Setting The Standards For a More Sustainable Future
In 1990, we formed The Villa Filippo Berio Agriculture Company with the purchase of one of the largest Tuscan olive groves, in an area known as Migliarino, San Rossore Natural Park. Set on almost 2.5 acres, the grove gives us an abundance of opportunities to perfect how olives are harvested and to learn how the land, and even some olive varieties, respond to new ways of growing.
A Quality Collaboration
We’re honored to be collaborating with the National Research Council (CNR), Italy’s largest public research institution, on four projects taking place at Villa Filippo Berio. The goal of each project is to work together to study the productivity and sustainability of olive growing, and ultimately improve the quality of olive oil. To learn more about CNR and their mission, visit here.
Project 1: Life Resilience
Protecting our ingredients
You can’t have quality olive oils without healthy olive trees. One of our main goals is to study insect activity and the bacteria, Xylella fastidiosa, which has been proven to lead to Olive Quick Decline Syndrome (OQDS), a devasting disease that has caused the loss of more than 1 million olive trees in Italy. We’re constantly monitoring soil, testing out natural fertilizers that help to reduce water stress and create more efficient soil management.
Project 2: New Precision Agriculture Techniques in Olive Growing
We like to think of the Villa Filippo Berio Grove, as an "open-air laboratory.” A place where we can control different techniques in the entire olive oil environment, from the trees to the soil to the air. We’re dedicated to discovering the right methods for cultivation of olive trees, not only for our plants but for the benefit of all the olive grove farmers we work with and olive tree agriculture worldwide.
Project 3: The Enhancement of Olive Biodiversity
Expanding the Grove
Italy is home to the largest number of olive varieties in the world so we have an opportunity at Villa Filippo Berio to analyze and enhance olive oil biodiversity to counteract the effects of climate change. The CNR has identified 52 varieties for planting at the grove, which has been planted in a dedicated space. Some example varieties that we planted are Lazzero delle Guadalupe, Piangente, and Pegaso. The work here contributes to the recovery of ancient Tuscan varieties that have gone into disuse over the years to help us understand which ones can be brought back. This helps us determine ways we can adopt for the future.
Project 4: The Sustainability in Olive Growing
Researching and developing sustainable methods for environmentally-friendly olive production not only helps maximize productivity in the grove but it’s also an opportunity for us to do our part in caring for the planet. Currently, we’re using electronic sensors to help detect the presence of the Olive Fly, one of the most destructive pests to olive crops, allowing us to simplify and improve our strategies. Afterward, these results will be studied by CNR.