- Author Dimitris Besios
- Published May 11, 2022
- Word count 878
On the occasion of a comment from a malicious and certainly ignorant person in a social post about our products, which was ironically expressed about the prices of our extra virgin olive oils, I decided to enter the process to explain why premium products have higher prices than consumers are used to.
I will not speak on behalf of all producers and standardizers of quality olive oils. I will just refer to our production process.
It all has to do with the difference in costs between the majority of olive growers and our own process.
First of all we try to take care of our trees to the maximum extent, so that they remain productive and healthy. To achieve this, we use mainly organic fertilizers (which are more expensive).
We prune every year, while most do it every two years. We deal with the problem of olive fruit fly with our own means and especially with ecological traps and we water the trees at the critical stages of cultivation so that they do not become too stressed. In other words, extra costs.
Harvesting takes place early when the fruit is unripe and this means that the final quantity will be smaller (unlike the vast majority that picks olives at the stage that contain the maximum olive oil). The collection is done by hand because we believe that the machines hit the fruit and so the fermentation begins before the mill and also wounds are created in the tree resulting in reduced fruiting next year. This method of collection is very expensive (many day laborers). The fruit is sorted so that only the best olive is directed to the mill. The remaining olives are oiled and sold in the mill.
The fruit is oiled on the same day with a process of cold pressing (below 25C) and massaging for half an hour. Reduced amount of olive oil again. The olive oil is then filtered the same day resulting in the loss of 20% of its quantity. It is sealed in tanks with the addition of nitrogen so that it remains unchanged until standardization.
In the standardization we use dark glass non-refillable bottles of 500ml because the bigger the package (see 17 kg tin), the remaining olive oil comes in contact with oxygen and oxidation begins. That is, instead of having the cost of one tin, we have the cost of 34 bottles. We are also adding nitrogen to each bottle to keep the product in excellent condition. That's why we can guarantee a 2-year expiration date. The increased polyphenols present in olive oil due to the early harvest and the way of oiling, in addition to giving quality to the final product (antioxidant benefits for the human body), keep the olive oil itself in good condition for a long time as they act as natural preservatives.
I will also mention the costs of promotion, graphic design, transportation, certification, trademark registration which are not borne by a simple olive grower. In that case, he has the ability to sell his product at a much lower price.
So anyone who chooses to get their olive oil from an olive mill because its price is incomparably lower, should consider about all the above. And with simple logic, he will realize the difference in quality. And he will also realize that our profit is not great.
I do not claim that consumers have the opportunity to spend 15 or 20 euros per liter for all the olive oil in their home, since the average consumption in our country (Greece) exceeds 15 liters per person. Olive oil is a daily component of our nutrition and the cost would be unbearable. However, I would suggest that we use a small amount of high quality olive oil for our salad on our table so that we can consume it fresh and raw for health reasons. The premium does not only apply to those who have a lot to spend. But I think that we can all afford 20 euros per year in such a product. It is purely a matter of choice. We are spending large sums for expensive wine and whiskey, without really knowing the cost of their production. But it is a given for us that olive oil must be very cheap.
There is a confusion about so-called premium products. These products have nothing to do about "prestige" and elitism but about healthy eating and well-being in general. Their production and standardization aims at the creation of a product that contains all the beneficial ingredients of each species and their maximum preservation in their packaging. These procedures are costly and the knowledge required as well. All of us who produce such products, have spent a lot of time and money on seminars, certifications and travel (visits to conferences, exhibitions, etc.).
So let’s not compare the quality and production cost of olive oil of a simple grower, who is usually not a professional farmer but has another main job and simple as he picks olives (even those that have fallen) and seeks only the largest quantity, with the professional activity of people who gained knowledge, experimented, invested capital and all their valuable time to create a complete quality product with incredible dedication and perseverance.
Read more: https://aloades.com/
With a banking background, I have worked for many years in the agricultural sector and created a new premium Olive Oil brand Aloades from scratch. I am also working as a Sales Manager on a new challenging project at YANNI'S OLIVE GROVE, by promoting our innovative olive products and healthy foods. I am always searching for connections that may become strong business cooperations all over the globe.
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