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EVOOs With Standards For Today’s Society

EVOOs With Standards For Today’s Society

2018/18/05 - How extra virgin olive oil can -and must- go beyond its organoleptic and sensorial qualities, its health benefits and its culinary and gastronomic properties, and boost other attributes to satisfy our social conscience.

Olive oil-producing companies can be of benefit to society by managing their business correctly, creating employment, paying their employees decent wages, innovating and contributing to human progress or paying their taxes that finance public infrastructure and services. It is undeniable that a company’s main goal is wealth creation, yet society no longer values companies based solely on their financial returns, but is increasingly interested in the company’s positive actions towards its social and environmental surroundings.

Here are some of the most beautiful and charitable initiatives with organic EVOOs as protagonists and tools:

SPAIN

Gloriae, an EVOO To Change Lives With
In 2016, with the birth of Eco-Litsae in Úbeda, Gloria Romero and Rosa González undertook the beautiful journey of commitment to sustainability, fair trade and social causes through a philosophy based on the respect for human beings and mother earth. In coordination with the Fundación F.E.L.Í. (Foundation for Children Education and Training, in its Spanish acronym), the company that produces the organic EVOO Gloriae began to provide both social and educational coverage to families in need in Úbeda, collaborating with the city’s solidarity network and donating over 10% of their sales. But their generosity and solidarity activities have expanded to other countries such as Senegal, where they have worked non-stop since 2011. There they have built a school and a library in Diara Dieri, created a women’s association and contributed to eradicating female genital mutilation in the region, among other actions aiding the local community. Fundación F.E.L.Í.’s solidarity and collaboration has also reached Nepal, with the refurbishment of a school or the provision of food after the devastating earthquake that struck part of the Asian country in 2015.



Re-present and Lady Exceptional, Gifting Life
Enthusiasm, social awareness and the conviction that everyone should work together to make a better world were the premises that led José Luis Sosa and Amelia Medina to create the project Re-present, backed by the South Walker company. Under the brand name Re-present, this firm from Jaen offers different varieties of EVOO, among which is their organic Picual extra virgin olive oil, and the possibility of personalizing the product, donating 15% of the price to a charity organization chosen by the customer in any part of the world. Without a preference for any initiative in particular, the company offers the possibility to collaborate with cancer research through various foundations. With Lady Exceptional, another of its brands that include an organic Picual EVOO, the company has created a campaign called “Let’s Beat Cancer” collaborating with research centers by donating 1 euro for each of its cans to the Fero and Cris Contra el Cáncer foundations.



GREECE

Bläuel Greek Organic Products, Sustainability and Cooperation
Thirty years ago, Austrians Fritz and Burgi Bläuel started the organic EVOO and gourmet products company, Bläuel Greek Organic Products, and in doing so were building a future along with farmers and the families of Western Mani, a fascinating and picturesque peninsula in the Peloponnese, where they have helped more than 300 families introduce organic farming into the region and preserve traditional olive-tree cultivation methods. Their leitmotif is: respecting Man and Nature, building their business on the principles of environmental and social responsibility and its precepts: commitment to organic farming; ethics, worker equality and respect for consumers; sustainability, reducing their environmental footprint; and social commitment. At this point, the company cooperates with local schools and the regional center in environmental education through organizing guided tours of the factory, educational meetings with students and teachers and distribution of informative material. Bläuel also support local animal welfare associations and the Gaia association, an environmental group that organizes a volunteer firefighting squad. As a continuation of their commitment to preserving the region along with the search for economic development of its inhabitants, the Bläuel family also created Mani-Sonnenlink, a certified eco-friendly hotel and a meeting place for meditation, alternative therapies and culture, where they organize music festivals and seminars that help preserve, rediscover and promote ancient Greek traditions expressed in dance, music, gastronomy or the olive harvest.




FRANCE

Les Pastras, Generous With The Little Ones
Les Pastras is an organic farm in the heart of Luberon in Provence. Eleven hectares (27 ac.) of land where they produce wine, honey, truffles and of course, extra virgin olive oil, representing the region’s native olive, Aglandau, with a smooth and creamy texture, walnut nuances and the golden hue of the sunset. The farm is run by Johann and Lisa Pepin, a Franco-American couple who moved to Provence from Chicago in 2003 to take charge of Johann’s family property. The couple felt lucky to receive this beautiful property and set out to give thanks by donating 50% of the profits earned from their EVOO and truffle oil to children charities such as One Family Orphanage (Haiti), The Lifeline Syria Challenge, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Caring for Cambodia, Children of Ebola Survivors and Ebola Orphans and HIV/TB Children and Families in Sierra Leone. Tourists from all over the world visit Les Pastras to pick olives with the Pepins and enjoy EVOO and wine tasting sessions, experiencing the genuine Provençal life. These guests often “adopt” an olive tree: by paying an annual fee, the tree will bear an engraved plate and can be visited by the adopter, as well as receiving olive oil obtained from its fruits. A portion of the income earned with each adoption also goes to children’s charities.



ISRAEL

Sindyanna of Galilee, the Taste of Fair Trade
How can an olive oil create hope? The answer lies in Extra Peaceful Olive Oil, the new brand by Sindyanna of Galilee, a non-profit organization run by a group of Arab and Israeli women seeking social change convinced that “working together, life tastes much better”. Among their projects is an exceptional -and award-winning- line of Premium organic EVOOs and other fair trade foodstuffs born from the Arab-Israeli cooperation, promoting female empowerment to create economic, education and job training opportunities for women; working with disadvantaged Arab and Israeli population; and supporting local producers with which they establish relationships based on integrity, trust and mutual respect. Through the artisanal production of their extra virgin olive oil -Kosher and USDA certified- obtained through sustainable farming methods in olive groves planted on derelict land, the women of Sindyanna are inspired everyday to be agents of change and build bridges between the Arab and Israeli communities, serving as an example for children and promoting peace among future generations. A joint effort that aims to be the microcosm of a society based on solidarity and brotherhood. The colorful design of the labels, drawn by the Sindyanna children, illustrates the ideas of optimism, union and hope. Their catalogue of fair trade products includes delicious za’atar spice mixtures, carob syrup or almond, honey and olive oil soaps, as well as traditional handicrafts (palm-frond woven baskets, embroidery…).

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