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Newsletter November 2014


19 Greek Olive Oils Among the World’s Best for 2014

Nineteen Greek olive oils earned a coveted spot as “one of the world’s best” at this year’s New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC).

The judges awarded a majority of them, 12 in all, Gold Award status. Overall, it was a record number of awards given to Greek producers at the yearly competition. Greece remains one of the top olive oil producing nations in the world and boasts the highest consumption of olive oil per person.

Winning It
“Renowned international awards such as the Gold Award at the NYIOOC confirm our high quality standards and inspire us to continue to do our best,” said Silvia Lazzari of Bläuel Greek Organic Products. Her product, Mani Bläuel originates from Koroneiki olives grown on the rocky seaside region of Greece called Mani. “For our olive oil, this means that our customers can rely on a consistent and excellent standard, which is confirmed by a prestigious international jury.”

Most of the winning Greek olive oils were produced from Koroneiki olives. However, one winning producer, Kyklopas, relies on the Makri local olive variety which is grown in the northernmost area of the country where olive oil can be produced. Kyklopas is the only Greek producer to claim two Gold Awards this year, for their Ktimata Kyklopas and Olive Mill Kyklopas products.

“Our olives come from trees that are between 500 to 2,500 years old which means the soil and climate are a wonderful combination that in the end produces olive oil that has a strong taste, and complexity of flavors,” says Niki Kelidou of Kyklopas who adds that winning two Gold Awards this time around just means they will work harder. “Winning the NYIOOC is definitely satisfying but we won’t rest. Every year we will continue to stand by our commitment to keep our quality at the top.”

For the Industry
“We literally jumped for joy upon hearing we won the Gold in New York,” says Leonidas Daskalos who produces the award-winning St. Olive Single Harvest Series. “It certainly gives us strength and courage for the future.”

Mr. Daskalos adds that the large amount of winners from Greece proves to him that the industry is moving along. He says Greece has superior quality olive oils that should be internationally recognised as other Greek products have, including yogurt, cheese and wine.

“It makes us happy to see so many producers bottling their extra virgin olive oil instead of selling it in bulk. They are gaining the recognition they deserve versus giving that recognition away. The NYIOOC awards help lift the Greek brand overall and helps all of us when reaching out to international buyers.”
He says there is still work to be done by Greek olive oil producers when it comes to marketing and production. “Greek producers need to position themselves and target the right customers based on the quality of their product rather than price since other olive oil producing countries have, in many cases, lower production costs.”

International Passport
When Esti Early Harvest was announced as a Gold Award recipient, judges pointed out its “exceptional harmony, a high complexity and a high persistence.” George Papageorgiou of Esti says such recognition is great for his Koroneiki variety extra virgin olive oil but also for the Greek olive oil industry in general.

“Greek olive oils are of really outstanding quality and with the array of winners this year from Greece I hope more Greek producers can find their way to the shelves of retailers around the world.”

“The NYIOCC is very competitive and the fact that an international panel of experts in olive oil tasting agree with us about our premium quality means a lot for our product,” says Ioannis Leftheriotis of Bonum Terrae who says the Gold Award is a great success for his team’s efforts to produce top quality extra virgin olive in the protected designation of origin (PDO) of North Mylopotamos in Rethymno, Crete.

Mr. Leftheriotis adds that the larger presence of Greek producers on the NYIOOC award stage is a positive sign. “We believe that a prestigious award of an international contest such as NYIOOC can be considered as a passport for international markets. It would be great if people from all over the globe knew the quality of Greek olive oil.”

Worldwide Distinction for Stephanos Karydakis SA
Stephanos Karydakis SA, a company based in Greece, was awarded the Label Industry Global Award 2014, the highest distinction in the global market of the label, during an award ceremony held in Chicago on September 9, 2014. This annual award ceremony is organised by an independent authority, while the jury is composed of magazine publishers, sites related to the label industry, and specialised consultants. This year, the competition took place for the 11th time and included only two categories: innovation and sustainability. Equipment and materials manufacturers, software developers and printing industries from all around the world participated.

Stephanos Karydakis SA entered the competition with a unique interactive label. For the production of this label the manufacturer used thermosensitive ink technology and digital watermarking, which allows the consumer to be in direct communication with the product and the producer.

Stephanos Karydakis SA has been a leader in label printing in Greece since 1966 and is currently exporting its products to 18 countries. The company, one of the four largest printing plants of this kind in the world, employs 100 people and specialises in the production of labels for refrigerated products.

Terra Creta: Awarded Gold—And More
Terra Creta is on its way to becoming one of the leading olive oil producers in the world.

In just over a decade, Terra Creta, based in Chania, Crete, has established itself as a top producer of olive oil, been recognised with numerous awards, gained market entrance globally, and bolstered the local economy with its innovative, outward-looking, and sustainable approach.

By basing its strategic growth on an unwavering commitment to quality of product and service, Terra Creta identifies five key factors in its route to success:
1. Total Quality System and vertical production
2. Advanced online traceability
3. Innovation in packaging and service
4. Sustainable growth
5. International awards

Today, the company is known for its superb products, outstanding service, and strong adherence to quality standards. Among the quality certificates it holds are ISO 22000 and 9001, ISF, Organic, PDO, PGI, Kosher, and Agro 2.1 7 2.2.

As an example of Terra Creta’s devotion to quality, the company tests for 243 attributes in its product whereas the EU requires it test for no more than 28.

In boosting the local economy, Terra Creta sources olives from 900 local growers, in addition to using olives from its own groves. Each of these growers, by having to meet the strict Terra Creta standards, has been able to upgrade diverse aspects of his/her growing process, producing a higher quality (and, in some case, organic) fruit, becoming more efficient, and creating a more sustainable agricultural model.

In recognition of its high standards, Terra Creta has garnered international recognition and since 2004 has been winning awards for its outstanding olive oil. Among its laurels are: Gold in the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition, Winner of Olive Japan, Gold award, Germany; Gold award, France; Gold in Italy’s Biol 2013, First Greek Export Awards, First Bio Oil Belgium, European Business Awards National Champion 2014 (finalist for European Champion 2014).

In addition, Terra Creta is the first Greek company to be certified as an “Approved Exporter” following the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and non-EU countries such as Norway, Israel, South Korea and Switzerland. This certification provides for lower tariffs, benefitting both the company and the importer.

Today, Terra Creta exports its premium olive oil, olives and vinegars to more than 20 countries globally.

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