PGI Sevillian Olive

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The PGI Sevillian Olive is a mark of quality in the European area associated with Manzanilla and Gordal varieties of table olives. Any olives labelled as PGI Sevillian Olives provide us with the following information: these olives are from Seville and have been produced under specific quality controlled conditions.

What are the PGI Sevillian Olive quality features?

The olives

The PGI Sevillian Olive refers to the Manzanilla and Gordal olives, harvested in a traditional way during the months of September and October. This method of harvesting is named as “ordeño” or also “verdeo”.

In addition, the PGI Sevillian Olive stamp tells us that the olives have been processed in a traditional way known as the
Sevillian style: a process carried out with brine (water with salt).

Preparation

The PGI Sevillian Olive indicates that the olives have been prepared in the well-known Sevillian style. For this, the olives are firstly washed, boiled in caustic soda (alkaline treatment), and are submerged in brine (water and salt) to preserve them, producing a natural lactic fermentation.

Final Display

Tipes of final display:
  • Whole olives: olives with or without a stalk that are not pitted.
  • Pitted olives: olives with the pit removed.
  • Stuffed olives: pitted olives, stuffed with ingredients such as anchovies, peppers, garlic and others.

Calibration

In order for an olive to be certified as PGI Sevillian Olive, it should have a specific size. The calibre indicates the number of olives that comprise 1kg. The calibres that the PGI Sevillian Olive contemplate the following:
  • Manzanilla Olive: from 141/160 to 321/350 olives/kg.
  • Gordal Olive: from 60/70 to 121/140 olives/kg.

Categories

The categories of Extra and Primera (according to the International Olive Council Commercial Rule applicable to table olives) are certified under the PGI Sevillian Olive

Historical and geographic context

The PGI Sevillian Olive production area covers the entire province of Seville and 11 municipalities of Huelva. Due to its geographic location, we can say that it is a product that is linked to the Guadalquivir Valley.

One PGI of and for the people

The crop of Manzanilla and Gordal olive varieties is part of the history of this land. An unbeatable ecological adaptation and wide acknowledgement from the local community has made possible its survival until now as a crop of great relevance with important natural, social and economic implications.

The maintenance of the Manzanilla and Gordal olive groves are the result of the historical accumulation of a set of local knowledge and practices, always sensitive to innovation and adaptation.

The olive groves are also very connected to a series of values, feelings and a way of understanding the world that makes them indispensible in order to understand the local culture.

Two local knowledges of the management of olive groves are essential to produce good quality olives. This knowledge is expressed in the following ways:

In one hand, the verdeo or ordeño, that is the manual harvest. During the verdeo, the pickers or verdeaores, generally organised in groups or cuadrillas whose number can vary, pick the olive directly from the tree with their hands, throwing them in a basket called macaco. The olives harvested in this way suffer minimum damage which contributes to the quality and the integrity of the fruit.

On the other hand, the preparation of the olives in brine, known as the Sevillian style. This historical way of preparing the olives is part of the local gastronomy and is widely used in the homes where these olives are consumed. Manzanilla and Gordal olives prepared in this way can be preserved from one season to another. The industry of transformation has kept the essence of this process and has reproduced it on a large scale.

The development of the technology has enabled pitting and stuffing with ingredients such as pepper, which is the most popular filling.

Quality control and tracking of the process

To guarantee the identification and tracking of the olives labelled as PGI Sevillian Olives, the following rules are implemented:

Ruling Council of the PGI Sevillian Olive

The defence of the products covered by the quality designation is entrusted to the Ruling Council of the PGI Sevillian Olive. Its goals are the representation, defence, guarantee, training, investigation, development and market innovation, and the promotion of the products protected as PGI Sevillian Olives.

The Ruling Council will manage the following registers with the aim of guaranteeing the origin of the product and tracking through production:

In here all those olive farms planted with Manzanilla and/or Gordal varieties, located in the geographical area set out in the specification and whose olives have been harvested manually by the system of ordeño (picking) and are considered suitable for protection by the PGI, provided they comply with the provisions of the tender documents, can be registered.
In here all those companies that transform olives of the Manzanilla and/or Gordal varieties coming from the olive groves inscribed in the register above and located within the geographical area specified in the PGI Sevillian Olive specification can be registered.
In here all factories that pack and trade olives under the PGI quality stamp can be registered.
In here all those centres that receive Manzanilla and/or Gordal olives from registered olive groves located within the geographical area contained in the specification of the PGI Sevillian Olive can be registered.

Self-monitoring System

The processing company applies a self-monitoring system to the olives in the different phases of the process:
  • Receiving
  • Downloading
  • Boiling
  • Fermenting
  • Classifying
  • Packing and Labelling
  • Shipping