Campaign in Crete Urges Hospitality Establishments to Choose Local Olive Oils

Officials and olive oil professionals on the island want to encourage food entrepreneurs to use locally-produced olive oil in taverns, restaurants and hotels.
May. 3, 2022
Costas Vasilopoulos

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In the wake of the cook­ing oils cri­sis caused by the war in Ukraine, a cam­paign has been launched in Crete for the broad use of Cretan olive oil in restau­rants and other food­ser­vice estab­lish­ments on the island.

The cam­paign aims to coax restau­rant and tav­ern own­ers and hotel man­agers to opt for olive oil instead of the cur­rently highly-priced and scarce sun­flower oil and other veg­etable oils reg­u­larly used in cook­ing.

The goal of the cam­paign is to pro­mote the ben­e­fits of olive oil and con­vince con­sumers and food facil­i­ties own­ers that by prop­erly using olive oil in cook­ing and fry­ing, the use of veg­etable oils is not the only option.- Stavros Tzadakis, Agrifood Synergy Association

A group of regional and local enti­ties, includ­ing the regional admin­is­tra­tion of Crete, the University of Crete and the Mediterranean University, the Cretan club of chefs and the Agrifood Synergy asso­ci­a­tion of the island, have endorsed the ini­tia­tive.

By work­ing together, we can turn the prob­lem into an oppor­tu­nity for our local [olive oil] pro­duc­ers,” said Stavros Tzadakis, the head of the agri­food asso­ci­a­tion, refer­ring to the scarcity of sun­flower oil in the mar­ket due to the Russo-Ukrainian war.

See Also:Greeks Follow a Hybrid Mediterranean Diet, Researchers Find

According to Fediol, the European Union’s veg­etable oil and pro­tein meal indus­try asso­ci­a­tion, the lack of avail­abil­ity of sun­flower oil will be felt up to the con­sumer level” in Europe. The asso­ci­a­tion said around 35 to 45 per­cent of the sun­flower oil con­sumed in the E.U. comes from Ukraine. Imports have been cur­rently put on hold due to the war.

Consumption of olive oil can be sig­nif­i­cantly increased in hotels and other eat­ing estab­lish­ments, not only raw on sal­ads but also for fry­ing,” Tzadakis added. Research has shown, after all, that, when it comes to fry­ing, olive oil exhibits many advan­tages com­pared to veg­etable oils.“

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Maria Antonakaki, from the asso­ci­a­tion of food­ser­vice facil­i­ties of Crete, pointed out that the price of olive oil has been the main lim­it­ing fac­tor for its broader use in the sec­tor.

It is impor­tant that [food] entre­pre­neurs are con­vinced to start using olive oil by means of a sub­sidy or other ways and begin coop­er­a­tion with local pro­duc­ers,” Antonakaki said, adding that the sec­tor has decided to make a com­plete turn to the Cretan cui­sine with local prod­ucts includ­ing Cretan olive oil.

The goal of the cam­paign is to pro­mote the ben­e­fits of olive oil and con­vince con­sumers and food facil­i­ties own­ers that by prop­erly using olive oil in cook­ing and fry­ing, the use of veg­etable oils is not the only option,” Tzadakis added.

On the con­trary, olive oil, the gold’ of the Cretan land, is the health­i­est and cur­rently the most eco­nom­i­cally viable option,” he con­cluded.



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