Bottling companies are commercial enterprises whose output is the bottling of beverages for distribution, in our case Olive Oil. There are many around the world, even in the UK. Their business is to buy huge amounts of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin, Virgin or pure Olive Oil), pour into a bottle and then distribute the final product to wholesale sellers e.g. Sainsbury, Tesco, Asda ….
In some cases these Bottling companies don’t have olive groves or mill the olives themselves, they just buy the oil in the market, sometimes from one or different countries and they mix it up or blend together for their own brand or others Napolina, Bertollio, Fillipo Berio…….
I have visited one of this Bottling companies as a part of my training at The University of Jaen. The company, MAEVA, is situated in Granada and bottles for many different companies around the world, you can see some of them on its website. I was really impressed by what I saw; it was very well organized, modern and clean.
We can get some information just reading from the label: the country or area where the oil has been produced or bottled. Sometimes the oil may be produced in Spain, Greece or any other producer country but bottled in a different one Italy or UK. I would recommend oils which are well labelled and also produced and bottled in the same country to avoid potential damage during its transport in big bulks.
As a consumer I think it would be good to know where the product comes from and also if it complies with regulations in order to avoid fraud. I am afraid that so far in the Olive Oil industry fraud has been common although different governments try to control it. In England DEFRA is the governmental organization that regulates the olive oil sector and makes sure all the regulation is applied by doing different inspections every year.
I hope this article helps you to make your choice the next time you buy your bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil!