PrimOli: PDO and PGI culture,
before the norm

Ever since 1988, PrimOli has been pursuing a concept that has evolved into a norm over time. 

Typicality is not a concept in the mind of advertising and the imagination. 

Typicality is the real character of a product, created by the close relationship between various factors. For olive oil, it involves a fine balance between varieties of olive tree; climatic conditions; methods of cultivation, harvesting and processing; and respect for local traditions and experiences.

For nearly forty years, PrimOli has relied on its close collaboration with some important production companies in Italy’s most famous olive-growing areas. This has allowed us to adopt a concept of quality that is not based on the usual criteria, but which embraces typicality as a mixture of all those factors – environmental, agronomic and human – that testify to the values of a community with its particular land and traditions. 

The PrimOli brand was therefore ahead of the game in regarding the concept of quality as an expression of the typical nature of a product: a concept that would soon form the basis for the European standards for PDO and PGI designation.


PDO and PGI: what they mean

PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) were introduced by the European Union in 1992. These legally protected marks apply to those agricultural products and foodstuffs whose particular qualities are exclusive to the area in which they are produced. 

The legislation favours and encourages the development of an agricultural supply chain that can provide income for a territory and promote its special character. 

Both PDO and the PGI are voluntary certifications. The producer can decide of his own volition to submit his products to the scrutiny of a recognised and independent third party, who will certify their compliance with certain previously established rules of production and standards of quality.

There are naturally benefits both for the producer, who receives important recognition for the quality and typicality of his product, and for the consumer, who can make informed choices and buy products with certified origin. The yellow and red (PDO) and blue and yellow (PGI) marks that indicate the protected designations are easily recognisable on supermarket shelves, and guarantee the origin and quality of the product for the consumer.


PDO and PGI for olive oil

With more than five hundred olive varieties, Italy heads the field in biodiversity. As a result, it is the most widely represented country within the EU and at world level in terms of number of designations of origin for olive oils. 

Indeed, there are currently 46 products that carry this mark of recognition: 42 with PDO and 4 with PGI status. However, their number is constantly changing, because new products are added to the list as specifications presented first at national level and later at European level come to be approved.

To obtain DOP or PGI certification, a product must comply with the requirements of the particular Production Regulations. In the case of extra virgin olive oils, the Regulations indicate the permitted areas of production and the varieties of olives that can be used. These must be typical of the area, and may only be used in certain percentages. The regulations also refer to particular forms of cultivation, and stipulate the period when the fruit must be harvested, the methods of pressing and how the finished product must be marked and presented for sale to the consumer. Finally, every PDO and PGI product must conform to certain analytical parameters with the corresponding organoleptic properties.

PrimOli offers a wide range of extra virgin olive oils produced and bottled in the country’s most famous olive-growing areas, and all carrying PDO or PGI certification. 

There are 8 denominations in our catalogue, ranging from North to South: 


To find out more, please contact us and request a full description of our products.