Good monthly planning keeps her going.
1. What brought you to where you are today – a woman in agriculture?
My family history and my passion for nature led me to be a woman in agriculture. Even though I was not directly involved within the family business for many years, I’ve always followed the development of the farm with great interest, and I used to love spending time in the orchards. I started my journey in agriculture fairly late; instead of retiring, I took over the management of Morgenster Estate when my father passed away.
2. Are there unique challenges as a woman in the olive growing and olive oil making business?
Challenges are part of our everyday life; however, they often prompt reflection that leads us to improvement. It is important to be guided by competent mentors who believe in and support the company’s vision.
3. What are the hard skills you need to make it work?
Good monthly and annual planning is essential, however in agriculture and even more so within the olive industry, I have learned that flexibility and creativity are key, since we cannot predict everything. The olive production cycle is complex and intrinsically linked to weather conditions. Another skill is constantly researching and experimenting with new technologies in order to stay up-to-date, and lastly, I always need to have a good marketing strategy.
4. What are the soft skills you need to make it work?
I believe that great interpersonal skills are key. Working in an environment based on respect, trust, and clear and direct communication can only positively reflect on the quality of work and relationships between colleagues, suppliers and customers.
5. What has been a highlight in your career in the olive industry thus far?
Winning the trust of my team and our customers and continuing to produce high quality products.
6. Why do you love what you do?
I’ve always loved olive oil for as long as I can remember, my Italian origins must have played a role in this. At Morgenster Estate, we are very proud to produce outstanding extra virgin olive oils, thanks to our wonderful nature, climate, and soils combined with modern extraction technology. Today I can definitely say that I have the most beautiful and rewarding job I could have ever wished for.
7. What does the future hold – for you, your business, and the country?
Extra virgin olive oil’s healthy and organoleptic properties are becoming more and more recognised and appreciated. There are no reasons for this exceptional product not to be used and loved in the future. Morgenster Estate will continue producing great quality products and will carry out the ambitious project of having a more sustainable farm.
8. Do you have a funny story about your time in the olive business?
One of the most wonderful moments was spotting a baby chameleon (no longer than a fingernail), desperately hanging onto an olive leaf on a very windy day! I hope to see many more in our olive groves.
9. What does your support structure look like?
My eldest daughter Vittoria has recently joined and I hope to convince her sisters soon too!