Olive oil export in Europe – America – Australia

“The export of olive oil of the Agricultural Cooperatives Association of Seteia will reach the same levels of 2009 in 2010 as well” stressed in an interview to “In-On” magazine the chairman Mr. Emmanuel Vakontios.
He underlined that in 2009 olive oil export was more than 4.000 lt. It is important to be noted that SITIA olive oil has been awarded with 12 international prizes, three of which were given by the International Council of Olive Oil while on a national basis it has been awarded two prizes.
According to the records of the Association, in Greece olive oil and wine are mainly produced. More specifically:
– Regarding olive oil: there are 100 million olive trees and the production reaches 250 thousand tons
– Regarding wine: Greece has 28 wine zones for the production of Very Superior Old Pale (VSOP) wines and 87 local wines
In Seteia region, there are 35 oil presses, 120.000m2 olive groves, 3.000.000 olive trees, 15.000 tons is the average annual production of olive oil while the total amount consists of extra virgin olive oil the 40% of which has acidity of 0,3%. For the rest of the Mediterranean countries the same amount is 5%.
During the productive process of the olive oil in the Agricultural Cooperatives Association of Seteia -as it is referred by the chairman- chemical processing is not used in order to protect olive trees from various diseases, rather natural ways of processing are used. The olive crop is solely beaten down with canes, the transport of the olives is realized in small sacks made of natural material up to 50 kilos so as the olives are not destroyed.  After having gathered the olive crop, olive oil has to be produced during a time span of three days. In order for the olive oil to be bottled, acidity should not be more than 0, 7%.
The olive oil products of the Association are: BIO SITIA (biological extra virgin olive oil), SITIA 0, 3 (extra virgin olive oil) και SITIA 0, 7 (extra virgin olive oil).
Additionally, the Association produces wines and tsikoudia.. More specifically: SITIA VSOP ( dry white and red wine), SITIA VSOP (red naturally sweet wine), CRETAN LOCAL (dry white, rose and red wine), MYRTO (dry white, rose  and red wine), THRAPSATHIRI (dry white wine), ASYRTIKO (dry white wine) and VARVAKI (tsikoudia).
The productive process of the wine involves: the use of chemical processing is avoided in order to protect the wine groves from diseases, rather natural ways are used. Everything is collected by hand, and transported in plastic boxes. The grapes are directly transported to the winery, the wine groves are not irrigated-dry wine groves and 90% of the production is Very Superior Old Pale (VSOP) wine.
Following the chairman’s words, the productive units of the Association (winery, olive oil bottling plant, tsikoudia distillation, distribution and trade of un-bottled olive oil) function according to systems that promote quality assurance:
– ELOT EN ISO 14001:2004
– DIN EN ISO 9001:2000
– IQNET ISO 9001:2000
– HACC/ ELLOT 1416(DS 3027:1997)
– IFS International Food Standard: higher level
Furthermore, considerable amounts of olive oil are exported to Germany, Canada, Australia and Russia
Historic Facts
The Cooperatives Association of Seteia (secondary association) was founded in 1933. It consists of 42 first-grade agricultural associations. The Union is known for the production of: Olive oil of Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O) and Very Superior Old Pale (VSOP) wines.
Moreover, a recent addition of the city is the exhibition center – museum of local products. It was created and functions under the responsibility of the Agricultural Cooperatives Association of Seteia.
The aim is the promotion of local products, the financial development of the area and the reinforcement of the local production. The main products advertised are widely-known, including the excellent olive oil “Seteia”, the famous “Cretan local wine” of Seteia and Varvaki tsikoudia.

Source of publication 9th issue In-On

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