Ficacci’s Olives: 60 Years of History, Challenges, and Growth

Castel Madama (Rome, Italy) – The success of table olives as a global culinary phenomenon – production has steadily tripled in the last thirty years, according to Unifol (Unione Italiana Famiglie Olearie*) – places Italy among the top seven countries in the sector. Among the industry’s leading companies is Ficacci, an Italian leading company based in Castel Madama on the outskirts of Rome. Renowned for its expertise in the production of table olives, Ficacci celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with steady growth: its turnover hit 34 million euros in 2023, marking 15% over 2022.

Exports continue to increase, reaching 20% of sales across more than 30 countries. The U.S. is the primary market outside the national borders, worth 45% of the total exports. On the other hand, Japan, China, and the Middle East are increasingly looking for the quality and innovation of Ficacci’s olives, which are perceived as the perfect appetizers for aperitivo time.

“Through innovation, quality, and sustainability, we’ve redefined consumption norms within our market,” said CEO and President Romeo Ficacci. “Our commitment to premium, additive-free products presented in FSC-certified paper trays that reduce plastic use by 85% resonates with markets focused on quality, sourcing integrity, and environmental responsibility.”

The company has a strong presence in markets where olives are a top-level product, including Spain, Greece, Portugal, Northern Europe, South Africa, and South America. In early 2024, Colombia emerged as the newest market.

The positive trend in 2023 (+15% in value) results from the excellent performance achieved through the best retailers, reaching 52% of business volume thanks to acquiring new market shares. The Rome-based company also performed well in the Ho.Re.Ca segment, scoring a 20% increase in total revenue.  Lastly, the food industry experienced a remarkable growth of +43% in 2022.

Data demonstrate a company’s productive power that processes 20 to 25 tons of olives daily, seasoning, processing, and packaging the most valuable cultivars. This is thanks to a production plant with 12 semi-automatic lines that meet the highest technological and food safety standards.


It is quite an achievement when considering the company’s humble beginnings 60 years ago. It was in 1964 that Romeo Ficacci decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, Umberto, and developed the olive trade in the Roman markets, starting a long success story that lasted for three generations and is continuing to this day. Thanks to the entrepreneurial skills of Romeo and his wife Rita, the company began industrial production in the 1970s to conquer the Italian and international markets. The third generation of the family, consisting of the siblings Umberto, Giuseppe, and Lucia, fully succeeded in expanding the worldwide markets.


Today, Ficacci, one of the world’s leading companies in the food industry, offers a wide range of high-quality fresh Italian, Greek, and Spanish table olives and is a benchmark for all placements: retailers, food service, and independents. The olives range from Italian varieties such as Castelvetrano, Nocellara Etnea, Leccino, Cerignola, Taggiasca, and Gaeta PDO to fine Greek varieties such as Halkidiki and Kalamata. Ficacci is known for its exceptional ability to process and transform raw materials, which has enabled it to offer an extensive catalog of over 400 products. Their catalog is full of a wide range of recipes and options, designed specifically to cater to the changing tastes and consumption habits of people from every corner of the world.

One of the most sought-after products overseas is Ficacci’s Deli Packs, which offer a variety of 26 items, including nine antipasti and three bruschetta preparations. These packs have the finest selection of olives and antipasti in convenient 5-7 oz, easy-to-open, and resealable packs. The products are produced safely and are free from GMOs, preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors.


The “Paper Tray” is the line innovation driving the growth. It is a range of 8 fresh premium proposals with vital, innovative, and natural components, without oil or liquid and additives and preservatives. Only two ingredients are listed on the label: olives and salt. The green packaging, the first-ever 100% recyclable in paper, reduces plastic consumption by 85%.

The latest addition to the product line is the Mediterranean Olive Platter. It weighs 1.65 pounds and is ideal for gatherings or an Italian-style aperitivo. The platter comprises a tray with three separate rooms, each containing a different type of pitted olives: Castelvetrano, Kalamata, and an Italian Olive Mix with Peppers. The olives are free from preservatives and liquids. The paperboard used for the packaging is made from 89% paper, which showcases its eco-friendly characteristics.         


Established in 1964 by Romeo Ficacci, who followed in his father’s footsteps by developing the table olive trade in Rome’s local markets, the Ficacci company has a long and successful history that spans over three generations. Romeo and his wife Rita’s entrepreneurial skills allowed the company to start industrial-scale production in the 1970s to conquer the Italian and international market shares. The Ficacci company is located in Castel Madama, 25 miles east of Rome, and produces olive-based products using olives from Italy, Spain, and Greece. Ficacci is a reference point for large-scale retail trade, retail, food service, and industry, and it is present in more than 30 countries worldwide. With 12 semi-automatic packaging lines, the company produces approximately 20/25 tons of olives per day at a production plant that complies with the highest quality and food safety standards.


Sign up to get the latest news in retail deli, including prepared foods, foodservice and specialty cheese markets from Deli Business Magazine...

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.