Two speakers at the Food Expo workshop on exporting to the USA

At the Food Expo at the Metropolitan Expo Center in Athens last month, one of the workshops focused on Foreign Markets and How to Approach Them: USA. Nickolas Nicolaou of Loumidis Foods in New Jersey and Kostas Mastoras of Optima Foods and Titan Foods in New York discussed some important points for Greeks interested in exporting to the USA to consider.

Speakers at the Gastronomy and Tourism workshop

On April 3 at the Chania Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Crete, a workshop focused on gastronomy, tourism, and branding featured welcoming remarks from the Chamber’s president, Ioannis Margaronis, followed by discussions by food editor Harry Tzanis of FnL-guide.com and brand strategist Dimosthenis Broussalis of Dasc Branding.

Alexandra Devarenne (face only)

American olive oil expert Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne spoke with me on a recent visit to Greece. Suggesting “Greek olive oil hasn’t made the mark it deserves in the US market,” she discussed its status in the USA -- surprisingly “underappreciated” and mostly in an “ethnic niche” – and shared ideas about breaking into the American market.

Alexandra Devarenne holding a blue olive oil tasting glass

On March 23, a free event in Athens organized by the Society of Olive and Olive Oil Products of Certified Quality (EL3P) will focus on "Quality as a Factor in the Economic Value of Olive Products." Alexandra Devarenne, co-founder of the Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA), will be the keynote speaker. She explained the goals of EVA on a recent visit to Greece. 

News and Information for Producers

To Consider

Is your bottled extra virgin olive oil available in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, or other countries where English is (at least sometimes) spoken, either online or in stores? If so, please let me know (by email to info@greekliquidgold.com or via Facebook message) where and how it is available there. I sometimes receive queries about where people can buy Greek EVOO, so I have now published a list, which I can update as needed.

Is your company on Greek Liquid Gold's Olive Oil Companies' Website Links page? If not, you can email info@greekliquidgold.com to request a free listing of your company name with a website link if you produce certified Greek extra virgin olive oil that is bottled and branded in Greece, and you have an English-language website. (Please include a one or two word company name and the link to the English home page with such a request.)

Do you like what you see here, want to gain increased international exposure, help your potential customers learn about your products, and want this website to continue to flourish? Read here about supporting Greek Liquid Gold's efforts to promote the high quality and health benefits of Greek extra virgin olive oil with advertisements on this site starting at just 20 euros + VAT for one month, or by hiring Greek Liquid Gold writer, editor, and creator Dr. Lisa Radinovsky to help with English-language writing and/or editing for your company's website or other promotional materials.

News Articles and Announcements for Greek Producers (mostly articles and events in Greek)

Γεωπονικές συμβουλές για την ελιά

The Regional Center for the Protection of Plant Quality and Phytosanitary Control of Volos has published a bulletin with advice for producers on treating problems with olive tree diseases and insects.

Τι λάδι θέλουν οι Αμερικανοί;

Attention, Greek olive oil producers, bottlers, and exporters: here is a brief overview of a study drafted by the Greek Diplomatic Delegation's Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs which estimates that "the demand for olive oil by Americans will follow an upward course in the coming years, which should not be underestimated by Greek producers, as the future of olive oil exports seems to be in America." The article includes a link to the full 63-page document, which includes an appendix listing many importers, distributors, and stores (starting on page 35). This is all in Greek (aside from American importer/distributor/store names and addresses).

Συμβουλές και προειδοποιήσεις για ελιά

Advice on pruning is available here, in Greek.

Εσπερίδα ΣΕΒΙΤΕΛ στην ΕΞΠΟΤΡΟΦ

This article provides an overview of SEVITEL's goals and actions, including the Kotinos and Olive Challenge competitions, as well as some notes on the worldwide olive oil  market.

1ο Αγροτικό Συνέδριο του ΣΑΣΟΕΕ

The one year old Association of Agricultural Cooperative Organizations and Enterprises of Greece (SAASOE) is organizing the 1st Agricultural Conference of SAASE, focused on "The Agricultural Sector of Greece after 2020 and the New Common Agricultural Policy of the EU," which will take place on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens. See this article for more information about the organization as well as the conference.

4ος Παγκρήτιος Διαγωνισμός Ελαιολάδου

This article provides an overview of the 4th Cretan Olive Oil Competition, which will take place in Rethymno from March 16 to 18, as well as an informative workshop on the olive sector on March 17. For more information, see the competition website.

Olive Oil in US: When Fame Comes at a Price

A short article by "a group of Master’s students studying International Business at Carlos III University – Madrid" in which they "analyze the current situation" of the olive oil industry in the USA.

Κύκλος Σεμιναρίων ΚΑΕΜ

Registration has begun for seminars starting in mid February for those who want to enrich their agri-food knowledge and skills and those who intend to develop sustainable entrepreneurship by exploiting the natural resources of the local rural economy. Sponsored by the Κέντρο Αγροδιατροφικής Επιχειρηματικότητας Μεσσηνίας.

Ενδιαφέρον από καναδική εταιρεία για εισαγωγή τυποποιημένου ελληνικού ελαιολάδου

Cavendish Farms, one of the largest in the North American industry, contacted the Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs in Toronto to express an interest in direct cooperation with Greek olive oil standardization companies in order to buy small quantities of extra virgin olive oil.

Έκθεση των ρεκόρ η 27η Agrotica

An overview of expectations for a "record-breaking exhibition" at this year's Agrotica, February 1-4, "with the entire Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center being used for its needs."

Δωρεάν προσκλήσεις για την 27η AGROTICA 2018

How to get free invitations to Agrotica 2018.

Η 'Εγκυκλοπαίδεια' στην Agrotica 2018

At the 27th International Agricultural Machinery Exhibition Agrotica 2018, a series of information events will take place along with the presentation of the book "Olive Encyclopedia: Olive Oil" in Περίπτερο 2 (Όροφος) | Stand 34-36 (GAIA ΕΠΙΧΕΙΡΕΙΝ).

Πρόγραμμα ενίσχυσης συμμετοχής σε εμπορικές εκθέσεις - Επιλέξιμες επιχειρήσουν που παράγουν ή μεταποιούν Αγροδιατροδικά προιόντα

Information about a program to help very small, small, and medium sized Greek manufacturing companies that are already exporting to participate in trade fairs outside Greece.

8ος Διεθνής Διαγωνισμός Ελαιολάδου στην Beja Πορτογαλίας - Δωρεάν Συμμετοχή - Μέχρι 2-3-18 η αποστολή δειγμάτων

The Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities suggests this is a good competition to enter, since there is no entry fee, and it can bring attention in the Portuguese market.

Επιστημονική Εταιρεία Εγκυκλοπαιδιστών Ελαιοκομίας

The co-writers of the Olive Encyclopedia have established a Scientific Society of the Olive Encyclopedia, starting with 29 distinguished scientists interested in interdisciplinary collaboration focused on olives and olive oil. The society supports cooperation among academics, the olive oil industry, and olive growers to foster innovation. Other scientists who share these goals will be invited to join the society as well.

Στην ΕΞΠΟΤΡΟΦ το Ελληνογερμανικό Επιμελητήριο

This article describes a Hellenic-German Chamber of Greece program that provides significant help to Greek businesses, supporting their presence at major international exhibitions at a reduced cost; it will be discussed at an event on January 29, as part of the EXPOTROF International Exhibition of Food and Drinks at the Fencing Exhibition Center in Elliniko, Athens.

The impact of olive grove irrigation on high-end EVOOs

This is an interesting article about the effects of irrigation and drought, likely inspired by Spanish problems with drought, but including many general observations.

Φυσικοχημικές παράμετροι ελαιολάδου

Another usefully informative article from OliveNews.gr, this time about the most important physico-chemical parameters of olive oil.

Η GAIA ΕΠΙΧΕΙΡΕΙΝ στην AGROTICA 2018

For Greek speakers who will be attending Agrotica 2018 at the beginning of February: information about the program of presentations by Gaia Epicheirein there.

Επαγγελματική κουζίνα και ελαιόλαδο, Εξοικείωση με την οργανοληπτική αξιολόγηση

A seminar on Saturday, February 3 for Greek speakers involved in professional cuisine, restaurants, and hotels.

Proper Application of Fertilizers May Lead to More Consistent Olive Harvests

This is based on research done in Tunisia, so the precise recommendations may not fit Greece, but the findings seem worth considering.

Two Eateries in Italy Extolling the Magic of EVOO

This story about restaurants that use different EVOOs in different dishes is about Italy, but shouldn't the same thing be done in Greece? If it is, I'd like to hear about it and write about it. This seems like the perfect way to highlight the varying qualities of different types of EVOOs.

Σεμινάριο στη Χίο για την οικοτεχνία στον αγροδιατροφικό τομέα

A 6-hour educational program for farmers or members of rural businesses and cooperatives interested in cottage industry in the agro-food sector will take place in Chios on January 19th. This article also mentions other "training programs that enhance business skills and provide updated knowledge, information, guidance and networking to farmers."

Πώς αποθηκεύουμε σωστά το ελαιόλαδο

Useful information on how to store olive oil.

ΗΠΑ, το μακρινό όνειρο του Έλληνα εξαγωγέα

This is Vassilis Zampounis's thought-provoking summary of key points made at, and questions raised by, the recent 2nd ExportUSA Forum 2017, titled Analyzing the American Food Reality, organized by the TradeUSA Department of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. It is useful for anyone interested in exporting olive oil to the USA.

Απλοποιείται η υδρολίπανση των ελαιώνων

An overview of the new regulations governing the fertilization of olive groves and use of olive oil waste as a fertilizer.

Συνάντηση Εστιατόρων στο Ρεθυμνο για ελαιολαδο στην εστίαση

This article provides one example of how people in one part of Greece (Rethymno, Crete) are making plans to put single serving bottles of olive oil on restaurant tables starting in January.

Τέλος το χύμα ελαιόλαδο στην εστίαση απο 1ης Γενάρη

A consideration of the new law about single serving olive oil in restaurants, from the perspective of some Cretans.

Χάσαµε σταφίδα - καπνό, μην χάσουµε και ελαιόλαδο

In this interview with Fani Giannakopoulou of ypaithros.gr, Vassilis Zampounis discusses expanding olive cultivation in Greece, single serving bottles of olive oil in restaurants, the problem of bulk trading of olive oil and a lack of  Greek competitiveness, and the new olive oil encyclopedia.

Σε σφραγισμένη συσκευασία το ελαιόλαδο σε χώρους μαζικής εστίασης

This article provides an overview of the law going into effect January 1, 2018 that requires the use of sealed single-use bottles of olive oil on restaurant tables in Greece.

Wall Street Journal: Η Ελλάδα παράγει λάδι για άλλους

This is not new news to many in the Greek olive oil world, but it is a report on a recent Wall Street Journal article about how much Greece is losing by exporting so much of its olive oil in bulk, rather than bottled and branded. See below on one of the efforts to change this.

Πρωτοβουλία ΣΕΒ και φορέων για λάδι, μέλι και κρασί

Greek interprofessional organizations for olives, olive oil, honey, and wine are joining ΣΕΒ to "launch an initiative to cooperate and promote common positions to support the agri-food chain, produced from Greek soil, such as oil, honey and wine."

Ποια εργαστήρια ανάλυσης ελαιολάδου πιστοποιήθηκαν για το 2018 από το IOC

This is a list of the Greek olive oil analysis laboratories certified by the International Olive Council (IOC) from December 2017 to the end of November 2018.

Ο omnibus πέρασε από το ευρωκοινοβούλιο

This article provides an overview of a new regulation passed by the European Parliament that will become effective on January 1, 2018. Rapporteur Albert Dess says it will be simpler, fairer, and better suited to the needs of farmers.

Το κρύο κάνει καλό. Ο πάγος όχι.

This explains the beneficial effect of lower temperatures on olive oil's flavor and aroma and the problematic influence of frost on olives before the harvest.

Τα πάντα για τον νέο κανονισμό βιολογικών

This Greek article answers some common questions about new European rules on organic production, which are expected to come into force on January 1, 2021.

Το ελαιόλαδο στη Μαζική Εστίαση / Διοργάνωση εσπερίδας από τον ΣΕΒΙΤΕΛ και την ΠΟΕΣΕ

SEDIK's publication of SEVITEL's press release provides the most detailed discussion I've seen of the law about single-use containers of olive oil for Greek restaurant tables starting in January.

Ευκαιρίες για λάδι και ελιά στη Σουηδία

Information about the olive and olive oil market in Sweden, with a link to additional details.

Τι φέρνει το μέλλον για την ΚΑΠ;

This is for anyone interested in learning more about the future of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy.

Στήλη ανοιχτού διαλόγου olivenews.gr

Following the publication of the book "Olive Encyclopedia: Olive Oil," olivenews.gr has launched an open dialogue column, inviting questions and comments for the book's authors via email or public comment on the website.

Παράθυρο στον κόσμο για τα ελληνικά προϊόντα (Δελτίο Τύπου)

This is about agrogate.gr, which looks like an important new service to connect Greek exporters with foreign importers.

Πλήθος κόσμου για την Εγκυκλοπαίδεια Ελαιοκομίας (Βίντεο)

More details about the story behind the new Olive Oil Encyclopedia and a recent event in Athens to introduce it.

Η χρηματοδοτική εργαλειοθήκη του ελαιοκομικού τομέα

This article contains a number of useful points about olive oil promotion, investments, exports, exhibitions, and competitions that were raised at a recent Filaios event in Athens.

Λειτουργία Οργανοληπτικού Εργαστηρίου (Δελτίο Τύπου ΣΕΒΙΤΕΛ)

SEVITEL's organoleptic laboratory is now open, after the merger of ESVITE with SEVITEL. See the article for more information.

Η ΑΙΓΛΗ αποδείχθηκε μικρή

This is a press release (in Greek) about a book launching event in Athens for the new “Olive Encyclopedia: The olive oil." It includes information about how to purchase the book.

Is California ripe for expansion of olive oil production?

This article (in English) seems to have nothing to do with Greece, but its points about the state of the US olive oil market might be worth considering. Clearly, Americans need to be convinced both that olive oil is worth buying, and that Greek extra virgin olive oil is authentic and high quality.

Νέα αγορά 10 χιλιάδων τόνων ανοίγει η τυποποίηση ελαιολάδου στην εστίαση

Here is some important information about the new law about single-use bottled and branded olive oil that will be required on Greek restaurant tables starting in January. It is hoped that this change will bring more worldwide attention to Greek olive oil brands, as well as offering more opportunities for branded olive oil sales in Greece

Ένα βιβλίο για το μέλλον της ελαιοκομίας

This is the speech of the Honorary Professor of Arboriculture - Olive Oil of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki at the presentation of the new “Olive Encyclopedia: The olive oil” (a Greek book) in Thessaloniki, which explains why he thinks the book will be useful to anyone interested in olive oil.

Εγκυκλοπαίδεια Ελαιοκομίας: Το ελαιόλαδο - Παρουσίαση βιβλίου

The new “Olive Encyclopedia: The olive oil” (in Greek) was presented to the public in Thessaloniki recently; it will also be presented in Athens on November 20. See the article for more information about this 700 page book that provides a wide range of useful knowledge for everyone involved with olive oi

Olive Challenge Διαγωνισμος Καινοτομιας Και Επιχειρηματικοτητας Δελτιο Τυπου

Filaios, the Association of Friends of Olive Oil, has announced the first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition in the Greek olive oil sector, with the goal of the development and upgrading of the olive sector through the introduction of innovation, sustainable development, and innovative entrepreneurship. More information is available here.

Olive Oil Taster, an emerging career in China

Very interesting perspective of one of China's first olive oil tasters: news from an emerging market.

Σε σφραγισμένη, μη επαναγεμιζόμενη συσκυασία το ελαιόλαδο στην εστίαση

The Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities (SEDIK) approvingly reproduces SEVITEL's press release about the new law requiring the use of bottled and branded olive oil on restaurant tables starting in January. Some details are clarified here.

European shopper trends: health, organic, vegetarian

This is not exactly about olive oil, but Europeans' interest in healthy organic vegetarian foods is relevant to olive oil producers and exporters. A “large proportion” of European shoppers are buying “healthy”, organic, vegetarian and free-from foods, new research from IRI reveals.

Η Specialty Food Association στην Ελλάδα διαμέσου του Τμήματος TradeUSA

The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce and the Specialty Food Association (SFA) will develop a 3-year exclusive partnership for Greece that will include education and a commercial interconnection.

Too much procrastination

Urging Greeks to work together to stop bulk olive oil sales to Italy (for example), Alexis Papachelas argues, "Our objective, at the end of the day, should not be to get a slice of an already small cake, but to make that cake bigger." [He does not say to help Greek Liquid Gold help you make the cake bigger, but I do.]

Απειλή για καλλιέργειες από το βακτήριο “Ξυλέλλα”

Following an educational day in Crete about Xylella fastidiosa, which has not been found in Greece but has destroyed olive trees in other European countries, SEDIK reprints an article from Chaniotika Nea with links to information about the bacterium.

Food Leaders Take Notice: How Millennials Are Changing The Way We Eat

Not specifically about olive oil, but discussing trends it may be useful to keep in mind.

Διακίνηση και διάθεση ελαιολάδου και σπορέλαιων

This article describes the rules for the trading, marketing, distribution, and sale of olive oils and seed oils.

Aυξάνεται συνεχώς η καλλιέργεια της Ελιάς Καλαμών σε ΗΠΑ, Αυστραλία, Πακιστάν και Κίνα

This article about the growing of Kalamata olive trees in other countries, and various popular activities, classes, and stores organized around olive estates, seems meant to inspire Greek olive growers to more creatively use their land and products as well.

UK Food Safety Concerns Remain Despite New Inspections Framework

Businesses exporting to the United Kingdom may want to consider changes likely to be made due to Brexit.

Sustainable Management of Olive Groves Can Tackle Effects of Climate Change

Advice for olive farmers from a Greek professor working in Italy, plus a discussion of experiments underway and climate change's possible effect on olive growing.

‘Oleum’ Project Seeks Better Solutions to Protect Olive Oil Authenticity

As Ylenia Granitto explains in Olive Oil Times, "Part of Europe's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program is an ambitious plan to find common approaches and analytical tools to check the quality and authenticity of olive oil."

Taiwan Study Adds Little to Differentiation Measures, IOC Says

"As Taiwan's FDA targets esters in their efforts to aid in differentiation, the International Olive Council said a recent study contributes little to the cause." Note: I wonder if the IOC's conclusion is debatable. The ability to determine whether olive oils have been refined should be advantageous to Greek producers of EVOO.

Organic food: new rules for EU label agreed

"New rules to increase consumer trust in organic foodstuffs and unleash the sector′s potential for growth were informally agreed with Council′ negotiators on June 29," but not yet approved. If approved, they will apply from July 1, 2020.

Επιχειρηματικός Οδηγός για την Ιαπωνία

The Greek Embassy in Tokyo has set up an e-portal for Greek businesses in Japan, one of the largest olive oil importers. It provides a useful online guide with business and commercial data and information necessary for exporters to Japan. In addition to the portal itself, this article provides a fairly detailed overview of it, in Greek.

Εως 400 ευρώ/χρόνο για το 'ελληνικό σήμα'

The Government Gazette published the Joint Ministerial Decisions setting out the conditions and annual fee for the awarding of the Hellenic Sign to extra virgin and virgin olive oil and table olives.

Άνοιγμα σε νέα μέλη για τη Φίλαιος

For Greeks who use, produce, believe in, and/or care about olive oil (since this is all in Greek): you can become a member of Filaios, the Association of Friends of Olive Oil. More info here.

Ελαιόλαδο από αιωνόβιες Ελιές παράγεται και προωθείται στην Ιταλία!

Very interesting article about extra virgin olive oil in individual dose packages for pregnant women, children, and athletes, now produced from centuries-old organic olive trees in Apulia, Italy; Dr. Nikos Michelakis suggests trying the same thing with some Greek olive trees.

Προδημοσίευση πρόσκλησης για τα "Σχέδια Βελτίωσης"

This is a press release about the preliminary announcement of a call for improvement plans for an investment program from the Rural Development Program.

Tο olivenews.gr στο συμπόσιο "Made in Greece"

This informative article follows up on a May 31 symposium in Athens about the development of a "Made in Greece" brand and how it might work and help producers and exporters.

Olive Oil, a market in the process of consolidation in Russia

Useful notes for those interested in considering the Russian market, where Spain and Italy dominate.

Εξαπάτηση επιχειρήσεων Κρητικού Ελαιολάδου: Συμβουλές από το Επιμελητήριο Ηρακλείου

Greek olive oil producers are warned to beware of fraudulent orders for exports.

Ευκαιρίες επιδότησης έως και 90% στις επενδύσεις μεταποίησης του ελαιοκομικού τομέα

Information (in Greek) about subsidies for investments in olive oil processing.

Price rises and private label drive up sales of olive oil across Europe - IRI data

A discussion of olive oil prices, sales, and trends in several European countries from 2015 to the present.

Η ποιότητα δίνει οικονομική αξία σε ελαιόλαδο και επιτραπέζιες ελιές

This is a press release about an event in Athens that featured American expert Alexandra Devarenne as well as a number of speakers from the Greek olive oil world.

Japanese Consumers seek for the Healthy qualities of Olive Oil

Useful information about what Japanese consumers are looking for in olive oil

New portal helps EU agri-food sector promote products overseas

"The new agri-food promotion portal ... is ... designed to be a one-stop-shop for organisations to find out how to get EU funding for their promotion programmes, search for potential programme partners and find useful information on entering new export markets." This is the European Commission link discussed in the article: http://ec.europa.eu/chafea/agri/.

The price, a decisive factor for the US consumer when it comes to buying olive oil

Useful information for those interested in the American olive oil market.