What is D.O.P.?
After almost 2 years, il circolo olive oil has recently been certified with the D.O.P. label. We are very proud of that. It stands for ‘Denominazione di Origine Protetta’, in English that is Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). This quality mark is awarded to products that are produced, processed and prepared in a specific area according to a recognised and controlled method. The requirements for D.O.P. are stricter than the I.G.P. (Indicazione Geografica Protetta or Protected Geographical Indication in English). The latter is a sort of ‘light’ version and given to products that can be traced to a certain area with at least one production phase.
Why is D.O.P. needed?
Both labels are part of the EU’s quality policy which aims to protect the names of specific products and promote their unique characteristics linked to geographical origin and traditional know-how. This makes it more difficult to mislead consumers with products that wrongly use the name of a region or place. For example, Parma ham can only be called as such if it also comes from the region of Parma. There are now more than 1 500 registered D.O.P. products, mainly in France and Italy for olives, cheese, beer and even regional bread, fruit and vegetables.
How will D.O.P. change il circolo olive oil?
Il circolo will continue to supply the same high quality olive oil as you would expect from us. From next year the D.O.P. quality mark will appear on our olive oil products. We are currently in the process of adding this to our label. The D.O.P. ensures that il circolo olive oil comes from the Monte Iblei – Val Tellaro region and that it is obtained from the Moresca variety (at least 70%). Characteristically, it is green in colour and has a mild fruity aroma, with light hints of hay and a mildly piquant fruity flavour.
More than a quality mark, the D.O.P. certification serves a recognition for the territory, the history and traditions of the region and it shows appreciation for the local farmers and oilmakers and the knowhow that they cultivate. In short, it shows how il circolo is connected to this region.