential and must be narrated and revealed to consumers. 

The National Rural Network project entitled “Oleario. Where Italy leaves its mark” was founded to testify to these diverse dimensions and thus spread knowledge about our olive-growing and oil-producing heritage, enhancing the link between food, agriculture, territory, culture and tradition. Of which olive oil is the most striking element.

This oil that is our past, present and future; oil that is tradition and innovation, sustainability and culture, key concepts in the development guidelines that are also elaborated and interpreted in the oil production chain. Where our oil is made.