Extra virgin olive oil from Makri becomes the first agricultural product from the region of Thrace to receive Protected Designation of Origin status from the European Union.
Makri extra virgin olive oil, from Greece, has received Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status from the European Union.
The designation formally recognizes olive oils produced from the Elia Makris variety, which is indigenous to the northeastern Greek region, as being unique and protects the name from being used by imitation oils.See Also: Olive Oil Business News
‘Elaiolado Makris’ (meaning ‘olive oil from Makri’) was inserted in the E.U.‘s official PDO register on August 10, after the application had been submitted to the European Commission back in January 2018.
Since 1992, when the quality schemes for European agricultural products and food products were introduced, a total of 20 Greek olive oils have received PDO status. It is the first olive oil and the first agricultural product overall from the northern Greek territory of Thrace to receive PDO status.
The Makri variety is indigenous to the area of the Makri village near Alexandroupolis, yielding an olive oil described as sweet, with flavors of fresh herbs, flowers and exotic fruits.
“After years of targeted efforts of the prefectural administration of Evros, Makri olive oil stands out at an international level,” Dimitris Petrovic, the deputy governor of the Evros prefecture, said. “This acknowledgement gives added value to the excellent olive oil of our area.”
Paschalis Papadakis, the former head of the local agricultural service and the man who coordinated the campaign, told Athens News Agency that the process of gathering the data and evidence to support the application for the PDO label for Makri olive oil was lengthy and strenuous.
“It wasn’t only the required analyses from various laboratories and the whole bureaucracy, but we also had to come up with the trademark sign we filed to the Commission to be used on the packaging,” Papadakis said.
“Our research even took us to the library of [Istanbul], where we spent many days looking for the relevant historical documents,” he added. “We found the book in which the sultan’s secretary had written that they had discovered mighty olive trees in Makri during a tour in 1600.”
According to Papadakis’ estimates, the whole Makri olive oil producing region consists of about 220,000 olive trees aged between 2,000 and 3,000 years, with an annual production of 1,000 to 3,000 tons of olive oil, depending on each season’s yield.
Apart from the PDO quality label, Makri olive oil also received a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) tag to signify its place of origin.