The event manager and wine communications company Vinetum has announced the organization of the 2nd international olive oil competition, “Αthena International Olive Oil Competition”
AΤΗIOOC 2017 will take place between March 20 and 22, 2017
, at Navarino Dunes
, Costa Navarino
in Messinia, with the participation of 20 renowned olive oil critics from many countries all over the world. Last March, at the 1st AΤΗIOOC competition in Athens, there were more than 256 participations from 10 countries, and 118 medals were awarded. The aim of the organizers is for this event to become established internationally, carrying the fame of olive oil all over the world.
This year, the organizers chose Messinia as the site of the competition, since it is one of the most significant olive-oil producing areas in Greece, holding approximately 1/3 of the country’s total production. In addition, it is home to the “Koroneiki” olive variety, which is considered to be one of the best in the world, and for that reason its cultivation has been spreading worldwide. The competition will take place within the olive grove, a few kilometers from the Palace of Nestor, where significant antiquities that bring out the Greek olive culture have been unearthed; this location will allow the organizers to inform the judges about the history and quality of Greek olive oil. The judging panel comprises internationally acclaimed personas, all of them great influencers in their respective countries.
AΤΗIOOC 2017 takes place with the kind support of the “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation. The Foundation has been working towards establishing Messinia as a model of sustainable agricultural development, and for that reason it supports all actions that lead to that goal.
Greece is one of the biggest olive-oil producing countries in the world, and by far the first in consumption per capita. It is also number 1 in the production of olive oil of the “extra virgin” variety. This information is enough to justify the ambition to establish an international olive oil competition in our country. However, one must also not forget the cultural element: the fact that Greece is essentially the home of olive oil, the first country in the world to domesticate the olive tree, and elevate olive oil into a cultural product.
The existence of a large-sale, legitimate, international olive oil competition, which will take place in Greece annually, will be truly beneficial for Greek olive oil. The competition is named “Athena,” after the goddess who gifted the city of Athens with the olive tree, as well as her name. The 1st competition was organized at the foot of the Acropolis; this year it will take place in Messinia, and in the future it will “visit” various olive oil producing areas in Greece, with the aim of promoting them worldwide.
ATHIOOC is essentially the biggest Greek olive oil competition in the world, a fact that has the following positive effects:
1) It contributes significantly to the qualitative improvement of Greek olive oil production. The awarded olive oils become examples for all olive oil producers, helping them set specific quality goals. Moreover, whether or not an olive oil is awarded will give the producer invaluable information regarding the qualitative path he has embarked on.
2) Its mere existence contributes significantly to the enhancement of olive oil’s reputation; its fame increases via the awarded brands, and the foreign judges who visit Greece each year become ambassadors of our products.
3) It contributes substantially and directly to an increase in sales of all awarded olive oils in the domestic and international markets. When it comes to the Greek market, especially, which is still at an embryonic stage regarding the consumption of premium olive oils, it has been estimated that the competition will be of great significance, as it happened with the similar wine competition in Thessaloniki.
The competition takes place alongside various other innovative culinary happenings, aiming towards the development of the premium olive oil local market. “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation
Vinetum, a company highly specialized in the planning of exhibitions, conferences, competitions, and other high-profile events, is responsible for initiating and curating the “Αthena International Οlive Oil Competition.” Chairman of the event is Mr. Dinos Stergidis, and manager is Ms. Maria Katsouli, a certified olive oil sommelier, and the 1st Olive Oil Sommelier in Greece.
The “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Konstantakopoulos” Foundation is a non-profit private foundation, founded in 2011 to honor Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos. Its aim is to establish Messinia as a model for sustainable agricultural development, by supporting and promoting related projects. So far it has supported a series of activities, varying from research to educational seminars. Moreover, various actions and studies centering on olive oil also take place, as part of the promotion of local products.
Those who visit Messinia today, the area of origin of two emblematic varieties, the “Koroneiki” and the “Kalamon,” will easily understand why olive oil is considered to be a primary local product, famous for its exceptional quality. In a global market where olive oil is a prominent and highly competitive product, the quality and visibility of Greek olive oil provide the opportunity for its promotion and recognition in the international markets. Within this context, the “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation supports the organization of an efficient international olive oil competition in Greece, as is the “Αthena International Olive Oil Competition” (ΑΤΗΙΟΟC), which is hosted this year in Messinia. This international competition can promote these qualitative elements, and place Greek olive oils at the center of the developments in the international olive oil market.