By Lisa Radinovsky from Greek Liquid Gold.
Greek olive oil companies earned 52 awards at the 2023 edition of the Olive Japan International Olive Oil Competition. In a contest with 710 entries from 24 countries, 17 judges from 11 nations awarded 21 gold prizes and 31 silvers to Greek olive oils.
Mediterre Eurofood SA won the Best of Greece distinction for its Koroneiki variety Mediterre Alea.
The Mediterre Eurofood CEO Konstantinos Papadopoulos attributes his company’s success at Olive Japan—which includes 6 gold awards and 3 silvers, as well as the Best of Greece award—to his team “always working toward achieving excellence. In collaboration with expert scientists in the field of olive oil, we try continuously to analyse each variety in order to bring out the unique flavours and aromatic characteristics of our region, the land of Ancient Olympia.”
Papadopoulos added that they “are very proud of having managed to revive the local Olympia (Nemoutiana) olive variety, an ancient variety very rich in healthy phenols and unbelievable aromas, which was about to be extinguished. By winning a number of awards in international competitions, we managed to prove its value.” This led many olive producers to become more interested in cultivating Olympia olives, “resulting in its eventual maintenance and growth.”
Papadopoulos explained why his company participates in this competition: “Olive Japan is considered one of the biggest and most important EVOO competitions worldwide. Therefore it is a great success for our company to stand out in this contest, and it provides the opportunity to make our products known in the Japanese market.”
Laconiko olive oil co-owner Dino Pierrakos also appreciates the opportunity “to showcase the quality of our olive oils in one of the most recognisable competitions in Japan,” as their distributor also did at the Olive Japan Show for buyers and consumers in Tokyo.
“We notice that the Asian market is looking for reliable, honest brands offering high quality olive oils. They do not accept low or mediocre quality olive oils due to the low volume that they consume, so the quality has to meet their standards or run the risk of damaging your reputation,” Pierrakos said.
Laconiko’s 5 gold prizes and 5 silvers for their olive oil at Olive Japan this year support Pierrakos’ claim that “our consistently high quality is very much in line with the needs of those markets.”
For years, Laconiko has focused on attending to all the details of olive cultivation, oil extraction, transportation, and storage that enable them to give their customers exceptional olive oil. The Laconiko team also ensures consumers that they will receive the same outstanding, carefully stored products the company enters in competitions, from their single-estate extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) to their extra healthy high phenolic early harvest Zoi EVOO and their very popular range of flavored olive oils.
OLEVE is also proud to “guarantee the real and consistent quality of all our products.” Taking home 2 gold medals and one silver Antonios Tirpintiris told Greek Liquid Gold: “our team’s passion for sustainable agriculture and commitment to excellence is what sets us apart. Our award-winning olive oil is the result of the hard work and dedication of our team of professionals”: meticulously attentive farmers and harvesters, a master miller, and a quality control team. The result: all the samples entered in competitions last year (their first year to enter) won awards, and this year’s competition season is already showing impressive results for OLEVE.
Tirpintiris emphasised his company’s “model of sustainable olive cultivation, which not only has a positive environmental impact, but also creates biodiversity on once-barren land in Sigri on the island of Lesvos.”
His team has transformed that land “into a thriving, sustainable olive grove that supports a rich ecosystem of wildlife.” It includes “40,000 olive trees representing 12 Greek and Mediterranean varieties,” as well as 20,000 other trees. In addition to water conservation and terracing, they use compost they make themselves “from all-natural local resources. By returning everything to the earth, we are able to create a closed-loop system that supports the long-term health of our trees and the surrounding environment.”
Aiming for quality, health benefits, and environmental friendliness, Greek olive oil producers submitted dozens of excellent samples to Olive Japan this year. Competition director Toshiya Tada told Greek Liquid Gold that while the overall number of samples received this year was lower than in 2022, the percentage of olive oils winning prizes increased, “indicating that more higher quality samples got sent to us even in this very difficult year,” both from Greece and worldwide.
Complete lists of the Greek winners at Olive Japan 2023
The Best of Greece at Olive Japan 2023, Plus Gold Award Winner
Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Alea – Koroneiki
Greek Gold Award Winners at Olive Japan 2023
(Company – Olive Oil – Olive Variety or Varieties and Flavoring, Where Applicable)
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Miller’s Blend – Koroneiki & Manaki
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Premium – Koroneiki & Manaki
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Bella Vista – Koroneiki
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Breeze – Koroneiki
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Sea Breeze – Koroneiki
- Botzakis SA – Yiayia and Friends Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Koroneiki
- Makaria Terra – Makaria Terra – Koroneiki
- Falcon SA – Ol’eve / Early Harvest Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Kolovi
- Falcon SA – Ol’eve / Early Harvest Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Kalamon
- Laconiko – Laconiko Lemon – Flavored Koroneiki
- Laconiko – Laconiko Clementine – Flavored Koroneiki
- Laconiko – Laconiko Zoi – Kalamon
- Laconiko – Laconiko Garlic – Flavored Koroneiki
- Laconiko – Laconiko Rosemary – Flavored Koroneiki
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Alea – Koroneiki
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Limone – Flavored Koroneiki
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Omphacium – Olympia
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Rosmarino – Flavored Koroneiki
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Omphacium Organic – Olympia
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Olymp Olympia PGI – Koroneiki & Kolireiki
- Melissa – Kikizas SA – Terra Creta Grand Cru Koroneiki – Koroneiki
Greek Silver Award Winners at Olive Japan 2023
(Company – Olive Oil – Olive Variety or Varieties and Flavoring, Where Applicable)
- Agriston Ltd – Argilos Chalkidikis – Chalkidikis
- Agriston Ltd – Argilos Chalkidikis Megaron Koroneiki – Chalkidikis, Megaron & Koroneiki
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Balanced – Koroneiki & Manaki
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Sakura – Koroneiki, Manaki, Makri & Lianolia
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Blossom – Koroneiki, Manaki, Makri & Lianolia
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Bitter Gray – Nemoutiana
- AMACS – Goutis Estate – Goutis Estate Fresh – Koroneiki & Nemoutiana
- Aposstar Ltd – Apos – Maroneia
- Dr. Kavvadia Olive Oil – Lianelia – Corfu Lianelia
- Dr. Kavvadia Olive Oil – Thiako – Thiako
- Sitia Olive Oil SA – Lasitia – Sitia 0.3 – Koroneiki
- Falcon SA – Ol’eve / FAROS SIGRI Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Koroneiki, Adramytiani, Aerokompi & Fs17
- G. Iatropoulos – Asopiton – Koroneiki
- Greek Nature Estate – Vios – Koroneiki
- Hellenic Fields Ltd – Ena Ena Superior Organic PGI Olympia – Koroneiki
- Hellenic Fields Ltd – Ena Ena Organic PGI Olympia – Koroneiki
- Kavalaria Estate – Pathos Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Koroneiki
- Laconiko – Laconiko Lime – Flavored Koroneiki
- Laconiko – Laconiko Olio Nuovo – Koroneiki
- Laconiko – Laconiko Blood Orange – Flavored Koroneiki
- Laconiko – Laconiko Citrus Habanero – Flavored Koroneiki
- Laconiko – Laconiko Koroneiki – Koroneiki
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Oregano – Flavored Koroneiki
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Lena – Koroneiki & Manaki
- Mediterre Eurofood SA – Mediterre Olymp Olympia PGI Organic – Koroneiki & Kolireiki
- Oikologiko Elaiotriveio EE – Delta-Mi – Athinoelia, Koroneiki, Arbosana & Chalkidikis
- Olive Fabrica – The Governor – Lianolia Kerkiras
- S Madariotakis kai Sia EE – Cretan Harvest – Early Harvest – Koroneiki
- Build Bridge A – Doleon / Greek Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Koroneiki
- Sparta Gourmet SA – Sparta Gourmet – Koroneiki
- Oilove – Oilove® Organic EVOO ‐ Origin Astros, Arcadia, Greece – Koroneiki
*Originally published on Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (greekliquidgold.com). See that site for recipes with olive oil, photos from Greece, agrotourism and food tourism suggestions, and olive oil news and information.