During a recent debate in the Greek parliament the deputy Minister of Agriculture was challenged about olive oil by a member. He replied:
“Producers can and should create groups in order to have more power while negotiating in the markets and achieve better prices for their products. For this, standardization is of utmost importance since it gives added value to the product”.
He also added: “The ministry considers olive oil a national product of high nutritional value, extra quality and of great economic value for the country…that’s why we support it with actions.”
It is more than clear that the Greek state still has no clear and defined strategy about promoting olive oil. The language of politics does not mean anything here.
Standardization is something that everybody knows can give the olive oil sector a boost, but it is not enough. The state will need to decide on a specific plan and, more importantly, to implement it. It will need to take action to protect producers, take action to punish fraud, take action to provide incentives for producers to work together. Take actions instead of saying words.
In today’s turmoil olive oil can be the locomotive to help rural territories stand on their feet again. Times of crisis, apart from trouble, can present opportunities and the chance to correct many discrepancies of the past that were rigid and stagnant. Don’t let this opportunity be wasted.