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Politics

Mitsotakis Says Burned Delphi Olive Oil Grove Will Be Restored

December 11, 2022

DELPHI – As Greece is poised to overtake Italy and be second behind only Spain as the European Union’s largest olive oil producer, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said a major olive oil grove burned near Delphi would be brought back.

It’s the important Afmissa grove, one of a number of agricultural areas devastated by wildfires and is the is the country’s largest continuously cultivated olive grove and a hallmark of the Delphi landscape, said Olive Oil Times.

Thousands of olive trees, mainly of the Protected Designation of Origin-certified Konservolia Amfissis table olive variety, were destroyed by the blaze that broke out in the region last July.

“A total of 60,000 olive trees will be planted in the area to replace those that were burned in the fire,” Mitsotakis said during a visit to the area and that that there would be more activities there besides cultivating the trees, the site said.

“We aim to transform this unique characteristic of the Delphi landscape into a productive olive grove and combine the agricultural production with cultural and recreational activities, “he said.

He said that money has already been secured from both public and private sources. Mitsotakis also noted that the olives and olive oil of the Amfissa grove should be premium priced too.

“It is impossible for the olive oil and olives produced in the Amfissa grove not to be sold for much more than the oils and olives produced in other groves which don’t have the enormous historical weight of the country’s largest olive grove, which is completely identified with the Delphi landscape,” he said.

“So, we need a brand name, the ‘Sacred Delphi’ or something similar, to show producers that there is a future,” Mitsotakis added. “There is more added value. Our intention is not to sell our olive oil to Italy in bulk, but to gain the added value ourselves,” and to benefit Greece also.

He also said that the grove should become a “lab of innovation” to seek ways to improve yields in olive oil production as the Greek sector has struggled to market itself internationally and often sold much of the commodity to Italian companies who brand it as their own.

“We will work with the best,” he said. “I had the chance to discuss the matter with the President of Microsoft. I told him to bring Microsoft to the Amfissa grove and see how we can initiate innovative actions to increase productivity and reduce our environmental footprint in olive oil production.”

 

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