` Routine Meeting on Crete Turns Out to be No 'Big Deal' - Olive Oil Times

Routine Meeting on Crete Turns Out to be No 'Big Deal'

Oct. 27, 2014
Olive Oil Times Staff

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From left to right: Alkiviadis Kalambokis, pres­i­dent of Cretan Export Association, Costco dis­trib­u­tor Tassos Chronopoulos, John Botzakis, and Stavros Arnaoutakis, gov­er­nor of Crete

A rou­tine, semi-annual meet­ing between an American dis­trib­u­tor, Costco rep­re­sen­ta­tives and an olive oil pro­ducer on Crete last week has set off a flurry of press arti­cles that the meet­ing par­tic­i­pants have called fic­tion and mis­lead­ing,” con­trived by an ama­teur jour­nal­ist attempt­ing to make a story out of a sim­ple tour.

It may be an attempt to pro­mote the local Governor and his work- George S. Boubaris, Tassos attor­ney

Blogs and news sites in Greece began post­ing sto­ries over the week­end that Costco had agreed to buy 400 tons of olive oil monthly from a pro­ducer on Crete, Botzakis, S.A.

Such news nat­u­rally caused a stir from Chania to Chicago with many imme­di­ately ques­tion­ing the unusual announce­ment.

It all began with a press arti­cle that appeared October 25 on the offi­cial web­site of the regional gov­ern­ment of Crete that said Costco rep­re­sen­ta­tives had, dur­ing a meet­ing in a Heraklion hotel, agreed to buy 400 tons of olive oil every month from Botzakis. From there, the news was syn­di­cated through var­i­ous blogs and news por­tals in Greece. An arti­cle in Olive Oil Times also cited those sources.

A lawyer for Tassos Group, George S. Boubaris, said today as a result, I have been instructed since the first moment to deal with the mali­cious, mis­lead­ing and false press arti­cle’ that appeared in Crete Region’s offi­cial web page.” Some of the arti­cles have since been removed from the web­sites at Boubaris’ request, he said. Botzakis S.A. also posted pic­tures of the meet­ing on its Facebook page in posts that have since been removed.

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I can pro­fes­sion­ally assure you that no agree­ment of what­so­ever nature was signed last week or in the past between Tassos Group, Costco and Botzakis SA,” Boubaris added. This false report was prob­a­bly a fic­tion of the per­son that wrote it, in his attempt to make a story out of a sim­ple tour, with­out real­iz­ing the effects of such a story.”

Asked if there were any sus­pi­cions as to why such a story would be fab­ri­cated, Boubaris said it may be local pol­i­tics and an attempt to pro­mote the local Governor and his work.”

I can assure you, that all the deals Tassos Group has signed in the past were def­i­nitely with­out the inter­ven­tion or par­tic­i­pa­tion of any Greek gov­ern­ment agency or body, rather on the con­trary, as Tassos has always tried to stay away from pol­i­tics and gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies.”

What you might not real­ize (and nei­ther the per­son who wrote this arti­cle did) is the large effects this has on the local econ­omy and the econ­omy of Greece in gen­eral,” Boubaris said. This is the time of olive pric­ing and imag­ine what the effect will be (or already is) on pric­ing, if local pro­duc­ers think that some­one is ready to absorb their pro­duc­tion and actu­ally allegedly in need for it. Prices are ris­ing with no rea­son.”

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