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Sovena opens second Olive Oil crushing facility in Portugal
ROME, N.Y. - The Sovena Group, an international olive oil company with U.S. offices in Rome, opened the doors to its second crushing facility in Ferreira do Alentejo, Portugal on November 9.
This strategic business maneuver is part of the company's move towards more vertical integration - encompassing the production process from the olive tree to the store shelf.
The new mill has been constructed to help answer industrial production needs and will play a vital role in the olive oil industry as a main extraction center. The building itself cost more than $12.6 million and will crush olives coming from more than 30 million trees spread across 16 farms in Portugal and Spain. This is the second mill that Sovena has constructed as it continues to position itself as an industry leader, while none of its top competitors presently own their own crushing mill.
"The design of the new building is unique and original, while at the same time designed from a technical standpoint to give Sovena the highest quality oils in the most efficient way possible," said Steve Mandia, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Sovena USA. "Having control over every stage of the growing, collection and production of the olive oil will give us benefits in areas of costs, quality and traceability. The new site is very impressive and another important step in the Sovena story."
The trailblazing modern design and up-to-date technology represents a new era in the olive oil industry. Inspired by olive oil's purity and essence, the architect, Ricardo Bak Gordon, designed a simultaneously functional and symbolic building that blends perfectly with the surrounding landscape, a sculpture that honors Portuguese olive groves. Architecturally bold and sculpturally integrated in the midst of an olive oil tree plantation, the new mill is equipped with the most modern olive oil production technology.
Designed also with sustainability in mind, the new facility has several features within the complex that will help to recycle products and decrease levels of waste. For example, the sub-products generated from crushing, like the olive stones, will be used as a source of fuel for heating. Innovative equipment also maintains the olive oil's flavor and aroma helping to preserve the oils' top quality. Finally, the mill will be used as a cultural center to share experiences through tasting and exhibitions and will be open for tourism in the near future.
Production of edible oils in recent years has reached new heights. Like all operations before machines, in order to extract oils from olives and various seeds and vegetables, ardent workers, by hand, crushed each plant's flowers. It was a time consuming, grueling and tedious process. With the technology revolution, intricate automatic machines now have the ability to grab the edible foods in bulk and extract the juices.
The news of Sovena's facility is making a big splash on a global scale among business leaders in the industry since there are so many edible oil companies but so few crushing sites. Sovena also recently purchased a large portion of olive groves from Morocco, Portugal and Spain, becoming the top owner worldwide.