When I was working in IT I was always in front of my computer screen or on the phone with clients. Today is very different and much more interesting. Every day is always different and scheduling work is essential when creating a new project from scratch. My goal is to produce extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality with an innovative production process designed ad-hoc for small farms.
In the morning, I check my email box and I plan the rest of the day in my home/office near Milan. My roots are in Southern Italy where the tradition of oil has ancient origins. I search for customers and distributors and work on improving the production process early in the morning. I find that creating a new brand and new products is an exciting challenge. The mind continues to work hard 24 hours a day, thinking about quality improvement, marketing, research of new techniques.
Now I am preparing an order of new labels and bottles. In a week I’ll have to visit my friends/producers in their farms to oversee the production and bottling. I am now living the life of an entrepreneur and they are always happy to offer practical help. Olive harvest and oil production are very tiring but rewarding activities. They also allow me to keep in shape, staying in close contact with nature, and it’s a healthy way to avoid using the limited time available for gruelling sessions at the gym. In farms, morning time is highly stressful. We get up very early to start organising the olive harvest and everything must be done in the afternoon to immediately bring the olives to milling.
During the afternoon, when I am in Milan, I usually work at the computer looking for new customers, working on computer graphics systems and organising the material for accounting. I’m also beginning to explore the world of social networks, although my available time does not seem to be sufficient to effectively follow these trends. In the afternoon, when I am at the producers’ farms, time is spent to verify that manufacturers follow the production process. For quality purposes the olives must be carefully collected and preserved before milling for a maximum of eight hours. In fact, the process which I have called “Aurum Verus” (Latin for “True Gold”) has a very precise and rigid protocol. Harvesting takes place from morning until mid-afternoon followed by immediate transport to the mill for milling that same evening. The oil coming out of the separator has a warm yellow colour with light shades of green and the smell and taste of this fresh product is very fruity. I verify that the storage steel containers are hermetically closed to avoid contact with oxygen and exposure to light. After a week, the oil is finally bottled, discarding the residue left on the bottom of the container. The chemical analysis of the oil is carried out by laboratories in Milan and it’s always very exciting to wait for the results to find out if we were able to produce oil even higher in quality than the previous year.
In the evening, before going to dinner, I check the weather forecast, hoping for a new day in the sun – the rain delays the collection significantly. It’s nice to spend the evenings with my friends and relax with the producers in the Italian countryside among the olive trees and the good food. But soon fatigue takes over and you go to sleep before starting a new busy and rewarding day among the olive trees.