Italy and Spain: Olive Warriors since Millennia
Beyond the romantic images of olive groves, the Olive Route cannot ignore the commercial war between Italy and Spain, the duel for the leadership of the global market, estimated at a worth of billions. Together, they control 70% of the world’s olive markets. This leads us to the Olive Industry, a normally impenetrable universe, closed to the eyes of the general public. It is crammed with secrets linked to laboratories, publicity campaigns and marketing strategies. And with enormous financial stakes. The two leaders in each of Spain (Carbonell) and Italy (Mataluni), as well as the two “haut-de-gamme-artisans”, will personify for us this gigantic Duel...
In the world of upmarket “luxury organic oil”, the Italians have long been masters of the game, as we will see with Oliviero Toscani. But the Spanish, as LA Organic shows, are catching up. And in the world of the mass market, Alberto Gallardo, the Spanish Marketing Director of Carbonnel, and Biagio Mataluni, grandson of the Italian founder of family company Mataluni, will guide us in the discovery of this white collar universe: no more farming labour, machines and computers dominate production. Visiting their factories in Montesarchio and Cordoba, we will see how, in a few short hours, tons of olive oil are bottled, labelled and crated, ready to be shipped to supermarkets in all four corners of the world. Along this path, we will discover that this war of giants is likely to be shattered soon by emerging new rivals: Turkey, China, Brazil, Australia... All of these have decided to participate in the booming, now global, olive market. And, by moving further and further from the Mediterranean, we are left wondering if the olive culture might lose what makes it so special?
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