Introducing: Dimitris Anagnostopoulos Neolea’s Olive Oil Producer
What is October all about for you?
October is when everyone in the region starts feeling more and more energised, let’s call it: positive tension. We’re constantly assessing the ripeness of the olives while monitoring the weather conditions. Ideally farmers wait for temperatures to drop before they start picking the olives. This helps with the overall quality of the olive oil after extraction. At the same time, we need to watch for storms that can blow the heavy olives of the tree as well as hail which can damage the fruit. At our mills, we keep in touch with many farmers to make sure we time everything right. It all starts with servicing the machinery and doing test runs to optimise settings before things really kick off because once they do, the clock doesn’t stop running!
How crucial is harvest season in the total of events that take place throughout the year?
Harvest season is by far the most important time of the year. The final stage of the growth season tells us whether the farmers' efforts paid off as well as how weather conditions have affected this year's harvest. Both can impact both quantity as well as quality. At the mill we may have to make adjustments based on the characteristics of the olives in order to extract the oil as pure as possible. Getting the most out of the fruit that nature gave us is the name of the game and will largely decide how long the olive oil will stay fresh offering flavor and healthy nutrients.
What is the one thing that food professionals could benefit from knowing about your job this time of the year?
To many consumers world wide, olive oil has become somewhat of a commodity that’s easily available at affordable prices. This somehow has given it the image of an easy to produce product. Together with Neolea we set out to provide 100% fresh, unadulterated extra virgin olive oil to as many people as possible. I think it’s important to know that what we produce together, is not market standard. There are significant efforts that go into growing this quality fruit, extracting the oil using the latest technology to optimise quality, packaging it and getting it to the consumer. We hope through the Neolea incentive program to meet more and more sales professionals so they can witness how much energy, passion and love goes into this product for it to become what it is. Understanding this makes it infinitely easier to inspire people to buy Neolea.