Extra Virgin Alliance - The Olive Oils
Olivari Lagar do Marmelo State
Our path started 150 years ago in Portugal, with a seed: the dream of Alfredo da Silva, who started what would become our country’s greatest industrial group.
A seed that grew strong within our family and inspired us to reach new frontiers.
Today, we are a family of thousands, from seasoned farmers who know their stuff to responsible managers pushing for conscious reinvention.
We planted the largest olive grove in Portugal and remain at the forefront of the cooking oils industry, with direct operations in 10 countries, selling our leading brands or exporting private label products for clients and partners all across the globe.
Our purpose: Working to accelerate the evolution of food globally.
The Marmelo Mill, located in Ferreira do Alentejo next to the Herdade do Marmelo, is a symbol of modernity which is perfectly integrated in the landscape. A reference architectural work where high technology is put to the service of olive oil quality and environmental sustainability. It represents one of the greatest investments of the last 20 years in Portuguese agriculture. Nearly 96% of our team lives near the farm where they work. Seasonally, there are some peaks of activity, during the pruning (February-March) and harvesting season (October-December). In the 2020-2021 campaign, which took place during the pandemic, a closer follow-up of all the employees was part of the contingency plan, including nearly 110 employees working by way of service provision. We focused particularly on coordinating and sharing information with local authorities, to enable better monitoring and assistance to all, especially to foreign workers.
Our main goal is to produce high quality olives and olive oil, resorting to the development of the most advanced practices and establishing sustainable production commitments in the places where we operate. We work day after day in order to achieve a good agriculture production, using constant knowledge, technology and innovation to efficiently manage all the resources, with special focus on water, soils and biodiversity. All the olive groves managed by Sovena are cultivated under the Integrated Production method, a sustainable production method certified by external bodies, which takes into consideration the nutrient cycles and the increase of plant resilience. This production method is transversal to the entire production cycle, from the installation of the olive grove, pruning, irrigation, fertilization and plant protection to the harvesting of the olives. This precision crop management of Sovena’s olive groves - the result of much learning and evolution - implies the resort to technology which we apply to their installation, design, and management. We monitor the crops, climate, soil conditions and, according to their evolution, we adjust the resources in order to apply only what is missing. No more, no less. The use of predictive models, based on the extensive information collected, enables Sovena to assess the annual production, predict plagues and diseases. In all the farms, the areas dedicated to production are integrated with the conservation areas. This way, the crops are supported by natural areas with ecosystem services which regulate nutrient and water cycles and promote biodiversity - essential to the greater resilience of our crops.
Olivari Marmelo Estate
Olivari Marmelo Estate
Proper StorageUse of inert gas blankets storage tanks / bottles and other methods for protecting quality (e.g. temperature controls in production, storage and/or shipping)
Tasting NotesLabel and/or website descriptions of the positive attributes—bitterness, pungency and the range of fruity flavors—and serving suggestions
TraceabilityOffering consumers access to traceability information (e.g., QR Codes, blockchain, etc.) Special recognition given to third-party verification
Biodiverse GrovesHedgerows, insectary planting, owl boxes, cover cropping, interplanting and other practices to bring more diversity to the plant, animal and microbial communities in the grove; recognition for certification programs
Sustainable productionSustainable and regenerative agricultural practices, including water conservation, organic material and mill by-product recycling/composting, cover cropping, soil building, renewable energy, etc