This year marks the 20th anniversary of the foundation of Pandolea, the non-profit association that brings together women engaged in the olive oil sector.
Several initiatives have been organized for the occasion, starting with the launch of the ‘Cyrene project, a pact for women’s health,’ which seeks to promote positive synergies between diverse organizations and associations committed to spreading healthy eating habits and lifestyle based on the Mediterranean diet.
“Pandolea has been working for twenty years to spread the culture of extra virgin olive oil and enhance the role of women in this sector,” President Loriana Abbruzzetti told Olive Oil Times. “Healthy eating and the Mediterranean diet, of which extra virgin olive oil is the cornerstone, are fundamental when it comes to prevention and treatment of diseases that affect women.”See Also:Exploring the History of Tuscany’s Iconic Olive Landscape
“We already addressed this issue with our colleagues from various Mediterranean countries, and this anniversary event seemed to us the right moment to promote this and our group’s other topics of interest,” she added.
The Cyrene project was presented during a conference held in the framework of the 24th edition of the ‘Race for the Cure,’ the world’s largest funding event for breast cancer, at Circo Massimo in Rome, on May 6.
The seminar saw the participation of many prominent organizations in the healthcare, education, olive oil and international development sectors.
“We are happy that we were able to celebrate and share our values during the Race for the Cure event, in which we also participated with our team,” Abbruzzetti said. “We are particularly proud of the collaboration with [Susan G. Komen Italy organization] and the other prestigious institutions which have teamed up with us.”
The project was announced the day before, during the award ceremony of the sixth Ranieri Filo della Torre International Literary Prize held at the headquarters of the Italian Farmers Confederation (CIA).
Special awards were handed out to Daniela Terribile, breast surgeon and oncologist at the Gemelli University Hospital and president of the Susan G. Komen Italy organization; Stefania Gori, director of the IRCCS Oncology Department at the Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital in Negrar di Valpolicella and president of ROPI (Oncological Patient Network Italy) and AIGOM (Italian Association of Multidisciplinary Oncological Groups); and Mariangela Cassano, president of ActionAid Italia.
The literary competition was established to pay homage to Filo della Torre, former general director of Unaprol, Italy’s national olive oil producers’ organization, an important figure in the sector.
“Emphasizing the strong link between olive oil and culture, promoting its knowledge and development is the key objective of the competition, which over time has become the opportunity to announce our projects and collaborations,” Abbruzzetti said.
This edition saw the participation of more than 50 poetry and fiction authors. Some of the best works, selected by a jury of experts, have been included in an anthology. A group of graduating students, who participated with scientific theses, were also awarded after the selection made by a committee of academics.
The event also included the prizegiving of the Silver Diploma, the competition dedicated to the best extra virgin olive oils produced by the students of agricultural institutes.
Food education in schools is one of the core missions of the association – during the year, Pandolea organizes meetings with students all over Italy, and in other countries, such events are being organized by the network Pandolea International.
Founded in 2020 with the support of the International Olive Council, Pandolea International focuses on sustainable development as a key element of olive oil culture, in which human health, intended as physical, mental and social well-being, is strictly connected to the planet’s health. Currently, it gathers women from countries of the Mediterranean basin, including Italy, Jordan, Tunisia, Greece, Libya, Egypt and Spain.
“Our international network is open to welcome groups of women who share our values of cooperation and sharing from any country,” Abbruzzetti said. “In recent years, we have all been overwhelmed by global events that disrupted our private lives and the management of our companies.”
“The vision of Pandolea is that we can better and faster overcome difficult moments if we do it together,” she added. “And in this spirit, we are putting to good use the dialogue and collaborations that we have had over the years with associations and institutions, carrying out an activity of education and involvement of many people, starting from school children and teenagers, through tasting courses, educational itineraries and direct experience of what the ‘real’ high quality extra virgin olive oil is and how it can improve our life.”