ARTOLIO tackles the concerns of the extra virgin olive oil market: An insight into the future strategy of the project


In a local context, the visit to Thessaloniki (from September the 12th to September the 16th) greatly sharpened two acute problems that characterize the local olive oil market: a severe lack of labor during the harvest season, and a tendency not to sell the final product in bottles, but in bulk and at a low price that does not reflect the high earning capacity of olive oil to local farmers.

In the ARTOLIO community context, we realized that the strength of small farmers lies mainly in cooperation. Farmers who are too small will not be able to deal with the big "sharks" as they were called, and only together will it be possible to produce a successful story that will enable them to be visible, strong, create an advantage of size and sale in higher prices. This is why ARTOLIO is a strong project, because it creates connections between its participants, and they reach out to each other to help and support themselves as well. It is a team effort to stay afloat in an environment that is profoundly competitive, but it is not impossible with the right help and counseling.

In a global context, the partners were happy to discover, again, how extra virgin olive oil is connected to all participants of the ARTOLIO project and to their lives. It is something unique, healthy, rich in so many tastes and cultivars, beautiful in the fields, and enriching in the cultural aspect. It is our joy as a project to be able to transmit this passion for our shared culture to the rest of the world, and in doing so, help those who perpetuate it. Olive oil is not only a product, but the product of an ancient culture that runs as deep as the Mediterranean.

The next steps towards the future will be providing farmers with the tools and the technology necessary to overcome the difficulties of the terrain, the drought and the incessant demands of a market that threatens to take advantage of small production. Therefore, it is central that we put effort into marketing and diffusion, as we continue to steadily up the quality of the product, so that the farmers of the project have the opportunity to enter a market where they can fare, without losing the essence of their work: tradition.