A new European project called Artolio was launched in 2020 with the aim of implementing innovative, developmental measures that will drive improvements in the quality of olive oil production in the Mediterranean.
This 2.9 million euro project is coordinated by the Israeli agricultural research organization, while nine partner organizations from Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Palestine and Spain are involved. The EU contributes €2.6 million and 10% of the money comes from co-financing projects. The aim of the Artolio project is to introduce innovative development measures that will stimulate improvements in the quality of production and to increase the olive yield by at least 200%. The project also focuses on process improvement, sustainability, energy efficiency and high quality of olive oil. In fact, Artolio will contribute to establishing a new level of superior quality for extra virgin olive oil. In Greece, the Artolio project is developed by the American Farm School Post-Secondary Educational and Training Association and the Hellenic Agricultural Organization Elgo-Demeter.
Who will benefit?
With the funding of the Artolio project, the EU provides support to small olive oil producers in the Mediterranean. The project is aimed at olive farmers with groves less than 3 hectares. In addition, local consumers must have access to higher quality olive oil. The measures are intended to improve the local economy of the participating countries and/or to provide the agricultural sector with tools that help market the product and position its quality.
Likewise, Artolio’s objective is to apply the methodology so that it can be replicated in other Mediterranean regions of the EU.
Mediterranean small extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) farmers suffer from similar problems: they own small plots of land and use traditional rain-fed farming, while relying on family manpower. Given globalization challenges, the olive sector of MSMEs are unprofitable and many olive orchards are abandoned or untended, resulting in unemployment within marginalized communities. To face these challenges, Artolio project (“Profitable and Sustainable artisanal olive oil industry in the Mediterranean”) aims at establishing, in each participating region, a Native Olive Regional Knowledge Center (NOReKC) which will provide up-to-date training on how an artisanal EVOO should be produced in order to remain competitive; and, at defining a networking management model for artisanal EVOO through a Pan-Mediterranean Platform comprising all NOReKC, which will assist MSMEs across the Mediterranean region in marketing, sales, finance, policy and legislation, at national level and in entering new global markets. The project will result in higher olive yield and oil quality as well as improved profitability through connecting individual farmers into a global network of resilient MSMEs able to create jobs at mid-long term and manage businesses.
For more information about the project, please visit: http://www.enicbcmed.eu/projects/artolio
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