`Greek Olive Oil Gets Traction, But Will it Last?

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Greek Olive Oil Gets Traction, But Will it Last?

Jul. 18, 2013
Marissa Tejada

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Greek olive oil is gain­ing ground in inter­na­tional mar­kets. Accord­ing to Kathimerini, Greece’s major daily news­pa­per, Spain’s reduced olive crops led to greater demand in the bulk mar­ket and that helped Greece increase mar­ket share by 10 per­cent this year which helped boost the indus­try in other ways.

We are known pri­mar­ily for our bulk prod­uct which is reach­ing top export lev­els start­ing last year into this year. This is a time when we are man­ag­ing to escape the shadow of other top olive oil pro­duc­ing coun­tries and, as a result, I believe Greek prod­ucts are being noticed in the mar­ket,” said Efthimios Chris­takis, who spe­cial­izes in pro­mot­ing Greek olive oil in Ger­many.

In an inter­view with Olive Oil Times, Chris­takis says he receives calls each day from hope­ful Greeks look­ing to mar­ket Greek pre­mium olive oil abroad. The 10 per­cent increase in mar­ket share is the kind of vis­i­bil­ity that is pos­i­tive for Greek olive oil and pos­i­tive for hope­ful pro­duc­ers look­ing to mar­ket pre­mium brands abroad.”

How­ever, Chris­takis said the upturn for Greece will be short lived. By next year he pre­dicts that Spain’s pro­duc­tion will not only be back to nor­mal but may even have an espe­cially suc­cess­ful year sur­pass­ing num­bers the coun­try had reached two years ago. As a result, Chris­takis said there will be an abun­dance of olive oil in the mar­ket. If Greece is unable to fol­low the lower prices as a result, the coun­try will not man­age to achieve another excel­lent year in the bulk oil mar­ket.

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Chris­takis said despite that, Greek pro­duc­ers must focus on pre­mium qual­ity. The events in the past year have proven that we must pay seri­ous atten­tion to bot­tled olive oil qual­ity and not only to how the bot­tle appears. Greece should invest in the devel­op­ment of its olive oil, its qual­ity and its iden­tity. We have to give a strong rea­son to con­sumers to pre­fer Greek olive oil. Greeks love to boast that we have the best olive oil but we need to prove this to the world by estab­lish­ing our iden­tity and qual­ity.”

Chris­takis points out that is slowly hap­pen­ing and that, espe­cially in the past year, many Greek brands stood out in global com­pe­ti­tions. Within the last year there was a very good effort by Greek pro­duc­ers. Over­all, I think Greece is still at an early stage in the game but its bet­ter late than never.”



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