“If you completely disassemble Greece, at the end you will see that what you are left with is an olive tree, a grapevine and a ship. Which means these are all you need to remake it”
Odysseas Elytis, Greek poet, 1979 Nobel Prize Winner
The excerpt above condenses in just a few words what oliviculture truly means not only to Greek agriculture but Greek civilization as a whole. So, when you read or hear that Greek organic olive oil is part of a way of life, that is not a fancy gimmick, a cheap publicity stunt from people seeking to take your money exploiting the need of consumers for healthier eating habits.
Contrariwise, it is a statement profoundly true. Mediterranean diet, essentially Greek in origin, is not just a choice of food, it is an integral part of a culture. And at its core, proud and deep-rooted stands the olive tree.
A producer’s duty
That is a very heavy burden for every Greek producer, especially for those looking to export their organic olive oil to the international market. Whether they like or not, the responsibility towards their tradition alone makes them ambassadors of their country, at least… culinary ones. So, what is a Greek olive oil producer to do, in order to reach such incredibly high standards? The only thing he can. And that is prove to consumers across the globe that his product is as fresh, pure and healthy as they believe it is.
“Eleokarpos”, “fruit of the olive tree” in Greek, is a family business. Their olive grove, just 63 acres of land, is located on the coast line of Avlis in the Greek island of Euboea. That small family company has achieved to apply in the field what is known as agro-biodynamic management. That means holistic cultivating practices that can be applied to an olive grove in order to activate all known interactions between olive trees and other biological organisms of the agricultural system.
The aim is to capitalize on renewable sources to cover the needs of olive trees in nutrients and deal with competitive species that reduce yield. In other words, a perfect synergy between the grove and its environment.