The world olive oil market is characterized by a growing price competition on the supply side. Economy of scales and low production costs from both traditional and more recent producing Countries determine an increasing pressure on European Union (EU) olive farmers that suffer lower revenues. Product differentiation, driven by higher quality and consumer expectations, is one of the most powerful competitive strategies that EU farmers may adopt to face this challenge. Geographical indications established by the EU (PDO and PGI) can be successful marketing levers to ensure olive oil differentiation based on high quality standards and geographical origin of production. These EU quality certification schemes were designed to respond to consumer demand, to ensure intellectual property protection for the most qualifying products, and to provide farmers with a fair share of the added value. There is a wide literature about the PDOs’ economic and social impacts, but only few studies analyze their benefits and costs along the supply chain. By investigating the added value generation process within an Italian PDO olive-oil supply chain (“Terra di Bari” PDO), this work aims to evaluate the effectiveness of PDO certification schemes in improving farm’s profitability. The study was performed directly interviewing a sample of the most representative farmers, manufacturers and stakeholders of the PDO olive oil supply chain localized in the Province of Bari (Puglia, Italy).


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