Case Study

Frantoio Ronci


Frantoio Ronci

1. Introduction

b. What/ How/ Who/ Where

The Ronci oil farm is an ancient family of farmers who have lived in this land and worked for generations among the olive trees that are an integral part of this extraordinary territory.

In the 1950s Nello Ronci bought a small property on the hills of Bevagna in Umbria where he established his family and where he started a small production of extra virgin olive oil.

An important role on the farm development was due to the will and tenacity of Nello’s son Marcello, who having a passion for the extra virgin olive oil and for his land, bought new properties, planted, over the years, new olive groves, today 23 ha out of 26 ha land, and built in 1981 a new modern last generation oil mill.

All the family was involved and together with Marcello and his wife Annarita, also their daughters Simona, with a degree in Agriculture, and Roberta, who had decided to follow the family passion, started to work in the oil mill.

Ronci Organic EVO Oil is “Passion”, the result of a deep knowledge of the territory, of the wise and precious tradition combined with modern cultivation and processing techniques, based on the principles of organic agriculture.

Today their daughters Simona, with an agricultural degree, and Roberta, who have decided to follow the family passion, work together with Marcello and his wife Annarita.

Ronci Oil is “Passion”, fruit of a profound knowledge of the territory, of wise and valuable tradition united with modern techniques of cultivation and processing, based on the precepts of organic agriculture.

The family olive oil mill is situated in the middle of the olive groves in a characteristic old barn recently expanded to create spaces for oil storage.

2. Given Situation before Startup/ Change

a. Existing farm or new/ side entry

The initial land partly planted with olive trees was enlarged buying more properties and planting new olive trees, always continuing with the traditional varieties of the area, “Leccino”, “Frantoio” and mostly “Moraiolo”. 

The new last generation olive mill was the result of the attention to valorize the high quality of the olives strengthening the experience of their predecessors, improving quality from the field to the packaging, always using more advanced techniques to make the Umbrian a symbol itself of the territory.

All operations from the field to the mill are personally managed by the family members: i) rigorously organic fertilization, to protect the health of plants, the environment and humans; ii) pruning and maintenance of plant health according to the best practices from the most recent agronomic studies and technological innovations aimed at obtaining always healthy fruits that will give better quality olives and therefore a better extra virgin olive oil.

A special attention is paid to the protection of the landscape, through the care of olive groves, at risk of abandonment all around, fully involved in the living ecosystem.

Harvesting: takes place in a very limited period between the end of October and the beginning of November in order to collect all the production at the right degree of ripeness also according to the characteristics of the individual olive varieties. The technique used to harvest the olives for oil is called “brucatura”, i.e. it is done entirely by hand in order to preserve the integrity of the drupes.

In manual harvesting, the workers climb the tree with ladders and using their fingers or special combs, detach the olives from the fruit-bearing branches which fall to the ground on a net placed under the tree. Once the olives for oil have been detached from the tree they are collected and placed in crates after which they reach the oil mill where the processing begins to obtain cold-pressed organic extra virgin olive oil.

A special care is paid by Simona Ronci, who is agronomist, to the plant health by monitoring and prevention of plant diseases, also in collaboration with the University of Perugia.

Manual harvesting is the system that guarantees the best quality of the olives because it does not damage the drupes and the plants and therefore the quality of the extra virgin olive oil.

3. Decisions made at the beginning (AIMS/ GOALS)

d. Decision for the Market to be delivered: B2B and/or B2C

Since the very beginning, more than 20 years ago, the decision was taken to produce according to the rules of the organic farming as a natural way to take care of the land, of the plants and of the final product.

The image of the Ronci family firm is therefore strictly linked to a unique ecosystem, natural soil maintenance and best practices of olive and extra virgin olive oil production.

The olive mill has been updated and improved with a new decanter and centrifuge separator working 1200 kilos olives per hour.

The extra virgin olive oil is available at the farm as well as to the dealers and consumers through careful and dedicated relationships with the consumers.

4. Gallery

5. Measures taken to establish the business (PLANNING/SETTING)

b. Single Farm/ Cooperation/ Cooperative

The Ronci family olive mill is very famous in the area for the quality of its extra virgin olive oil and well known also at national and international level, with 30% exported abroad (Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and USA), for its respect of all traditional best practices of production and organic farming and food EVOO supply chain.

An additional value is also given by the popular tasting sessions organized at farm for the visitors, customers, and dealers.

In the same way the olive residues and olive stones are used to produce energy from biomass in a powered wastewater plant just 5 km from the farm, aiming thus at realizing a kind of circular economy with the practical effect of reducing GHG emissions.

6. Next steps to move on (MOVE ON/ ADAPT)

b. Steps ahead in relevant Markets

The next step will be to launch use of byproducts from the olives to produce cosmetics based on the natural co cosmetics already on sale online from compounds of the olive plants to complete the line of products. 

Also artistic ceramic small bottles (cruet) can be bought online.

Millefiori honey from Ronci farm beekeeping harvested on the hills surrounding Bevagna is available. 

Also important is to improve the website for the e-commerce.

7. Quote and Recommendation of the Promoter

c. What you recommend to other farmers?

Start from your passion, then find your own ways and means to implement your business. This is the way to provide your farm with an added value that all people can appreciate, not just the customers but all people visiting the territory or living in there.

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