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  OLIVE OIL  

Sicilian olive oil is one of the best olive oils in the world. A long tradition in the care of olive trees, harvesting and pressing makes this oil very special. The harvest on my land is done gently by hand with electrically operated rakes, and the pressing is done by machine. I emphasize quality over quantity, which means I harvest and press my olives at an early stage. I get less yield, however my oil is all the richer in valuable polyphenols (antioxidants), vitamins and high quality healthy fatty acids. In May 2021, my farm was awarded with the organic certificate by Ecocert Italia. I am very proud of it. 

 

The sale of olive oil allows the management of olive groves and the preservation of a great cultural landscape. A regular employee finds a living under generous conditions for more than six months of the year. The pure production costs for a liter of high-quality olive oil in the terraced, often steep slopes are high and fluctuate from year to year. They amount to about 30 francs. In addition to the worker's wage and insurance, there are fees and taxes for the company, for security and external accounting, for the oil press, for organic certification, for equipment and fuel, transportation, etc.

 

For pricing, see guest commentary "Olive oil - quality has its price" in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Nov. 15, 2018

 

I sell the olive oil "ex farm" or "ex delivery from Sicily" in the following confections and at the following prices:

Ol_025_500px.jpg

Quantity and package

1/4 liter glass bottle

Cost/bottle

Pickup from

CH-8135 Langnau a./A.

16 CHF/bottle

plus 3 CHF per bottle for

shipping and customs

Cost/bottle

Delivery to EU abroad

Minimum order quantity 10 bottles

15 €/bottle

plus shipping costs

approx. 3 € per bottle,

depending on the order quantity

Ol_05_500px.jpg

Quantity and package

1/2 liter glass bottle

Cost/bottle

Pickup from

CH-8135 Langnau a./A.

25 CHF/bottle

plus 4 CHF per bottle for

shipping and customs

Cost/bottle

Delivery to EU abroad

Minimum order quantity 6 bottles

22 €/bottle

plus shipping costs

approx. 4 € per bottle,

depending on the order quantity

Kanister_5_500px.jpg

Quantity and package

1 x 5 liter canister

Cost/canister

Pickup from

CH-8135 Langnau a./A.

200 CHF/canister

plus 20 CHF per canister for

shipping and customs

Cost/canister

Delivery to EU abroad

Minimum order quantity 1 canister

180 €/canister

plus shipping costs

approx. 30 € per canister,

depending on the order quantity

Qualität

TRIBÜNE

Neue Zürcher Zeitung NZZ vom 15.11.2018

Guest comment

of Silvan Brun

______________

OLIVE OIL - QUALITY HAS ITS PRICE

During the olive harvest, many Italian farms employ foreign pieceworkers who take the olives from the trees in record time (NZZ 26.10.18). Speed is of the essence for the quality of the oil during the olive harvest and the subsequent extraction.

 

Of course, Tuscan harvesters could pick, shake, sort and collect just as quickly, except that this sweaty task is not much in demand among young Tuscans first, and second, hiring them would cost the company much more. It is therefore not only a matter of a quick harvest, but also one that is as inexpensive as possible.

 

No wonder: Which Swiss wholesaler is willing to pay 12 euros or more for a half liter of Tuscan olive oil purchased ex-farm? With the usual margin of 40 percent, plus the also usual listing fees as well as the import costs, an estimated selling price of 26 francs 20 would result. Who pays that?

 

I'm sure there aren't many consumers who would dig that deep into their pockets for (good) olive oil. Why should they? At the two largest full-range retailers in Switzerland, Toscano-IGP-certified olive oils cost just under 14 and 16 francs per half liter, respectively. And they are already considered expensive compared to the high-rotation product. For example, an olive oil with a Tuscan look can be had at one of the two major distributors for just under 14 francs per liter. That's an impressive 73 percent price saving compared to our pure Tuscan olive oil.

 

Because both products identify themselves as extra virgin, I see no reason for an ordinary consumer to put the much more expensive product in his shopping basket. After all, he cannot know that the term "Extra Vergine" is not taken very seriously everywhere (SRF Kassensturz of 3.5.16) and that he is not immune to olive oil fraud even in Switzerland - although the account chemists have recently claimed the opposite.

Which wholesaler is prepared to pay 12 euros or more

 ex farm for half a liter of olive oil?

 

Olive oil is also considered the most frequently counterfeited food in Germany. Why should it be any different here?

 

The Fonte di Foiano estate from Bolgheri, which was named the best olive oil farm of the past harvest campaign by the olive oil guide "Flow Olei," also hires Albanian personnel during the olive harvest. Each worker is paid 40 euros per 100 kilograms of olives picked. From 100 kilograms of olives, depending on the circumstances, between 7 and 15 percent oil can be obtained at this quality level, which corresponds to 7.64 to 16.37 liters. Early harvested and short processed olives give less yield, which affects the price.

 

Finished bottled, the half-liter bottle costs the trader between 6 and 14 euros ex-farm, depending on the quality, which corresponds to a maximum turnover of 213.92 euros per 100 kilograms of processed olives. Of this, 40 euros alone go to the Albanian picker. To this must be added the costs of tree care (pruning, treatments, soil work, fertilization, irrigation, etc. ); for the operation, maintenance and amortization of their own oil mills; for the operation, maintenance and amortization of vehicles, of harvesting equipment, etc; for the maintenance and amortization of stainless steel tanks and the bottling plant; for the filtration of the oil, in which the good producer sacrifices quantity for the sake of quality; for bottles, caps, labels, cartons and packaging, for certifications, analyses, certifications and permits, advertising, etc.

 

Despite subsidies, there is not much left over. In the end, it's simple: quality requires limitation and costs money.

__________________________

Silvan Brun is an olive oil expert and director of the Olive Oil School Switzerland

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