ARTOLIO partner Yifat Reuveni visits Kalamata region in Greece for the first time to meet the oilve farmers and assess their situation
During the last year, the Marketing team of ARTOLIO has been working on ways to help our farmers export abroad and enter the market. To do so, the partners in charge of the marketing team have researched which markets would be more beneficial to the farmers that are willing to sell the products of this year’s harvest. In an attempt to find out which of the farmers already have a brand and which ones are already selling abroad, from August 20th to the 24th, ARTOLIO partner Yifat Reuveni visited Greece (Kalamata) to meet the farmers in person.
“So far, the most prominent problems I have encountered is the gap between the good quality our farmers in Kalamata produce, and the fact that they almost do not use any sales strategy to leverage it, which is not appropriate for the much work and effort they put.” says Yifat, after her visit there. It is quite clear that one of the main goals of the project, until its completion, should be giving proper counseling about marketing strategies and sales, so that not only their extra virgin olive oil gets to be appreciated as what it is, but also the production will be able to be affected as well. When the product is appreciated, the cost of its production can benefit from it, leading to sustainable methods and the proper care and tending to the trees.
ARTOLIO believes in the proper use of marketing strategies, when they are directed to the benefit of the product itself. The best quality can only be achieved when the extra virgin olive oil is sold at its just price, so that there is no exploitation of the land nor the farmers themselves. Moreover, that is not a matter that relies solely on the farmer, but the clients as well, despite extra virgin olive oil being superior to the other types of olive oil, not all extra virgin oils are the same, and not all of them are as healthy, bio or sustainable. While Kalamata farmers from ARTOLIO produce extra virgin olive oil of excellent quality, the reality is that, because they lack strategies and tools to enter the market, they resort to selling in bulk to other countries, like Italy, so that their product reaches more clients. However, in doing so, they risk having their oils sold by larger companies and mixed to other oils of less quality.
“And yet, most farmers want to export their oil, gain visibility, and receive recognition for their qualified oil and work. This dissonance, between production and marketing, is the story of Artolio Kalamata. On the other hand, at the organizational level, the farmers of Kalamata have shown an impressive ability to organize themselves in cooperatives and cooperate together, thereby overcoming another challenge in the olive oil industry - the lack of collaboration.” Adds Yifat, who has committed to find a way to help them reach a market they can excel at, as well as help them come up with a marketing strategy that can match their needs. This is the goal of ARTOLIO’s marketing team, and of ARTOLIO as a whole.