The Fifth Greek Olive Oil and Olive Festival took place in Athens from April 6th through April 8th. The event attracted consumers as well as those involved in the olive and olive oil industries; Participants received up-to-date information in the field of production, legislation and promotion of olive oil and olives.

Of particular interest was the educational session presenting new marketing concepts for Greek olive oil producers. Speakers discussed the importance of a new approach to this age-old product of Greece.

Michael Manousos, General Manager of Foodstandard, a Greek company providing services in food quality and food marketing, presented the use of a QR code (Quick Response Code) on olive oil bottles. Manousos said the simple addition can provide the consumer with the opportunity to learn more about how and where the specific olive oil is made.

Vasilis Kamvisis, chemist and certified olive oil taster, stressed the importance of using different varieties of olives and not just the Koroneiki, the most common variety used for Greek olive oil. Kamvisis explained that different olive varieties could be used to make olive oils for different tastes and culinary uses and thus be used as a marketing tool.

Vicky Igglezou, General Manager of the Maniatakeion Foundation, discussed the importance of the Mediterranean diet as a potential angle for promoting olive oil. The foundation is a private, non-profit, institution whose mission is to preserve the cultural heritage and promote the development of the town of Koroni in Greece. Koroni is one of the four communities that represented Greece for the application of the Mediterranean Diet on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Igglezou noted that the Mediterranean Diet as a cultural asset could be a tool for economic development, adding that proper management of cultural heritage not only increases its value, but also ensures its preservation.

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