The Aristoil cluster is the result of the activities of cooperation of the partners of ARISTOIL Interreg MED project, which was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg MED Programme 2014-2020.

The project partners include organisations from Greece; EGTC Efxini Poli (coordinating beneficiary), the Region of Peloponnese and the University of Athens; from Italy EuroMediterranean Center for Sustainable Development (Svi.Med) and Free Municipal Consortium of Ragusa; from Spain: University of Cordoba and Provincial Government of Malaga; from Croatia: the University of Split and from Cyprus: Aristoleo LTD and Larnaca and Famagusta District Development Agency. The aim of the project is the development of an Aristoil Mediterranean Health Olive Oil Cluster of key actors to facilitate networking and cooperation across the Mediterranenan area, in order to support the communication and exchange of know-how, technology and experiences. The Aristoil living labs, which were created locally as an innovative methodology to involve the quadruple helix actors, can support the development of the Aristoil Cluster. Information on new market opportunities, exhibitions, seminars, demand and other ideas flow through the cluster.

The purpose of the Aristoil Cluster is to strengthen local, regional and national capacities for improving the quality and properties of olive oil and raise competitiveness of olive oil products, during all stages of production and distribution. Targeting consumers, we will provide them with an integrated quality assurance system, which may offer them confidence in the products they’re purchasing.

The cluster may include the following individuals or groups:

  • Olive growers and olive oil producers
  • Olive-millers
  • Standardization experts/ organisations
  • Packaging – related enterprises
  • Government, NGO and scientific bodies with expertise related to olive oil

The main activities of the Aristoil Mediterranean Healthy Olive Oil Cluster are:

1. Provide services for the Cluster beneficiaries to increase product market value
2. International collaboration through the establishment and support of international olive oil cluster
3. Enhancing competitiveness of local economy
4. International promotion of EVOO with enhanced health value (polyphenol health claim)
5. Member representation of the Cluster in international markets
6. Research and development
7. Support in technology transfer activities in EVOO production

Representatives of actors coming from each local Living Lab adhering to the Cluster administration from all countries is going to be a priority and will grant the visibility, promotion and representation in commercially-relevant activities of all participant areas. By signing the protocol of participation you are expressing your willingness to participate in the activities of the Aristoil cluster, which you can find in the platform , following the principles of the Guide for Producers and vision hereby described.

Aristoil Project

The Mediterranean region is the main place around the world for production of olive oil. 95% of the world’s olive oil is produced in the Mediterranean and mainly in Greece, Peloponnese which produces 65% of Greek olive oil, Italian regions of Sicily, Calabria and Puglia and Andalusia in Spain, the biggest olive growing area on the planet. The main common challenge for all participating countries in the project is that the average price of olive oil is low in comparison to the production cost and moreover there is a strong competition with the non-Mediterranean seed oil sector. The producers in the Mediterranean are pressed either to reduce the cost of production or to increase the value or the demand for olive oil in the international market in order to maintain the viability and sustainability of the olive tree cultivation and the olive oil production. The main objective of ARISTOIL is the reinforcement of Mediterranean olive oil sector competitiveness through development and application of innovative production and quality control methodologies leading to olive oil with enhanced health protecting properties (as recognized by EU 432/2012 regulation). The development of a Mediterranean Cluster for olive oil producers and businesses combined with specialised training, development of innovative methods for identifying the phenolic ingredients of the oil as well as oil producers’ support by special product certification is the mixture which will lead to the project’s objective.

Expected results

1. Boost of Production of innovative olive oil product:

A comparison of available analysis methods for olive oil ingredients and optimisation of most suitable methods will be completed throughout the project life. The optimisation of methods will accompanied by the development of a tool which can be used by the producers for fast oil analysis in the field in order to know if it is the right moment to collect the oil achieving the optimum of taste and phenolic ingredients. All relevant information will be simplified and provided to the producers through a user friendly Guide for production of olive oil.

2. Training of 3000 olive oil producers and millers:

A total of 3000 olive oil producers and millers will be trained through the organisation of 72 training and seminars for olive oil producers and olive millers in throughout the project implementation. Trainings and seminars will be dedicated to inform producers and olive millers on innovative production methods and tools which are at their disposal.

3. Increase knowledge for consumers:

Consumers should be informed on the health benefits of olive oil high in phenolic content according to EU 432/2012 regulation. A series of info days (44) organised in the participating countries are dedicated to enhance knowledge capacity of stakeholders and mainly consumers.

4. Development of a standardised procedure for Olive oil “Health Claim” certification:

The increase of the Mediterranean olive oil sector competitiveness lies upon the construction of a “high quality” brand for olive oil produced in the Med area meeting minimum specific standards. The development of standardised procedures for certification and the creation of two certification centers in Spain and Greece covering the needs of all the Med area will ensure the final consumer on the product quality.

5. Development of Mediterranean Olive Oil cluster:

A Mediterranean Cluster of olive oil sector key actors will be developed aiming to facilitate networking and cooperation across all Med area. An e-hub will support the communication and exchange of experience among the key actors. Information on new market opportunities, exhibitions, seminars, demand and other ideas will flow through this hub.