The olive oil revolution born in Italy

Think about certifying and tracing the supply chain.

It’s a philosophy that only suits a modern consumer market that wants to know as much as possible about the food product.

It took many decades and many dramatic food catastrophes that upset the world.

There is still a lot to do, but today this philosophy of transparency is beginning to be implemented in the food supply chains of half the world.

A cultural revolution that has had a devastating impact in breaking down old concepts of mass production present in the industrial organization. Long processes and in many cases still unfinished.

Among the Italian companies that are the standard-bearers of this incredible revolution is Coppini Arte Olearia.

Everything started back in 1985, an ice age ago for food.

It is said that from a simple provocation of a buyer to Mr. Coppini, then a small oil entrepreneur, that is: “Parma is not a city of oil to be mentioned with pride on the label” brought even more the desire to emphasize the origin. The desire to certify and trace the production chain was born and a few years later, on every bottle of extra virgin olive oil, a real identity card was placed, a certification of the excellence of the product, a hymn to transparency.

 This was a historic step for the company, a precursor of an initially anti-economic need which would become a significant moment for the entire Italian market.

 The DNA of the company is made up of simple and rustic stories, which can be strongly perceived from the very beginning of its foundation.

 We are in the early forties. The Second World War was about to begin. It was difficult to bring home the bacon in that period of terror.

Amèrico Coppini was a master cheesemaker, but he was destined for greater things. His grandfather in Pistoia produced extra-virgin olive oil and Amèrico felt the need to get back to his roots. He wanted to revive an activity so rich in deep ties and dense with passion.

On his bicycle he fixed two wooden boxes, inside the samples of his precious oil. In this way Amèrico, in the saddle of his two wheels “with muscular propulsion”, brought the fragrance and richness of extra virgin olive oil to places where it was not even used. For Amèrico, the Oliandolo was a vocation. They called him “the missionary of the oil” when he traveled with his bicycle to make known the real extra virgin olive oil, teaching tasting. Amèrico and Anita had already understood, well ahead of their time, the importance of culture in wine and food; “knowledge first” in order to appreciate the characteristics of a product.

In 1946 the first stone was laid: Anita, his wife, founded Coppini Arte Olearia.

The company evolves at an intense pace with a focus on marketing communication thanks to the entry at only eighteen years of his son Ernesto who will launch the company brand Olio Perla.

The seasons chase each other. In the seventies the company experienced a new expansion. And with it the Coppini family. The birth of Paolo, Matteo, Francesco and Pier Luigi brings a soft breath of joy and in the air there is already the scent of a future made of continuity and fidelity to the vocation of oil.

But the philosophy will remain strongly the same.

Americo’s spirit of getting on the bicycle and being a missionary of the oil has remained strongly intact to this day. The “door to door” culture of extra virgin olive oil in the full respect of enogastronomy. And Coppini has never stopped pedaling, as it did on the first day over seventy years ago. A strong internationalization in the last 10 years thanks to the Coppini family, now in its fourth generation with Francesco’s sons Matteo, Pier Luigi, Francesco and Paolo.

The enthusiasm to scale new markets even when many peaks of success have been reached.

New challenges for the Coppini’s bicycles. Two wheels, capable of reaching even the Everest base at 5050 meters of the CNR pyramid carrying a small olive tree as a tribute to those who make research, passion and innovation the DNA of their lives. 

Matteo Donelli

International manager and journalist, he has held the role of president and vice-president of companies in the USA, China and Brazil on behalf of an Italian company. Journalist for Emilian and national newspapers, he is author of the books “Orientarsi in Cina” and “Brazil, storie dell’altro mondo”.