First-Time NYIOOC Winners Find New Opportunities

From increased media coverage to easier access to lucrative foreign markets, first-time winners at the World Olive Oil Competition reflect on the results of their hardwork and success.

© 2021 Nikos Psathoyiannakis Studio
By Lisa Anderson
May. 31, 2023 13:22 UTC
© 2021 Nikos Psathoyiannakis Studio

Several out­stand­ing extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­ers have joined the elite list of win­ners for the first time at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Access to new mar­kets, a sig­nif­i­cant increase in sales and exten­sive media atten­tion are some of the new doors that have opened for these pro­duc­ers.

When you are on top of the world, the only sure thing is that you don’t go unno­ticed.- Spiridon Anagnostopoulos, owner, Ranis

Lebanese pro­ducer Rose Bechara Perini, the founder of social enter­prise Darmmess, which won a Gold Award for its medium Souri, used the terms out­stand­ing” and shock­ing” to describe the global expo­sure the com­pany has enjoyed after its first win at the NYIOOC.

Bechara told Olive Oil Times that Darmmess’ award had been reported in more than 50 arti­cles, and she has had tele­vi­sion inter­views and other forms of brand expo­sure since earn­ing the indus­try’s most cov­eted qual­ity award.

See Also:East Asian Olive Oils Reach the World Stage

Many poten­tial busi­ness part­ners and extra vir­gin olive oil con­nois­seurs dis­cov­ered the brand for the first time,” she said, adding that the recog­ni­tion had led to oppor­tu­ni­ties to enter new mar­kets.

A Gold Award at the NYIOOC was one of the best feel­ings ever for us and our vil­lage, farm­ers, clients and busi­ness part­ners glob­ally,” Bechara said.

It was an unfor­get­table, proud moment for all Lebanese [peo­ple],” she added. For Bechara, win­ning the award was con­fir­ma­tion that Darmmess is on the right track from good organic agri­cul­tural prac­tices up to bot­tle stor­age, across every sin­gle detail of the value chain.”

With a very ambi­tious vision of our prod­uct poten­tial, which is also a high-value out­let for our com­mu­nity, we searched for a dif­fer­ent kind of recog­ni­tion,” she said. Thus, we decided on the NYIOOC, being one the most pres­ti­gious, seri­ous and tough­est global com­pe­ti­tions.”


Rose Bechara

Bechara said the 2022 har­vest – pre­ceded by three dif­fi­cult ones – that bore Darmess’s award-win­ning oil was their most chal­leng­ing ever.

We had to face extreme power cuts, a scary rise of raw mate­ri­als prices, a scarcity of fuel and a short­age of qual­i­fied man­power,” she said. And the list goes on.”

So we were more focused on these issues than on the qual­ity, and despite that, we made it, and Darmmess is now rec­og­nized as one of the world’s best,” Bechara added.

She said that by win­ning this award, they have moved towards their goal of advanc­ing Lebanese extra vir­gin olive glob­ally.

Another first-time win­ner at this year’s World Competition was Ranis, from Greece, which earned a Gold Award for its Castello del Barone Collector’s Edition brand, an organic medium-inten­sity Patrini.


© 2021 Nikos Psathoyiannakis Studio

Owner Spiridon Anagnostopoulos told Olive Oil Times that win­ning an award at the NYIOOC undoubt­edly gives pro­duc­ers the abil­ity to enter new mar­kets.

Our orders in the part­ner mar­kets of the United Arab Emirates dou­bled, and new mar­kets, such as Canada and North America, turned their atten­tion to our Barone brand,” Anagnostopoulos said.

He added that from the incep­tion of his brand, one of their goals was to par­tic­i­pate in the NYIOOC.


There would be no other way for our vari­ety and region to enter the olive oil world map if it were not for the NYIOOC,” he said, giv­ing the brand the means to shine on a world­wide stage.”

Anagnostopoulos said that each year and each har­vest is unique. But we have man­aged to over­come dif­fi­cul­ties of the past and have stan­dard­ized many para­me­ters in the olive trees’ man­age­ment,” he added.

Our most dif­fi­cult oppo­nent every sea­son is the abi­otic fac­tors that affect cul­ti­va­tion, such as ther­mal and water stress,” he said. But, as expert agron­o­mists, we study con­tin­u­ously and aim for an opti­mum result each year.”

According to Anagnostopoulos, too many fac­tors affect qual­ity. Still, Ranis is mov­ing for­ward steadily, grasp­ing cru­cial ele­ments to cre­ate an award-win­ning extra vir­gin oil with unique aro­mas and excep­tional fla­vors.

A dis­tinc­tion like this gives every­one the strength and courage to con­tinue their efforts and work harder,” Anagnostopoulos said. As we men­tioned in the local press in Greece, receiv­ing such an award is a high honor and reward for all our efforts.”

It was a pro­fes­sional goal that took time, but it became a real­ity,” he added. We feel pure joy, pride, and pro­fes­sional jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.” Anagnostopoulos’ goal is to con­tinue par­tic­i­pat­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion every year.

I believe and feel that receiv­ing a Gold Award at the NYIOOC is like receiv­ing the Oscar of olive oils,” he said. When you are on top of the world, the only sure thing is that you don’t go unno­ticed.”

Meanwhile, fur­ther east, Eminems Olive Oil from Turkey cel­e­brated two Gold Awards after enter­ing the NYIOOC for the first time this year. The com­pany earned awards for its Oro di Milas Reserve and Eminems Olive Oil brands, both organic Memecik oils.


Emine Colin

We were delighted that both of our oils were awarded Gold Medals,” co-owner Emine Colin said. We crafted Oro di Milas Reserve to be a robust yet har­mo­nious oil, while Eminems is from olives har­vested later in the sea­son and has a softer fla­vor pro­file than Oro di Milas.”

We are launch­ing our brands inter­na­tion­ally this year, so it has been extremely busy, and win­ning Gold Awards for both of our oils at the NYIOOC has cer­tainly had an impact,” she added.

We launched Oro di Milas Reserve in the U.S. mar­ket in April,” she con­tin­ued, and have received incred­i­bly pos­i­tive responses to the qual­ity of the oil as well as its dis­tinct black bot­tle dec­o­rated with sym­bols from Turkish rugs.”

Colin said they built a new facil­ity with a sophis­ti­cated mill fol­low­ing their 2021 har­vest, which yielded oil that did not meet their stan­dards, which they then sold in bulk.

This cur­rent har­vest was the first one for our branded prod­ucts,” she said. It was our first year of pro­duc­tion in our new state-of-the-art mill facil­ity.”

Our goal was to pro­duce Gold-Award-win­ning oil, and although we were con­fi­dent that we had accom­plished this goal, we entered the com­pe­ti­tion to seek val­i­da­tion from NYIOOC’s expert judges,” Colin added.

We would like to give credit to our team,” she con­cluded. Our award-win­ning oils were the result of many peo­ple’s efforts.”

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