burned olive trees on bare ground, one in the right foreground with a large hole in it

After a megafire burned across the southern part of the regional unit of Evros in northeastern Greece for 17 days, olive farmers and experts are assessing losses and considering steps toward regeneration. Fires around the Dadia national park and the city of Alexandroupoli merged in the largest wildfire ever recorded in Europe, with devastating results. 

two men pouring oranges from a crate into a machine full of olives in an olive oil mill

With its base in the USA and its olive groves in Laconia, Greece, the Laconiko olive oil company has been ranked the most awarded producer of flavored olive oils in the world—not once, but twice—and among the top three another year. Laconiko’s healthy flavored olive oils make a wide range of tastes readily available for convenient use in American kitchens.  

several bottles of olive oil from three different brands on display on a table

With the tourist season underway in Greece, restaurants are welcoming visitors to enjoy the mouth-watering Greek dishes that delight diners from across the globe. Since Greek cuisine and the Mediterranean diet would hardly exist without olive oil, many believe this liquid gold should have a place of honor on restaurant tables, as Greek law now allows.

a banner advertising the conference and its sponsors

Organized by the non-profit Scientific Society of Olive Encyclopaedists, also known as 4E, a two-day international conference titled “Modern Methods of Olive Fruit Fly Control” was held at the Agricultural University of Athens in Greece. The conference was well attended, both in person and via live-streaming. OliveNews.gr shared the following press release.

Two women sitting at a table at the Food Expo with a bag and papers related to the LIVINGAGRO project in front of them

During the Food Expo at the Metropolitan Expo Center in Athens on March 18-20, 2023, Greek stakeholders in the olive, olive oil, dairy, and meat sectors learned about the ENI CBC MED LIVINGAGRO project, Cross-Border Living Laboratories for Agroforestry. Several exhibitors shared their views on the benefits of innovation and agroforestry in the olive sector.

Four hands sorting large green olives

An hour’s drive southeast of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, the regional unit of Halkidiki (Chalkidiki) draws visitors to its beaches, forested mountains, religious and archaeological sites, and olive groves. Those groves produce the area’s famous big green table olives. For a decade they have also yielded high quality extra virgin olive oil.

a many in a jacket and tie displaying a donut-shaped ceramic olive oil bottle in a gift box

From March 18 to 20, more than 31,000 food industry professionals from 83 countries joined 1,300 exhibitors at the Food Expo in the Metropolitan Expo Center near the Athens airport. At several of the many stands featuring Greek olive oil and table olives, company representatives presented their products and innovations and shared their views of the sector.

two men harvesting olives in a grove using hand-held harvesters

Looking to the future, Greek experts anticipate challenges for the Greek olive oil sector, but also see potential for positive developments. Considering the situation of the Greek olive oil industry in and beyond 2022, including ongoing climate change and production and export models and plans, they offer a variety of predictions and recommendations.

a young man drinking fresh olive oil in an olive mill

Looking back at 2022, Greek experts shared their views on the Greek olive oil sector. They mentioned the large quantity of olive oil produced recently in Greece (in contrast to Spain and Italy), as well as its high quality and fairer price for producers. However, they were concerned about a shortage of laborers and the costliness of energy and fertilizer.

The Nutri-Score label for a product graded C

A debate continues in Europe about front-of-pack labeling systems for packaged food, with the European Commission (EC) planning to propose one scheme for mandatory use throughout the European Union. The EC is considering at least four labeling schemes, with the best-known, Nutri-Score, receiving significant criticism from the olive oil sector, among others.

two men in a vineyard in Crete, one holding a grapevine

The Hellenic Center for Excellence in Health & Wellness is being established as a non-profit in the USA to sponsor research and educational programs in Crete, Greece in partnership with the Grecotel hotel chain. The goal is to increase awareness of the health benefits of the traditional Cretan diet and lifestyle, starting with an autumn conference in Crete.

A member of parliament and the secretary general of CIHEAM cutting the ribbon for the garden, with spectators around them

A Garden of Peace with 21 varieties of olive trees was inaugurated on July 19 at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh) in Crete, Greece. The trees come from the 21 olive-growing countries that represent 95% of the world’s olive production. Viewed as a symbol of peace for millennia, olive trees are the sole focus of this new garden.

an olive branch with olives and a partly cloudy, partly blue sky in the background

Five Greek olive oil experts discuss their expectations for the future of Greek olive oil. They express concern about substantial challenges that the sector must confront. Yet they also offer hope that by focusing on producing high quality olive oil, Greek producers will be able to impress more consumers around the world with distinctive Greek flavors.

an olive oil producer drinking fresh olive oil from a glass in the mill

In 2021, the Greek olive oil sector continued to show that its products offer both superb flavor and impressive health benefits. In spite of the challenges of the pandemic, economic struggles, climate change, and more, Greek olive oils won awards for quality and healthy components, and new discoveries and innovations helped offset some of the difficulties.

The Olive Lab & Shop, with shelves full of olive oil bottles on the right, a counter in the center, steps in the back leading up to the lab, and a refrigerator on the left

Near the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece, we find another “first” that builds on a central component of Greek culture and cuisine, olive oil. The Olive Lab & Shop is unique in featuring only olive oils certified with a European health claim, and testing them for healthy polyphenols right in the store.

olive branches with olives in the foreground, olives groves, hills, and sky in the background

In 2019, UNESCO officially declared November 26 World Olive Tree Day and added it to the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The International Olive Council embraced the holiday, which is also known as World Olive Day or World Olive and Olive Oil Day. The olive tree and its products are now celebrated on this day with events in many countries.

The Nutri-Score front-of-pack nutrition label, with the letters A, B, C, D, and E lined up in different colored boxes, with dark green for A, followed by light green for B, yellow for C, orange for D, and red for E. In this image, the yellow spot for C is a larger oval than the other spots, indicating a C grade.

The Exporters’ Association of Crete, the Region of Crete, and eight Cretan groups and chambers of commerce have published a letter objecting to Nutri-Score, the French front-of-pack nutrition rating system that is being considered for use throughout the European Union. The letter contends that the Nutri-Score system is flawed and should not be adopted.

a closeup of Maria Giannakos in the forest

For millennia, olive oil has been associated with a long, healthy life. In the last half century, hundreds of scientific studies have provided evidence for its health benefits. Living over 100 years, Maria Giannakos appreciated the advantages of a traditional Greek Mediterranean lifestyle: an active life with family, kindness, and an olive oil rich diet.

the very wide, bulging, textured trunk of an ancient olive tree, with a small wooden sign that says "Arnold Schwarzenegger" tied around it

Arnold Schwarzenegger, a celebrity chef, and several German actors are sponsoring ancient olive trees on the island of Crete in Greece. Their donations and the resulting publicity help preserve these impressive Greek natural monuments, which are in danger of destruction due to financial pressures and inadequate awareness of their multi-faceted value.

a man reaching up with a long harvester to harvest olives from a tall tree

For much of the Greek olive oil sector in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic provoked the perseverance required to meet challenges and achieve success. With great dedication, many Greek olive oil producers turned a year of illness, lockdowns, and grief into a time for honoring olive oil’s health benefits and flavors and emphasizing its key role in a healthy diet.  

a closeup photo of Pamako founder Eftychis Androulakis

For the first time, says Pamako’s Eftychis Androulakis, an extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been officially approved as a food supplement. While EVOO is also a healthy natural food, this early harvest Greek olive oil is so rich in antioxidants, and is produced, stored, and bottled with such care, that it can be prescribed by Belgian and Luxembourg doctors.

Laconiko wide banner

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