Meet Fabio, Owner at Olivaggia, olive oil company in Liguria
Fabio, tell us about the origins of your company, and what it has become today.
Olivaggia was established in 1945 by the hand and mind of my great-grandfather, on the Ligurian Riviera di Ponente - exactly in Taggia, the home of the Taggiasca olive, to which it owes its name. This is not a coincidence as my ancestors have always been attentive to traditions and had a common purpose: to reproduce the original Taggiasco oil and make it known by the whole world!
As far as their origins are concerned, they could do much but plant their own centuries-old olive trees in the fertile land of Taggia, the mother of the very first medieval Taggiasca olives, which arrived in Taggia thanks to the work of the Benedictine monks, between 6th and 7th century. The company was founded because they wanted to create an unrivaled product, to create a difference between types. Not everyone knows that Italy is amongst the countries offering the highest number of olive varieties as there are over 350 of them.
Therefore, our intention has always been to give a unique point of reference, based on an experience that is now centuries-old, and to make our excellent olive variety known by offering a high quality product. Year after year, I continued to foster this dream.
What exactly is your role in the company?
I deal with everything related to corporate marketing, sales, and any issues an end customer may have.
Today we hear more and more often about tradition, terroir, sustainability, but at the same time also technology and innovation. So what are your plans in this direction?
Our only point of reference has always been the centuries-old tradition and experience of producing a high quality olive oil. Towards this, we retraced all the steps backwards, until the origins of the cultivation of Taggiasca olive, that is, prior to the year 1000; with constancy and dedication, we have studied and reproduced the original Taggiasco oil of Taggia, the fruit of its land, water and sea breeze of origin. The result exceeded expectations by far!
Which oil of your production would a person who doesn’t understand olive oil, and why?
I would certainly taste our Alexander, an oil extracted from an olive growing 150 meters above sea level. An excellent compromise of flavours giving a taste that varies between pine nuts and almonds. It is a first-class superior pressing oil with a golden yellow colour and medium-intensity fruity flavours.
What is the typical consumer of your olive oils, to whom are your products addressed?
Surely our oil is for everyone: from lovers of good food to those consumers who always look for the best products to bring to their table. Our oil goes well with all dishes, it does not cover the rest of the flavours, but it actually enhances them, which is something that a good extra-virgin olive oil should do.
All the producers have at least one product of their own production to which they are very attached, which is yours?
This is a good question! I am attached to all our products, each of them reminds me of something, so the choice is really difficult but if I have to pick one, this would definitely be the Pupi Bottle, which is a bottle specifically designed and chosen to support Javier Zanetti's PUPI Foundation.
We are particularly attached to this project because we got to know both Javier and his wife Paula, two wonderful people who help many children with their foundation. In our own small way, we wanted to be part of this project and so we created this bottle and all its proceeds will be donated to the Foundation, so we can help less fortunate people. A very small gesture but that if done all together, it can change the world for better.
Can you recommend an oil of another producer or a region whose production you particularly appreciate?
Surely not! Well, I am kidding! In Italy we are very lucky as we have many interesting oil productions. Amongst others, I really appreciate the produce of some Sardinian oil mills, whereas the productions of multinational companies are less interesting, as their oil is blended and this ruins flavour, taste and authenticity.
Do you have a lifelong ambition?
Yes, even more than one! The main one and also the most selfish one: to see an Olivaggia bottle on all tables of our beautiful country, so that people can taste, understand and appreciate the difference between an oil from a mill and an industrial blend.