News from the Greek Olive Groves

The scenarios for the new harvest of olive oil in the Mediterranean region, of olive oil producing countries are very pessimistic. This is all based on the natural disasters of fire and drought in Spain and Portugal which has already caused the prices of extra virgin olive oil to go up.

Personally I am not convinced this is the real reason, because the rest of the Mediterranean producing countries Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, Greece and Italy are expecting record highs this year. It is always a game played by the producers (Spain) and the buyers (Italy). I guess these two players decided everything else went up, why not the olive oil too!

The sad part is the farmer will gain very little from this. The big players are getting as always, the lions share. The question, this is all done without asking the final buyer, the consumer. When money is tight the consumer is under pressure to accept the new price for extra virgin olive oil or turn to alternatives?

I am here in Greece for the 2005 new harvest one of natures best gifts the extra virgin olive oil. During the first two weeks of November I traveled through all of the southern Peloponnese, olive groves everywhere and farmers seem optimistic about the high quality and low acidities. Of course a little bit of rain could help the olive tree to produce more juice but changing climatic conditions become obvious everywhere on our planet, of prolonged warm seasons where all agricultural products are being affected.

Two weeks later the scenery suddenly changed! The heavy rains in the southern part of Greece, snow and extreme cold in northern parts.  The rain came down with vengeance. Floods because the parched earth cannot absorb the water fast enough. Disasters were everywhere. This situation has delayed the harvest. So farmers wait and hope this will be over soon so they can go back to work. Today the sun came out and harvesting is on again.

It may sound strange but ignorance among farmers is one of the main factors for the production of inferior qualities of olive oil. The olive mill owners are aware of the determents of heat in pressing olives, but rather than correct the farmer, they yield to the demand by the farmers to use heat. The higher temperatures may have a fractional higher return (which they want) but the result is catastrophic for the quality. The majority of the 380 nutrients contained in extra virgin olive oil are then seriously damaged. I believe all people are good, but ignorance without knowledge, good intentions and a clear conscience people are living far from the purpose of this life.

On the more positive side, cold first pressed Golden Olive EleniĀ® certified organic extra virgin olive oil there is nothing better. This is when you can first hand taste the OLEOCANTHOL in the fresh oil, the slight stinging sensation that you feel in the back of the throat when tasting the fresh harvest.  This was the isolated element scientist discovered this year, that has similar properties to ibuprofen a pain reliever. Simply what this means to you is there is goodness in the oil, its alive with many wonderful health benefits.

This is our mission and I need a lot of patience. We made a promise when we started this business. We guarantee to bring to Canada the best Greek certified organic extra virgin olive oil. We are on guard to keep this promise to our customers. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Basil Koutalianos

Basil Olive Oil Products Ltd.


Olive Oil Cookbook

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