"We try for our extra virgin olive oil to come to the customer as naturally as nature gave it to us”, Charis Christoforou, ARTOLIO farmer from Cyprus
To be able to carry on the legacy of a long tradition of farmers, one must understand that nowadays technological and mechanical innovations must go hand in hand with the natural resources in the field. ARTOLIO favors the practice of using all of the available sources as long as they are the least harmful to the environment. This is why Charis Christoforou, from the Cyprus region, was a good candidate to participate in the project.
Charis came from a farming family specialized in olive trees as well as other autochthonous herbs and products of the Mediterranean. Some of their trees are even around 200 years old. From an early age, however and despite coming from such a deep-rooted background, he understood the importance of machines and innovative techniques and how they helped improve the conditions of work and the quality of the production. This is why he became a mechanical engineer. Soon after, he took the reins of the family business, the brand Topervoli, which nowadays stresses the importance of the organic extra virgin olive oil, produced without chemicals and the support of machines.
He joined ARTOLIO because he is constantly looking for seminars and information on how to better take care of the groves and the quality of his oil. ARTOLIO has always offered its help when it came to educating its farmers on methods to take advantage of all resources, especially if the environment is not particularly favorable. The region where Charis comes from is very dry, so there is little irrigation. With this in mind, he now follows permaculture methods of cultivation, meaning he only cuts the grass, not the stray roots like he would have done before, so that the earth stays as humid as possible and the temperature as low as it can be. This way, the fields require less water.
Moreover, the funding sent to Charis has been directed to the proper tending of his land, and to acquiring press machines and tanks that guarantee the quality and care of both the olive trees and his extra virgin olive oil. In words, of Charis himself: “Our production process uses only mechanical equipment, no chemicals, no fertilizers. We try for our extra virgin olive oil to come to the customer as naturally as nature gave it to us.”
By having successfully merged the bio and eco-friendly techniques with the proper and respectful use of mechanical innovation, Charis has become an example of what ARTOLIO wishes to leave behind as a legacy: the importance of sustainability when it comes to modern farming.