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All the characteristics of an oil imbued with respect, quality and guaranteed values

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TransparencyOlea Prilis

EVOO Values and Goals

We are saddened by the lack of ethics shown by the majority of large Olive Oil producers, bottlers and retailers that lobby to maintain and take advantage of existing poor production and labeling legislation. These scarce legislations allow them to produce, bottle and distribute low quality products that share nothing in common with EVOO either in taste, chemical properties or health benefits. Our goal is to promote this miraculous “fruit juice” full of exceptional beneficial nutrients, to attain its deserved position in a balanced and healthy diet.

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Quality

There are unequivocal industry standards to define what can be called a EVOO and what cannot be called EVOO and you can read about them here. Having said that, quality is not defined by these criteria, they are an industry standard agreed amongst producers and bottlers with very different and often conflicting objectives, thus they are a compromise that helps categorize minimum requirements for EVOO labelling.
A great Extra Virgin Olive Oil must by all means have certain chemical characteristics, amongst them a low content of free fatty acids below 0.025, low peroxides below 5, low acidity below 0.5, high Phenol count above 400 ppm and high content of Tocopherols over 160 ppm. These key chemical ingredients are not enough in defining quality, they are just part of the story.

Today is a period of great awareness of the biochemical processes of olive production and oil extraction; it is the first time in thousands of years that so many marvellous options are available to farmers and oil producers to influence and steward their work towards specific quality goals.
This opportunity allows producers to follow different passions, paths and intuitions. Every farm, every mill and thus each Extra Virgin Olive Oil is ultimately a story made by and of human beings, their emotions, their dreams, tastes and by their ethics.

We believe

that the ethics of a food producer deeply affects the quality of his produce, and it cannot deviate from the fundamental values of honesty, transparency and sustainability; producing a nutrient that will be eaten by someone is a very serious responsibility.

Our ethics are the bedrock of what we do and of what we communicate. By doing so we enrich our clients experience with an emotional awareness that enables them to trust and identify themselves with our work and our oil. This is also an important element of Quality. At the same time, ethics is not physical parameter, it will be reflected in our produce it will define it but yet it won’t be tasted in it!
So, we have to find something common in all of us that can be used as a means of understanding, a sensorial language that we all share and that we can talk to. The ability to sense the freshness of a food is something that is instinctively with us since childhood. We all have it in our DNA, we just need to trust our instinct to detect it.  This is why amongst oil experts; freshness has been pinpointed as a key component of quality.

After an immediate message of freshness comes the aromatic complexity and intensity that the oil must be able to express. The experience in your mouth has to result in a balance between bitterness, fruitiness and pungency all in harmony amongst them and with a multitude of natural olfactory sensations.
These quality factors in a first class EVOO are defined by the cultivars of the olives used, the harvest time, the terroir and above all by the milling practices. If the latter are properly managed, the resulting olive oil will manifest the benefits of reduced stress and oxidation.
   

Traceability

Traceability refers to the the ability to discover information about where and how a product was made. Traceability is important because food fraud for economic gain has cursed the food industry throughout history. Some of the earliest reported cases of food fraud, dating back thousands of years, involved unsurprisingly olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is still a suitable and favourite target for fraudsters, its nutritional value and its health benefits make it a valuable commodity and consequently it is sold at a high price on the market and increasing prices and relatively low consumer capabilities to detect inauthentic olive oil create an appealing crime opportunity.

There are many national and international regulations that aim at increasing the traceability of EVOO for fraud repression as well as for customer and brand protection. There are also constantly evolving production and labelling regulations to try and control authenticity and insure quality standards.

Despite all these positive efforts, regulations and strict protocols it is undeniable that the more bodies lie between the producer and the consumer, the more difficult it will be to trace and certify a product for what it is and for where it comes from. Like most things in life if we demand to someone else the responsibility or our choices we may fall victim to conflicts of interest and in worst cases to fraud.

In order to avoid these undesirable outcomes we have to take responsibility, educate ourselves on the subject, learn how to detect inauthentic or degraded Extra Virgin Olive Oil and our excellent sensory system (nose and taste) can do miracles at a very low cost. We also need to understand the labels, as well as pricing dynamics of real EVOO; because if something seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true…!
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So our advice is to cut your supply line short, rid yourself as much as it is possible of middle men that add no value, reach out to the producer and check our willingness to open our books and our records for your peace of mind.

Despite the radical advice above, we abide and follow all the mandatory rules for the traceability of e Tuscan Olive Oil IGP  that are issued by our consortium.

Sustainability

During my time in Scotland, I worked closely with farmers who were early pioneers of sustainability, and the preservation of biodiversity on their estates. This training and first-hand experience on the land, left me with a profound sense of responsibility towards the environment, years before biodiversity and sustainability became fashionable buzz words.

TransparencyOlea Prilis
Relationship with the land and sense of duty

It is this relationship with the land and sense of duty to the environment that has remained with me, and now brings these deeply-held memories and outlook to our farm. My lifelong commitment to sustainability is present in each and every decision, action and detail in producing our olive oil. This not only protects our surroundings and the farm, but delivers to our customers a product that is produced with respect and guaranteed quality.

This ethos goes well beyond modern “organic” labeling regulations and standards, again in our humble opinion, a series of fantasy bureaucratic measures that do little to monitor the real properties of products, and a lot to burden producers with layers of paperwork, that ends up being the only thing certification agencies monitor; paper not oil.

Our Motto is:

“Live as if you die tomorrow and farm as if you lived forever”

one that we heard a long time ago in East Africa from Lord Delamere, and it resonated strongly with our belief that land is not owned but entrusted to us in order to preserve it for future generations.

Respect for nature

The respect we have for our trees and olives means that the availability of our oil is subject to the laws of nature.

Olive trees are not very constant in their production. Each year environmental factors influence the ability of the trees to produce, both in terms of quantity and quality. It is our mission throughout the year to help the trees be more constant. We do this via a multitude of different agricultural techniques that vary each season depending on the needs of the trees. Despite our best efforts, and as it should be with any natural produce, the availability of our oil will vary each year as will some of its organoleptic properties.

So be ready to pre order by October to ensure that you do not miss out on the latest harvest.

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