Calabrian oils were protagonists of the 2024 edition of the Verga Award, which honored the best extra virgin olive oils from the Mediterranean basin. The program of the competition, now in its eighth edition and organized by the Municipality of Cotronei in collaboration with the Consortium for the Protection and Valorization of Oil of Calabria Igp and the patronage of the Region of Calabria, included a conference on the theme “Olive growing: From a millenary tradition to a future for Calabria,“ held at the period residence Palazzo Verga on Saturday 18 and attended by some of the leading institutional experts in the field, while on Sunday, May 19, at the Cotronei City Hall Conference Room, the awards ceremony was held in the presence of the city institutions and the Region of Calabria’s Agriculture Councillor Gianluca Gallo, who concluded a long series of qualified speeches moderated by Peppone Calabrese, host of Linea Verde – RaiUno.”
Sixty-four producers from the regions of Calabria, Sicily, Campania, Sardinia and Puglia participated in the competition. With 12 members, including seven expert tasters from Arsac, the technical jury was coordinated and chaired by Carmelo Orlando.  As part of the Award, an important conference was held at Palazzo Verga, as mentioned, on the importance of olive growing for the economy and development of Calabria, with references to its millennial tradition, in-depth analysis of the potential of the territory and local production realities, prospects, in international markets, of extra virgin olive oil produced in the region. It was a multi-voice discussion, moderated by Peppone Calabrese, host of the Rai 1 program Linea Verde, with speeches by Professor Rocco Zappia,of the University of Reggio Calabria and president of the regional Elaioteca, nutritionist biologist Valeria Grimoli, President Orlando, the mayor of Cotronei, Antonio Ammirati, and his deputy, Pier Luigi Benincasa. Full satisfaction, of course, was expressed by the president of the Olio di Calabria Igp Consortium, Massimino Magliocchi.
The Verga Award featured a well-attended show cooking by well-known Croton chef Ercole Villirillo. As well as the award ceremony for the winners, which was able to involve participants and curious.
Massimino Magliocchi, president of the Oil Consortium of Calabria Igp, dwelt on the importance of extra virgin olive oil in the Mediterranean diet and the continuous search for quality by Calabrian producers. “We actively participate in these splendid events because our Calabrian oil has all the potential to become irreplaceable in Italian kitchens,” the president remarked. Of the same opinion Arsac with Fulvia Caligiuri and political governance with councillors Pietropaolo and Gallo. “Today our region has a precise recognition, so we must continue on this path. Never again bulk oil, but oil of the highest quality taken care of in every detail, including packaging, to conquer those markets, including international ones, that are looking for superlative products like ours and are willing to pay the price, to recognize its value.”