What is EVOO?
Olive oil is classified in several retail grades: "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" (EVOO), "virgin olive oil", "pure olive oil", "olive oil", "pomace olive oil", "lampante olive oil", "refined olive oil". EVOO is the highest possible grade of olive oil. According to the International Olive Oil Council, the most important international organization to set olive oil standards, to be “extra virgin” an olive oil must derive 100% from olives, must have no more than 0.8% acidity, and must have no defects.
What happens once you adopt an olive tree?
Libellula will offer information on the health conditions of your tree. We involve the partner throughout the cultivation process, from the blossoming and pruning periods, to the delicate decision of identifying the right time to harvest and press the olives. Through our newsletters we invite our partners to become knowledgeable of the Sabina region and its history, and provide insight on how to use a sustainable and healthy aliment. Once a partner, you are always welcome to visit your tree, and of consequence, Rome and the Sabina region.
Why would I want to adopt an olive tree?
By adopting an olive tree, you receive the purest, oldest, richest olive oil right to your doorstep. Because the EVOO from the Sabina region doesn’t exist in the U.S. market, your olive oil will be all the more special. But being partners of Libellula is so much more - above all, we offer an experience. You become part of a supreme agricultural, cultural, and environmental tradition supported by thousands of years of rich history, just 30 minutes from the center of Rome. The Sabina is one of the few regions unspoiled by mass tourism. We are sharing a special piece of it with you so we can enjoy it together, as a community.
What are the risks?
As a team dedicated to organic and sustainable agriculture, it is important to recognize the risks that come with organic farming. Weather patterns could result in little olive oil production one year, and the olive trees could be inflicted by disease another year. However, our system of olive tree organization will take into consideration a low production year, and there have been no past incidents of olive tree disease infection in the Sabina region. The families with whom we work have been cultivating olive trees their whole life, so their knowledge and experience is our strength.
Does Libellula partner with restaurants and stores?
We partner with a carefully-selected group of restaurants who maintain our similar agricultural values. Our olive oil is clearly labeled as “Libellula," and our story is included in the restaurant's menu or website. When they serve their olive oil, they get to say it comes from their olive trees! We don't partner with stores, as our philosophy is based on a "people to people" model, and therefore do not deal with intermediaries.
Who is the competition?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is Sabina D.O.P. is extremely rare to find on the U.S. market. So far, the only company which is experimenting with exportation prices its olive oil at 40 USD per liter. Big organic shopping centers could technically be our competition, but only if you look at our product as a final good: we are much more than a bottle of olive oil. With the “Gold of Rome” you receive a tree which you can visit anytime, as well as a cultural and environmental experience. Comparable ideas can be seen in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.