Oilove® is a small family-owned business formed by individuals who have been successful in their professional careers but in the meantime because of their obsession with high quality nutrition intake and influence from family background in agriculture, they started up the Oilove® as an entrepreneurial effort. With dedication and care, their goal is to produce the best quality products for their own use, and to share them with others in the world, so customers can be assured that each bottle is made with love and passion – the best quality possible – from various local varieties of Greek extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) using strict organic farming methods.
Interview with Spyros Armyros
Tell us a little bit about your company. When and how did you start your business? How did you decide to get involved in the food industry?
The company was established in November 2014 and started commercial packaging and distribution of organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). As a first step, we aim at exporting the organic EVOO that we produce in our own fields, which are in Astros, Arcadia, and Tolofon, Fokida. Should this step be successful, we wish to expand by cooperating with many other producers in the country. The olive tree cultivation and olive oil production has spanned over 4 generations in our family, but it was not until 2010 did we decide to focus on the organic aspect of production and by putting science in action – adopting best practices and constant improvement year after year. Oilove® has been certified for all the activities in production and distribution of organic olive oil products. We also design and produce custom-made products according to customer’s request base on its target market and cost requirements.
We would like to know more about the ingredients you use in your products. Where do you find them? Which are criteria by which you choose them, and how important are the raw materials for you?
Our products are blends of different types of olive crop varieties. Oilove® EVOOs are extracted in the shortest time possible, often within twelve hours after collection by using cold extraction method to maintain the beneficial properties of olives. As a result, the superior sensory characteristics of our oils make Oilove® the top food choice in EVOO. We produce two types of Organic EVOO, differentiated by the region of cultivation and by the crop variety. Our first EVOO (region Tolofona Fokida) is produced by olive tree varieties locally called Patrini slightly blended with a small intake of Koroneiki. Our olive grove consists of several thousand trees on a gradual rising slope of a low-elevation mountainous area in Tolofona in central Greece, and most of the trees are newly-planted, producing a high quality, thin oil with a unique amber color. The taste is medium fruity and pungent and mildly bitter. Our second EVOO (region Astros Arcadia) comes from the olive tree varieties of Megaritiki, Manaki and Koroneiki. Olive trees are grown in the plain of Astros Arcadia as well as on hilly areas leading to Mt. Parnon. The oil colour is yellowish-golden and it has a sweet taste and a sensation of smoothness and great aroma.
What potential do you think that Greek products have in the global market?
Greece is a blessed land that combines unique climate conditions and terroir for high quality agricultural products. The potential of exporting fine products is endless. As more people turn into organic agriculture these days, and bringing fresh ideas by attending seminars, conferences, exhibitions, and with easier access to international communications, all these factors can change how we can make Greek products more competitive and successful around the world.
The Greek olive oil is a high quality nutritious product and its beneficial effect reflects in many studies into Mediterranean people’s diet and life style. There are even studies nowadays on how olive leaves can be used in beneficial ways. Greece is the number one consumer of olive oil (per capita) but a large percentage of the distribution takes place like raw material – in old traditional ways of processing and packaging, and needs to be improved in order to match international standards to be more easily acceptable by consumers abroad.
What are the most important challenges that a Greek producer has to face today? And also, what do you love the most about your business?
The Greek farmers need to deal with the high production cost and the effects of the climate change. The organic farmers in Greece have very little ammunition in their array to fight diseases compared to other competitive countries where several substances are allowed to be used in organic farming. The average size of farms are relatively small, and the lack of effective agricultural associations does not help to ramp up the scale of the production efforts and the marketing costs required to reach the end consumers. For Oilove®, it will take a few years before we can see the efforts we put in now, but on the other hand, working in the farmland and living in a natural environment is a tremendous satisfaction. Hopefully some international recognition and acceptance of our hard work will keep us focused on making our products better year after year.
What do you think makes your products special? Can you pick out and present us the ones you think are more interesting?
We take pride in the 500ml white bottle of Olive Limited organic EVOO that is our luxury product in alignment to our dedication for perfection.
Why did you decide to put your products in a MontlyFlavors box? We would like you to send a message to our subscribers, in and outside of Greece.
MontlyFlavors is an innovative concept that promotes tasty food treasures of the Greek land from small producers. It provides a unique vehicle to introduce specially-selected Greek agricultural products from small farms to your tables, reaching international consumers and establishing personal relationships between the two ends.
Customers who choose organic products have made a conscious decision to follow a healthy lifestyle and to accept the price for producing such premium product. We would like to see this segment of people growing not only will it contribute to the well-being of our planet by reducing toxic chemicals in our soil and water, but it also gives us an additional incentive to be in this business.