Makri, a Greek extra virgin olive oil extracted from olive trees aged between 2,000 and 3,000 years, has received Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status from the European Union. “Elaiolado Makris” from the Makri variety, which is indigenous to the region of Makri near Alexandroupolis in Northern Greece, was inserted in the EU‘s official PDO register on August 10, after the application had been submitted to the European Commission back in January 2018.
The decision comes after years of targeted efforts of the Region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace and the prefectural administration of Evros, in particular, according to Mr Dimitris Petrovic, the deputy governor of the Evros prefecture.
In fact, as Mr Paschalis Papadakis, the former head of the local agricultural service and the man who coordinated the entire campaign, told the Athens News Agency, the process of gathering the data and evidence to support the application for the PDO label for Makri olive oil took over three years and was particularly strenuous. Actually, the research took them as far as the library of Istanbul, where they looked for the relevant historical documents to support the fact that the Makri olive grove is historic and its trees date back to 3,000 years ago.
A unique EVOO for discerning palates
The Makri PDO variety or Elaiolado Makris as it is officially registered, which consists of about 220,000 olive trees with an annual production of 1,000 to 3,000 tons of olive oil, yields an EVOO described as sweet, with flavors of fresh herbs, flowers and exotic fruits.
According to Mr. Papadakis, “the first important step for the Makri olive oil was taken –now comes the difficult part, since the popularity of the product is expected to rise sharply.”
“With work at some point you reach the top. The major issue is to stay there. And that requires responsibility and hard work. The producers, however, will keep the bar high like they have been doing all these years,” he added.
“There is already significant interest from France and Morocco and we are close to do deals,” said Mr. Papadakis while expressing the satisfaction of all the residents of the local community of Makri for the development.
Apart from the PDO quality label, Makri extra virgin olive oil also received a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) nod, to signify its place of origin.