WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE ASSOCIATION?
The Šoltan olive growers have small family farms which individually do not produce sufficient quantities of olive oil and they do not have financial resources for a more serious market appearance. However, united we can meet the market’s demand. The Association is focusing on persuading as many olive growers in Šolta as possible to transfer towards organic production and production of olive oil of the highest possible quality. The association will directly and indirectly participate in the marketing of only super premium olive oils. It was at Olive Oil times that we learned about the efforts of a group of experts and olive growers who founded the International Association 3 E (the 3 E’s stand for Ethics, Excellence, and Economics) and are working to promote the Super-premium category. Super premium olive oil is one class above extra virgin olive oil. For more information visit this link: https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-business/beyond-extra-virgin-olive-oil-conference-verona/4489
Like the members of Association 3 E, we also consider the category “extra virgin” term compromised and impudently abused. Olives on Šolta grow on rocky fields with little fertile land, the use of mechanization is impossible, everything is done with small manual tools. This way each of our trees has a “personality”; the olive grower talks to it and knows exactly when it needs help and what it lacks. It is the same with the harvest:each fruit passes through the hands several times; when picking from a tree, when collecting into baskets, when cleaning dry leaves and twigs. Damaged or rotten fruits are removed immediately, leaving only healthy, juicy fruits. The oil obtained from such fruits bears no resemblance to oils sold in retail chains and cannot be sold under the same name. Few consumers unfortunately know the difference and use cheap oil from the super market.
For this reason we are making an effort to connect with other regions in Croatia, and then with other Associations and manufacturers worldwide and together we will strive to introduce the category above extra virgin – Super premium class.
WHY DO THE GROWERS OF ŠOLTA HAVE THE “AUDACITY” TO COMPETE IN THE LARGEST OLIVE OIL COMPETITION IN THE WORLD?
That was our first appearance in a competition outside Croatia.The New York Competition is a story that started much earlier. It should be noted that the olive growers from Šolta have always claimed that their oil is the best in the world.
A young student, Mia Jurjevic, with roots on her mother’s side at Šolta, studied chemistry in New York, and was a tenant of Ms. Denise Caracappa, a Master’s Degree in Food Marketing specialist. On one occasion, Mia gave Mrs. Denise a bottle of Šoltan olive oil as a present. Denise was so delighted with this discovery that she did not stop repeating that it was the best oil she had ever tasted: “I want to offer this oil to the Americans.” Since the first olive oil competition in NY, she has regularly urged us to send Šoltan oil to the NY competition. The year after the entry of Šoltan olive oil into the EU register of products protected by the original designation, this step seemed logical to us. Mrs. Denise was right, too: it turned out that the area of the small island of Šolta had enormous potential for producing the best olive oils in the world. In the US, Macedonia, the United Kingdom, Austria and Germany, Šoltan olive oil is a highly sought after commodity.
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