Tuesday, February 27, 2024

“Along with Athena, you have to move your hand” (God helps them, that help themselves) was the message from 4E on World Olive Day

“Along with Athena, you have to move your hand” (God helps them, that help themselves) was the message from the Scientific Society of Olive Encyclopaedists Non Profit-Civil Society (4E) on closing the celebration of World Olive Day.

The celebratory event was held at the historical building of the Laikon University, which was established in 1864 and continues to function as a hub of knowledge and learning.

The start of the work was announced by Angela Gerekou, President of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT), who actively participated throughout the event. In her speech, she analyzed the model of sustainable development, close cooperation of tourism with agricultural production and with traditional culture, while she did not fail to mention the strong experiential elements of growing up in a family of olive producers.

The Rector of the Agricultural University of Athens, Spyridon Kintzios, was also present and elaborated upon the challenges for Greek olive growing, emphasizing the issues of education, certification and agricultural economy, considering the entire production chain.

The Executive Director of the International Olive Council (IOC), Abdellatif Ghedira sent a greeting congratulating the initiative of 4E to celebrate World Olive Day in collaboration with the Chania Institute of Olives, Subtropical Plants and Vine of ELGO DIMITRA.

The greeting phase of the event was closed the President of 4E, Stavros Vemmos, who spoke about the importance of olive cultivation.

This year’s World Olive Day was dedicated to the role of women. Thus, in this context, 4E awarded the following women for their special contribution to olive growing:

  • Angela Gerekou, President of EOT.
  • Aikaterini Polymerou-Kamilaki, Honorary Researcher, Director of the Center for Research and Greek Folklore of the Academy of Athens.
  • Maria Mylona, olive producer, for her efforts in promoting continuous training in olive cultivation matters.
  • Antonia Trichopoulou,  Emeritus Professor of the Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
  • Efi Christopoulou, chemist, olive oil taster, EE and IOC expert.

The third part of the meeting included speeches of 4E members, which covered all the topics of culture, environmental protection, olive oil quality, and the health-nutritional value of olive oil and table olives:

  • Ekaterini Polymerou Kamilaki: “Olive and Culture, the Role of Women”.
  • Christos Zerefos, General Secretary Academy of Athens, Supervisor of the Atmospheric Physics and Climatology Research Center: “The Importance of the Olive for the Climate”.
  • Giorgos Koumpouris, Researcher EL.GO DIMITRA, Institute of Olives, Subtropical Plants and Vine: “Olive Cultivation in the Age of Climate Change”.
  • Efi Christopoulou: “Virgin Olive Oil and the Consumer”.
  • Konstantinos A. Dimopoulos, Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Athens: “Olive Oil: A Key Component of the Mediterranean Diet – A Healthy Fatty Substance with Anti-inflammatory Action”.
  • Georgios Boscou, Associate Professor, Department of Dietetics – Nutrition Science, Harokopion University: “Eat 5 Olives a Day”.

The proceedings closed with a round table discussion between the journalists Giorgos Lampiris and Giorgos Makris on the topical issue “Is Olive Oil a Luxury Item?”, coordinated by Vassilis Zampounis, Agroeconomist, Publisher, Vice President of 4E.

In a very critical time for the olive growing sector, 4E took advantage of the celebration of World Olive Day in order to examine the most topical burning issues, highlighting the symbolism of the sacred olive tree and those who take care of it to give us its precious fruits.

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