This ancient activity is a moment that brings us in direct contact with nature. Even for the "citizens", used living away from the quiet of the countryside, experiences like this can be a way to recharge energy.
We met the Oil Mill Cooperative Montalbano, in the heart of Tuscany, and more precisely in the hills bordering the provinces of Florence, Pistoia and Prato, bringing together over 2000 grower members to create an exceptional IGP olive oil.
All along the olive tree, along with the vine, is the protagonist of the rural economy, irreplaceable in the culinary traditions and in the function of landscape, environmental and cultural heritage of this region.
For over 50 years the cooperative works to protect and enhance the cultivation of olives and the territory, continuing to produce extra virgin olive oil with the same care and attention with which it was produced once, although with new modern production techniques that guarantee an excellent product from a nutritional and organoleptic point of view.
To achieve this goal, the members agree to abide by common rules on production as the disciplinary of Tuscan Oil IGP (Protected Geographical Indication), which filed with at the European Union, defines aspects of the production of IGP: from the origin of the olives all made in Tuscany, growing techniques, from its chemical and organoleptic characteristics to the bottling of the product.
A part of the members also adheres to a progect "Environmentally friendly olive growing": the "Integrated Agriculture". It is a production method that provides for the adoption of techniques that are compatible with the conservation of the environment and food safety through the testing and certification of the entire chain, from the producer to the shelf in the shop.
The olives of the members are processed in the two cooperative mills in Vinci (FI) and Lamporecchio (PT) to ensure a really short and controlled chain. Marcello Dragoni, Director General, explains:
"Our company has always focused its energies to disseminate and promote the culture of oil, deepen their knowledge of production techniques as well as highlight the importance of certifications.
The philosophy of the company in the selection of their products is based on two fundamental concepts: the total traceability, from olives to the finished product, and the direct collaboration with carefully selected manufacturers. In this way there is a direct relationship with the production, which guarantees to the supplier and the consumer the values of the land, the characteristics of the area and the history of the tradition".
You can also visit the mill cooperative Vinci during the period of crushing, to rediscover the flavors now unknown thanks to the organized tastings: "The goal is to bring fans and not, to the world of oil making touching this reality, showing who we are and how we work and letting each of them come home with a more aware thought, "explains Dragoni.