`Research Institute in Chania Emerges as Greek Olive Sector Leader - Olive Oil Times

Research Institute in Chania Emerges as Greek Olive Sector Leader

Sep. 9, 2013
Anna Milionis

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Journalists hosted by the Institute for Olive Tree and Subtropical Plants in Chania, Crete observe har­vest time.

The Institute for Olive Tree and Subtropical Plants in Chania, Crete has become a leader in research and edu­ca­tion for the olive oil sec­tor in Greece.

In the last five years the Institute has achieved International Olive Council (IOC) fund­ing seven times, while receiv­ing the equiv­a­lent num­ber of grants. These grants have co-funded tech­ni­cal and pro­mo­tional projects includ­ing cut­ting-edge research, sem­i­nars and con­fer­ences, invit­ing jour­nal­ists from key import coun­tries to Crete, train­ing pro­duc­ers and other stake­hold­ers to improve qual­ity and edu­cat­ing con­sumers on the nutri­tional value and the cul­ture of olive oil.

Kostas Chartzoulakis, the direc­tor of the insti­tute, is at the IOC head­quar­ters today, September 9, as a keynote speaker at a sem­i­nar on grants to talk on what qual­i­fies as a suc­cess­ful appli­ca­tion for an IOC grant and how to sub­mit grant doc­u­men­ta­tion.

Their lat­est addi­tion to their tally of grants is a project called Training olive sector’s stake­hold­ers in diverse areas in Greece on inno­v­a­tive prac­tices to mit­i­gate cli­mate change and meet market’s require­ments.” The project will run from October, 2013 to February, 2014 and its aim is to trans­fer inno­v­a­tive prac­tices on all crit­i­cal aspects of olive oil pro­duc­tion to olive oil pro­fes­sion­als and pro­duc­ers of cen­tral and north­ern Greece.


Chartzoulakis says that it is impor­tant to clar­ify what is meant by the term inno­v­a­tive:

The Institute for Olive Tree and Subtropical Plants rec­og­nizes that there is a con­stant need of edu­ca­tion and infor­ma­tion. Producing extra vir­gin olive oil is not the quest in hand. Rather, it is which cul­ti­va­tion and pro­cess­ing meth­ods bring out the par­tic­u­lar sen­sory and nutri­tional prop­er­ties of Greek olive oil vari­eties.

Our research sug­gests that, due to the agro-eco­nomic con­di­tions in Greece, this can only be achieved by low input and envi­ron­men­tally friendly cul­ti­va­tion prac­tices. Examples of such prac­tices include the use of olive residues (prun­ing waste, olive pomace and olive mill water waste) as a fer­til­izer, the appli­ca­tion of deficit irri­ga­tion tech­niques and inte­grated pest and dis­ease man­age­ment. It is expected that there will be a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in the CO2 and water foot­print of the pro­duced olive oil while costs can be reduced by up to 30 per­cent.”

The Institute for Olive Tree and Subtropical Plants in Chania, Crete

Chartzoulakis is also a co-edi­tor of the book Following Olive Footprints Cultivation and Culture, Folklore and History, Tradition and Uses (2012), a joint pub­li­ca­tion of the IOC with the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA) and the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), and is cur­rently over­see­ing its trans­la­tion in Greek.

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