Thanks to the European Union Program “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs,” a representative of DORA Farm — which manages an olive grove and a small mill in Sicily — has been spending 6 months in Stockholm with a “host entrepreneur” to learn more about the Swedish and Scandinavian food market and develop a new business strategy.
After a month of working in Sweden and analyzing not only the food market but, above all, the dietary habits of Northern Europeans, you can easily draw the conclusion that one of the first actions to be done here is a good dietary education campaign.
But the phenomenon is more complex than it may appear.
Claiming the need for a dietary campaign to raise the awareness of extra virgin olive oil does not mean that Danes, Swedes, Finnish or Norwegian people do not know the product at all, or its benefits.
On the contrary, extra virgin olive oil is appreciated here — you can easily find it at the supermarket and northern people seem to be deeply interested in the product — but it is not really known yet.
There is a whole set of features about extra virgin olive oil that northern people should gain, like how to recognize a good extra virgin from a bad one, to appreciate its taste characteristics, to learn which is the best way to use and store it and a real understanding of its healthy benefits.
The Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is still considered the best one here, however several myths and misinformation are common, and they are preventing extra virgin olive oil from gaining the proper recognition it deserves.
Dietary education activities and campaigns should be designed, developed and implemented in partnership with public bodies and olive oil producers for the benefit of everyone in southern and northern countries.