Greece: ARTOLIO hosts an educational event for high school students on the subject of olive oil production


On May the 10th, 2022, the ARTOLIO project held an educational event for high school students in the Olive mill Agriston, owned by one of the beneficiaries of the Artolio project. There were approximately 30 students, all of them from the Vocational High School of Eleftheroupoli, Kavalas, Thessaloniki. 

The students that were invited took a tour at the facilities of the mill by the owner, Evaggelos Chrysafoudis, got to know the inner workings of the mill and how it is managed on a day-to-day basis. It was an enlightening experience for them, because it is hardly ever shown how the process works, and what it takes to transform olives into the high quality product that is extra virgin olive oil. Precisely, one of ARTOLIO’s goals is to spread awareness towards the field, to spread the Mediterranean olive oil tradition to the rest of the world. 

Additionally, Kiki Zinoviadou, Chair of the MSc program on New Food product and Business Development at Perrotis College and ARTOLIO partner, talked to the students about the nutritional value of olive oil. It goes to show that quality is in the way the oil is harvested and made in the mill, and it doesn’t depend on the packaging or the price tag.

Once they had visited the facilities, the students were introduced to the fascinating world of olive oil tasting by Odysseas Vlahavas, distinguished olive oil expert who was invited to the event as well. They tried many olive oil samples, after all, one cannot acknowledge the different types of olive oil variations if they don’t taste them. It was an educational experience as well, because, while extra virgin olive oil is regarded as one single category, there are many varieties and aftertastes that make each one of them unique. After that, Dimitris Psathas, beneficiary of ARTOLIO, introduced the students to the physiology of the olive tree and the best practices that should be applied in order to reduce inputs, so that the olives get to the mill in a good state and with the highest quality possible. 

The event concluded with a demonstration of a spraying drone in the fields next to the olive mill by Athanasio Gertsis, Chair of the MSc program in Sustainable Agriculture & Management, Perrotis College.