The olive sector is an important part of agriculture in the European Union, particularly in southern countries, where it represents a significant share of the agricultural economy. Taking into account the international and national characteristics and trends of the sector, the aim of this study is to analyse the competitiveness and the environmental sostenibility of olive oil sector in Italy in order to understand the critical factors and possible competitive advantages. The environmental performance in the olive oil sector assumes a strategic importance, not only for environmental sustainability, but also as a distinctive element for the future competitiveness of Italian olive sector. This study focuses on the Campania region, chosen as an example in which this sector represents an important source of income for the local community. Even if this production has decreased considerably in recent years, it presents remarkable production excellence and this typology of cultivation, besides dominating the landscape of internal areas, offers an important contribution to soil conservation and the environmental preservation. The principal result from the analysis of this region is the presence of high professional specialization in the farmers that favours the extreme attention of firms towards environmental performance. In addition, more than half of the people interviewed said that they reached high level of innovation, even if could be increased allowing a better focus on quality. Lastly, is possible to observe a modest and often ineffective use of public support for environmental actions.
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