The Association of Olive Growers of Slovenian Istra is a civil society organization that was founded in the Mediterranean part of Slovenia, where the olive tree thrives. The association unites growers and lovers of olives.
Olive growing in Istria has a historical tradition. Istria is divided into three countries, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. The market and cyclical frosts had a strong influence on the development of olive growing. The revival of olive growing in our area is recorded after 1985, i.e. after a slightly larger winter. There was a need for knowledge of olive growing skills, determination of the direction of development of olive growing, choice of ways of checking the quality of olive oil and especially for the exchange of experience. Since the industry was almost extinct, there was a great lack of knowledge, both in the cultivation of olives and in the processing of olives into olive oil. It was necessary to start practically from scratch. Various ways were sought to bridge the lack of knowledge and one of these ways was the beginning of association of olive growers.
In 1992, Istrian olive growers therefore founded the Association of Olive Growers of Slovenian Istra (DOSI) and through it began directing the policy of plantation development and spreading knowledge in all areas of olive growing, education, directing olive growers to the production of high-quality olive oil, promoting the consumption of olive oil, raising awareness of the method of assessing quality of olive oil and influencing the creation of suitable conditions for the further development of the industry.
One of the great achievements of the association was the acquisition of the protected designation of origin (PDO) for Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Slovenian Istria, which was the first food in the Republic of Slovenia to obtain European protection of the designation of origin.
Today, the association has around 350 members. Among these are those who are engaged in olive growing purely as an amateur, and those for whom olive growing is becoming an increasingly important source of income. The association’s long-term efforts to improve the quality of olive oil have led to the fact that among our members there are also those who regularly rank very high in international competitions. The Association of Olive Growers of Slovenian Istra is, together with three other Slovenian associations of olive growers, a co-founder of the Association of Olive Growers of Slovenia and a member of the Consortium of European Protected Slovenian Food Crops and Products.
The association also cooperates very well with other professional institutions, namely the Nova Gorica Agricultural Forestry Institute, the Scientific Research Center, the University of Primorska and LABS.