Training for the Production of Organic Olive Oil
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
Olive oil is the central component of the Mediterranean diet and the countries around the Mediterranean sea have the largest production of olive oil in the world. Οlive oil represents a big part of the exporting activity of these countries in the agricultural sector. However, there is a growing trend in the international market towards the organic products and there is a growing need that the production from the part of the Mediterranean producers is able to match this need.
Organic olive oil is a high quality product with high value compared to other types of olive oil and it is certified by the competent quality bodies in each Member State.
Organic olive production is possible in various types of olive groves:
- Organic Olive Groves (organic farming) - the first harvest can be certified.
- Conventional or integrated management olive groves to be converted to organic – in the latter case a transitional period of three years must be applied.
In this transitional period, all organic production rules must be met, although the final product (olives or olive oil) cannot be marketed as such. This is the most difficult period for the producer, which requires more support, both technically and economically. The above mentioned regulations highlight the need to support the training of production entities of organic olive oil, members of agricultural cooperatives and managers of companies working on the conversion of conventional oil production forms into production of olive oil through organic farming. Under Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 developing good agricultural practices for olive cultivation, based on environmental criteria adapted to local conditions, as well as disseminating those practices among olive growers and following up their practical application is very crusial. Specifically, the measures eligible for the Union funding provided for in Article 29(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 focus on: “a) the area of market follow-up and management in the olive-oil and table-olives sector,b) in the area of improving the environmental impact of olive cultivation, c) in the area of improving the competitiveness of olive cultivation through modernization, d) in the area of improving the production quality of olive oil and table olives, e) in the area of traceability, certification and protection of the quality of olive oil and table olives by means of, in particular, quality control of the olive oils sold to end consumers. “
This will be achieved through the training of members of Agricultural cooperative and executives of production companies, and they in turn will train farmers in the following fields:
- Preparation and management of the olive grove’s soil and the maintenance and improvement of soil fertility.
- Organic fertilization of the olive grove.
- Plant protection of the olive grove. Measures of protection against pests and diseases.
- Harvest and transport techniques.
- The production of olive oil with natural methods at a suitable temperature without the use of chemical solvents.
- The packaging, maintenance and transportation of organic olive oil.
- The labeling of organic olive oil.
- Exporting Organic Olive Oil
The training will be realized through the use of e-learning and m-learning and addressed to members and managers of agricultural cooperatives and companies in order to enable them to guide farmers in the production and certification of organic olive oil.
The accomplishment of the project’s objectives will contribute to the improvement of the olive oil production in the participating countries and the enhancement of farmers’ income as the selling price of organic olive oil is much higher than the price of conventional olive oil. This will also lead to the local and regional development of the oil producing regions.
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