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  • Writer's pictureMaria Athanasopoulou



The Elia Lesvos Confest 2022, the 1st three-day International Conference on Olive, was held at the Mytilene Municipal Theatre on 23-25 September and was a resounding success.

This was the first time Lesvos featured on the map of important conferences on Olive Oil held globally. A new era for olive on Lesvos, in Greece and in the wider Mediterranean.

The Elia Lesvos Confest was held by the Elaias Nisos Lesvos Association and was co-organized by the Region of North Aegean thanks to the involvement of numerous supporters, sponsors and volunteers. Consulting services were provided throughout the process of preparation and organization, by the tourism marketing company Respond on Demand. The conference organizers developed what proved to be crucial collaborations with the University of YALE School of Public Health and the NKUA (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens). These two universities are international leaders in scientific research, with initiatives to showcase the contribution of olive oil to human and planetary health and promote sound olive growing practices and olive oil production technologies.

Ø Research, education and training

Ø Olive Oil Food Tourism: A challenge for tourism development with respect to nature and culture.

Ø Consumers relate their experience and become ambassadors of extra virgin olive oil.

Ø Growth through olive-growing in harmony and with respect to nature, the environment, culture.

Ø For the benefit of human and planetary health!

An innovative, multidisciplinary conference, crucial for Lesvos, with the participation of 43 distinguished researchers, entrepreneurs and olive experts from Greece, the USA, Spain, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria. The Conference connected various sectors involved in the olive oil industry, from health, nutrition, gastronomy, technology, the environment, cultivation, to marketing, culture, tourism and the economy.

The most notable feature of the conference was its multidimensional connection to and discussion of olive-related issues which all the participants observed with dedication over the course of its three days. The conference demonstrated in no uncertain terms the importance of technology both in the production of quality extra virgin olive oil and the maximization of its benefits for health, sustainable local development, the environmental footprint and protection of our planet against climate change.

Participants discussed a wide range of topics, from the value of olive products to health and nutrition, production technologies, cultivation and plant protection, gastronomy, marketing, culture and the crucial, multi-faceted nature of olive oil tourism.

One of the central conclusions of the conference was the widely held view among participants that the international market is now primed to recognize and appreciate high-quality olive oils, which combine health protection, an excellent flavour, as well as positive environmental footprint. Olive oil food tourism is an excellent means of connecting international consumers with quality olive oils.

The large number of participants in the conference, whether in person or online, demonstrated the pressing need to educate the public, and producers especially, on the latest developments and prospects for the olive oil and table olive industry, as well as their related activities.

All the participating speakers noted the conference's important contribution to interaction and productive dialogue. Discussions revolved around practices, new trends and the holistic presentation of the future of Olive and Olive Oil.

The Elia Lesvos Confest put Lesvos front and centre on the international Olive and Olive Oil map, with participants remarking that it ought to be held on the island annually!

Participants in the conference will no doubt cherish their memories of the beauty, authenticity, warm hospitality, high standards and excellent organization, as well as the friendships and collaborations they cultivated through it.

In fact, the impressions left by the conference are perfectly reflected in the comments of the participating researchers and other distinguished guests:

“Our heart-felt congratulations go to the organizers of the event, the cultural association Elaias Nisos Lesvos and especially its president, Mrs. Fotini Tirpintiri, for the excellent selection of speakers and topics, and of course, for the excellent organization. This was one of the most successful olive conferences for 2022, both in Greece and abroad. It put Lesvos on the map of important annual Olive Oil conferences that are held globally. In our personal view, such initiatives are truly worthy of praise and must be supported by the local community, the region, and state agencies in order to continue and become established.” Prokopis Magiatis, Assoc. Professor, Pharmacy, NKUA

“It was with great pleasure that we were invited to share our experiences on sustainability and marketing, two of our passions and pillars of Castillo de Canena. All three days of the conference had interesting topics. It was wonderful to share our experiences, thoughts, and dreams, but most of all... our love for extra virgin olive oil with our great Greek family, the cradle of the Mediterranean diet!” Francisco Vano, Founder of Castillo de Canena Olive Juice

“Exceptional organization! Wonderful people! Incredible food, drink and ouzo... and all thanks to EVOO!” Tassos Kyriakides, Assistant Professor, Yale School of Public Health.

“Elia Lesvos Confest, a wonderful organization. It kindled my hopes for the further development of the field. I feel inspired!” Jill Myers, Founder of the network ‘‘Women in Olive Oil’’.

“The 1st International Olive Conference, with the participation of important industry figureheads, was held recently in Mytilene. This notably successful initiative of the cultural association Elaias Nisos Lesvos proved to be a prime and rare opportunity to redefine roles and present tangible ideas and practices.” Vasilis Mouselimis, Agronomist MSc - MBA

“Elia Lesvos-confest, unique in conception and unprecedented in organization! The multi-faceted tapestry of topics and expert speakers was supplemented by the extroversion and recognition of this place: dynamically authentic and original!” Sophia Baroutsaki - Tsirigoti, Honorary Consul of France, Knight of the Order of the Academic Palms of France

“The 1st International Olive Conference – Festival on Lesvos, the ELIA Lesvos Confest, concluded with resounding success. It provided participants from throughout Europe the opportunity to share our knowledge and viewpoints, but most of all our love for olives and their precious juice! Wonderful hospitality, excellent organization and one-of-a-kind experiences on a beautiful island!” Anita Zachou, Agricultural Engineer, Expert Olive Oil Taster

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