At this year’s 2021 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, Greek producers and exporters raised the bar once again, this time winning an unprecedented 99 Awards in the competition’s 9th edition, an all-time record high for Greece.
With a total of 45 Gold and 54 Silver Awards beating the previous record of 70 awards in 2020. This was the second year in a row where the evaluation of samples was done remotely with the results announced online due to pandemic restrictions.
While the volume of olive oil produced in Greece this season nearly matched the 275,000 tons produced in the previous crop year, according to data released by the European Commission, the high quality of the oils produced in several areas of the country, as well as the ample time to cultivate, allowed Greek producers to make their magnificent mark at NYIOOC.
Local producers on Crete, the island that produces one-third of the country’s total olive oil, had a fantastic season in terms of quality. The majority of the produced olive oil in Crete is classified as “extra virgin”.
In a statement to ‘Olive Oil Times’, the regional department of agriculture in Chania said, “This season on Crete, the producers and local departments of agriculture were constantly on guard to prevent the fruit fly from taking a heavy toll on the yield of olive oil, as it did in the previous harvesting season.”
“We used specialized pesticides and monitored the crop-dusting operations carefully,” they added. “In the region of Chania, the flowering of the olive trees was average. However, we had an impressive yield of olive oil with the whole region producing more than 23,000 tons of which 95 percent is extra virgin olive oil.”
“The quality of the olive oil of Crete and Chania has been reputed in the olive oil world for many years,” the department continued. “The growers, producers and bottlers continuously strive to improve it even more. Their awards [at the NYIOOC] are proof that their efforts are paying off, and they also contribute to achieving recognition among consumers and in the international olive oil community.”
The rewarding season described by the agriculturists of the department is reflected in the words of the proud Cretan producers who combined to earn 16 awards in the competition.
“It was one of the best harvesting seasons for the island,” Eytychios Androulakis of Pamako, a company based in Chania, told Olive Oil Times. “If it repeats itself in the coming years, Crete could become the Tuscany of Greece.”