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Food

Greek Olive Oil News Site Lacks Funding to Continue

January 30, 2020

The only wide-ranging English-language website focused on Greek olive oil news has stopped providing up-to-date information about the Greek olive oil world due to insufficient funding. With 224 original articles, the Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil website (greekliquidgold.com) reached consumers in 197 countries, especially the USA.

Approximately 150 articles from the unofficially nonprofit site were republished by other news outlets in the USA, Australia, Canada, Greece, Spain, and other countries. This created an even broader audience for news and information about the high quality and health benefits of Greek extra virgin olive oil, as well as stories, recipes, photos, and agrotourism and food tourism suggestions from Greece.

For over three years, the only online source of in-depth English-language information from and about the Greek olive oil sector that extends beyond one topic or company shared the successes of the people who make, bottle, and export this national treasure. For example, greekliquidgold.com told the stories of a ship captain who gave up his vessel to return to his family olive groves; Greek teachers, linguists, a lawyer, and other professionals who turned to the olive oil business; Greeks’ responses to people who believe the best olive oil comes from Italy or Spain; and a 510 euro bottle of olive oil from an ancient olive tree.

Greekliquidgold.com has been praised by Greek and American embassies and consulates and Greek olive oil sector professionals, and awarded twice by the Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities. North American Olive Oil Association executive director Joseph R. Profaci claims that “Greek Liquid Gold is one of my few go-to sources for accurate news and information about olive oil.”

In recent months, greekliquidgold.com has featured articles on Greek olive oil tourism, Greeks’ responses to new American tariffs, expectations for the Greek olive harvest, Greek successes at international olive oil competitions, a compound found in olive oil that fights breast cancer relapse, and how to buy and store olive oil.

Greece produces the third largest quantity of olive oil in the world, with a larger percentage of extra virgin than anywhere else. Yet before greekliquidgold.com was launched in 2016, Anglophones like Lisa Radinovsky had a hard time finding reliable, up-to-date information from the Greek olive oil sector. Covering the sector for Olive Oil Times starting in 2015, Radinovsky discovered that she needed to get all her news first-hand from Greek olive oil producers, bottlers, marketers, exporters, and judges. Living in Crete with her Greek husband since 2002, she was able to do that. But most non-Greeks are not.

A former English professor concerned that too few consumers outside Greece were aware of the quality of the country’s liquid gold and the stories behind it, Radinovsky decided to share what she had learned with the general public, first on a Facebook page, and then on a website she created with technical help from Twin Net Information Systems. With Greek olive oil losing its market share in various countries, Radinovsky strove to help Greece catch up with competitors such as Italy and Spain in reaching out to consumers worldwide.

Work on greekliquidgold.com, which does not sell olive oil, was funded mainly by Greek olive oil companies’ advertisements on the site, supplemented by contributions from a few import companies outside Greece. While Radinovsky’s full-time writing and promotional work was appreciated, the great challenges and low profit margin in the Greek olive oil business meant sponsors’ contributions tended to be limited. She had hoped more expatriate Greeks would support her work.

After a one and a half month effort to increase financial support returned insufficient results, Radinovsky decided that this one-person project was unsustainable for a writer unable to continue offering extensive volunteer work. Fundraising efforts stole too much writing time, and a lack of funds for visits to olive oil producers and events in various parts of Greece limited the scope of coverage.

Since Radinovsky believes no one else attempts to cover news from the entire Greek olive oil sector in English on a regular basis, she deeply regrets that her years of work on behalf of the Greeks who work with olive oil have ended. International consumers will again lack a readily accessible, up-to-date information source for a product that has been central to Greek culture, cuisine, history, and economy for millennia.

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Sponsors and advertisers who were committed to supporting greekliquidgold.com in 2020, if the site continued with updates:

The Region of Crete, GreekBioStore, OleaJuice, Levantes Farm, Liokareas, Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises, Trace Analysis and Mass Spectrometry Group at the University of Athens Department of Chemistry, the Greek Olive Estate, Athena International Olive Oil Competition, Yanni’s Olive Grove, Anoskeli, Terra Creta, Golden Tree, Anopaea Organic Estate, Artemisia Estates, Oliorama, Loutraki Oil Company, Exploring Greece, PJ Kabos, Olive Poem, Carter Imports, Agrovim, Stalia, Energaea, St. Elias, Armonia International Olive Oil Competition, Gaia Vitality, Elenianna, the Organoleptic Laboratory of the Agricultural Cooperative of Rethymno, the World Olive Center for Health

 

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