What does sustainability mean for a company that produces extra virgin olive oil?

What does sustainability mean for a company that produces extra virgin olive oil?​

The relationship between olive oil and sustainability

Olive oil is a product that can be said to be intrinsically sustainable.

 Retracing the stages of its production starting from the origin, it turns out that the olive tree has a much lower water requirement than other crops, a high efficiency in the use of water and an incredible capacity to absorption and storage of CO2, proving to be a potential solid ally against climate change.
It is even estimated that olive growing can sequester up to six times the amount of CO2 emitted.

In Italy, moreover, the cultivation systems are mostly attributable to traditional olive growing, characterized by the application of techniques with low environmental impact that involve a moderate use of chemicals, a low intensity of planting and a low level of

These plantations thus play a strategic role in soil conservation, counteracting desertification and washout. They are an expression of great value both natural, as a
significant basin of biodiversity, and socio-economic, as an important source of employment in many rural areas and tourist attractions, as a landscape symbol of our lands, especially in the case of olive groves secular.

Olive oil is also a leading expression of the quality of Made in Italy, a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet and a symbol of all those values related to well-being and the quality of life associated with it, thanks to its beneficial properties for health. It is important to underline that when it comes to sustainability, three dimensions systematically intersect: environmental, social and economic.

Nata terra and the global goals

Nata Tera is committed to guaranteeing the economic, social and environmental sustainability of its business. To better frame and direct its activities in the field of Sustainability, Nata Terra has decided to join the United Nations Global Compact, adopting the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda (Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs). These goals launched by the UN are in fact aimed at everyone, including the business world. In outlining a Nata Terra sustainability strategy, the value chain of the project was analyzed in order to identify the relevant macro-areas linked to existing and future sustainability initiatives. After a study related to the material issues identified for Nata Terra, the Goals and targets applicable to our project were selected.
Oil is one of the basic ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, a food model recognized as one of the healthiest in the world. We cannot fail to adhere to this goal by choosing to produce our oil in a biological way, respecting biodiversity and the territory that hosts our olive groves.
Objective 12 relating to responsible consumption models is central to our strategy: the organic choice, the sustainability linked to packaging and the traceability of the supply chain are just some of the aspects we can pay attention to. Furthermore, Nata Terra constantly carries out consumer education and awareness activities on olive oil and sustainable production.
Goal 17 is instead linked to Nata Terra’s awareness of the importance of collaboration with stakeholders. Nata Terra is a social agriculture project of the social cooperative Osiride is part of a wide network of third sector companies and companies of various kinds in the area with which it shares objectives and missions, from sustainable agricultural practices to social initiatives.

The sustainability of Nata Terra

Environmental impact


  • Produce energy with company photovoltaic systems
  • Packaging that is recyclable, retains the organoleptic properties longer of oil and that it takes up less space than glass bottles, reducing, for the same quantity of product, CO2 emissions related to transport.
  • Qrcode to access the site where the consumer can access the analysis values
    regarding water, carbon footprint, origin, cultivar and more.
  • Obtain certifications for climate protection projects (eg Gold Standard)

Olive growing is able to generate positive impacts on the natural environment and on the territory in which it is located.

In fact, the olive tree has a reduced water requirement and an incredible ability to absorb and store CO2. If producing a liter of olive oil involves the emission in
atmosphere of 1.5kg CO2, the adoption of important agronomic practices allows the olive grove to sequester about 11.5kg of CO2 in the soil. In addition, it is a crop capable of adapting within very different ecosystems, such as those of the various Italian
geographical areas in which 538 different crops are grown which
they represent 40% of all those known globally, and constitute an environmental, social, cultural and tourist heritage of great value.

Nata Terra follows agricultural cultivation methods that prohibit the use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers with a strong environmental impact, thus allowing to preserve
the quality of the soil and water and low CO2 emissions for production. The olive groves
are not plowed and therefore mechanical means are used only for shredding the grass.
We do not irrigate land and therefore we do not affect the water reserves of our territory.
Protecting the soil means protecting the biodiversity it contains and biodiversity it is also
when we talk about native cultivars, our olive groves, especially the centenarians, have
been recovered from abandonment, restoring the land that occupy them and actually
protecting the landscape that hosts them .

A practice adopted by Nata Terra is the implementation of circular economy projects in production processes such as the sustainable management of waste related to production waste products, in fact Nata Terra reintroduces wastewater from vegetation and pomace, the result of separation of the liquid and solid part in the “decanter” oil production phase, in the production cycle in the form of natural fertilizers in agricultural
soil. Our packaging uses only papers from sustainably managed sources and vegetable inks
have been used for printing.
The energy used in the company is purchased from a supplier who produces it exclusively from 100% renewable sources. The latest generation oil mill not only allows us to produce high quality extra virgin olive oil but is optimized for low consumption. The processing of extra virgin olive oil takes
place with compostable filters.

Producers and Consumers

This macro-area refers to the interventions and initiatives directly associated with the
product offered and therefore with the consumer who buys it. Social and environmental sustainability are elements that in recent years, especially after the Covid 19 pandemic, are guiding consumer purchases. In fact, during the lockdown 30% of people bought organic products more frequently, 20% preferred foods produced with low
environmental impact methods (Repost Coop 2020), not only that, the consumer asks for guarantees about the safety of the quality and origin of the products through clear information on the label, analyzes, certifications or even tools for traceability of the
supply chain ( for example, the use of blockchain technology).
Nata Terra puts in place significant intervention actions that can be classified in this area regarding consumer education initiatives on the issues of healthy nutrition and the nutritional properties of oil. Meeting days are often organized with the families and children of the kindergartens of the Osiride Social Cooperative, the parent company of the Nata Terra project. (To recount the initiatives of Osiris with kindergartens and in other circumstances). Through collaborations generated by the social network (Don Diana Committee, Libera against the mafias, Slow Food) that we have built over time, we are often involved or promoters of initiatives aimed at raising awareness among children or adults on sustainable production, social agriculture and the culture of ‘extra virgin olive oil.



  • Educational path inside the company oil mill and at some of the olive groves to
    host schools, families and anyone who wants to learn more about the world of
    extra virgin olive oil.
  • The same educative path can have activities that can be carried out on the move, allowing operators to operate in schools, kindergartens and on anyoccasion that may arise far from the Nata Terra offices.
  • Host visitors for a tourism project


The concept of corporate sustainability involves three areas in an interconnected way:
environmental, economic and social.
Although this vision is more than consolidated at a
theoretical level and always present in the most important documents drawn up at aninternational level, the issue of social impact has remained for a long time on the
margins of debate and public attention regarding environmental and the overlapbetween the general concept of sustainability and that of environmental sustainability isstill frequent. However, the health emergency caused by the spread of Covid-19 is
rapidly changing the situation, accelerating awareness of the importance of social sustainability even within the business world.

 Nata Terra as a reality of social agriculture adheres to development training projects
aimed at fragile people to be temporarily or more prolonged in the company. Often our
projects for the promotion of diversity and inclusion are supported by major European foundations or funds.
(Tell the projects presented for the calls)



  • Training in schools for the correct recovery of used oil (example)
  • Educational path inside the company oil mill and at some of the olive groves to host
    schools, families and anyone who wants to learn more about the world of extra virgin
    olive oil.
  • Partnerships with  no profit associations to make our olive groves available for open-air training on pruning and sustainable agricultural practices.

This area includes all those initiatives related to the support and protection of the
community and the territory
in which the companies operate, including: cultural and sports sponsorships, contributions to local associations, development of socialpartnerships, promotion of projects for schools, donation of research funds.

Nata Terra was born in a territory tormented by criminal economies and intensive exploitation of land, recovering thousands of plants that we cultivate using organic
farming methods. Part of these were abandoned secular olive groves with native cultivars; therefore, we have studied together with our agronomist some protection actions that go alongside the normal cultivation practices. In our third year of life, we became part of the Slow Food extra virgin olive oil presidium project with our monovarietal
Sessana Intense Fruity Nata Terra. Slow Food is an international association, founded in Italy more than thirty years ago that promotes good, healthy and sustainable food for all.

Nata Terra often weaves projects in networks with other associations in support of smaller associations, for example for Easter we developed a package that combined
our extra virgin olive oil with olive oil chocolates made by the guys from the Dulcis in
chocolate shop. Davar social cooperative and part of the proceeds were donated
to the Association. Un Mondo Blu Onlus made up of parents of adults with autism.