CRITIDA: The Greek olive oil that reached Japan!
Olive oil, “liquid gold” according to Homer, is the basis of the Mediterranean diet, providing multiple benefits from its consumption. But every year, there are protests from all parties involved in its marketing about the way it is traded. Issues that have to do, mainly, with its standardization. To talk about olive oil and the ways followed in local business practices in order to make it stand out in the international market, we met at the office of a local company on Crete, at Heraklion – the company, “BIO CRETAN OLIVE OIL Critida Ltd“, with the initiator of this effort and CEO of the company, Mr. George Andreadakis.
“BIO CRETAN OLIVE OIL Critida Ltd“, is a family run business, which was previously involved in the consulting industry. Mr. Andreadakis, in 1998, decided to turn to the standardization of olive oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil actually), with the intention to take advantage of the lack of extra virgin olive oil refineries at the time, as the larger quantities of olive oil were sold in bulk. He initially started by standardizing his own production and year after year, he has nowadays succeeded in cooperating with EVOO producers (producers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil) from all over the island of Crete i n Greece and exporting 70% of the quantity they standardize.
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil trade
They trade and specialize in extra virgin olive oil (about 250 tons) and organic extra virgin olive oil (about 60 tons), of excellent quality with an acidity of 0.2 – 0.4. They buy the olive oil from olive mills in the prefectures of Heraklion and Lasithi (in Lasithi mainly from Sitia), while for each sample they collect, various analyzes are carried out by a suitable, certified laboratory recognized by the International Olive Oil Council so that they can be sure of the quality of the product . According to Mr. Andreadakis “the label is, after all, the only way for the consumer to know what oil he bought as it has passed all the quality controls of the market”.
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil in ceramic bottles
The bottles under the brand “CRITIDA” are glass and metal, all procedures done according to international consumer standards. The innovation in this part came from an idea of the eldest son of the family, Yiannis Andreadakis, who is also involved in the company. Driven by the fact that dark-colored containers are better for storing olive oil, he thought of making and promoting on the market, apart from the classic olive oil containers, olive oil in ceramic bottles. These are probably popular with the public, judging by the sales and comments they receive on various social networks.
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil certifications
Mr. Andreadakis tells us, characteristically, that “the primary issue for us is the quality of the oil that will reach the consumer’s plate. Based on this, we have been operating for so many years and this is how we came up with the ceramic bottle. We are strict and consistent first of all with ourselves and then with all our partners. We constantly renew the quality certificates we have from various national and international bodies (DIO, TUV Austria, Kapodistrian University, FDA, etc.) while we apply a standardization system according to the ISO 22000 standard“.
They try to have participation in exhibitions, both in Greece and abroad, as well as the company is advertised but it is also an occasion for information and exchange of ideas with other entrepreneurs in the sector. In the Anuga exhibition (Germany), for example, Mr. Andreadakis comments that his two sons regularly attend, but “we also try to make visits to various countries by appointment through the Commerce Chambers there”. In fact, they were recently awarded at “Terraolivo 2021“, in Israel, for their ceramic bottle which came first in the “Innovative packaging” category, while they also received a Gold Award for quality standards of their EVOO olive oil. They consider the reason for the awards to be, beside the rigorous supreme quality standards, the attention they paid to the appearance and functionality of the bottles and the implementation of targeted marketing in order to promote it better and appropriately.
Critida’s other Premium Cretan Culinary Products
Under the label “Critida” they produce and market also olive paste (regular and organic) as well as Greek olives. In recent years, in addition to conventional olive oil, they also sell olive oil with various aromas. After an exhibition where they had been in Italy and tasted an oil with a strong lemon flavor, the experiments began. So, they managed to make not only extra virgin olive oil with lemon aroma and taste but also with thyme, rosemary, oregano and garlic (ratio % of extra virgin olive oil to herbs: 96:4). All the raw materials they use are from Cretan producers as they insist on fresh, local ingredients. Mr. Andreadakis comments to us that “the demand for this particular olive oil (delicatessen) is constantly rising and from our data I can tell you that we see that the southern countries mainly prefer the olive oil with oregano, thyme and rosemary, while the northern countries prefer the one containing garlic. This move was simple but not groundbreaking for our country. And let me emphasize at this point that our prices are very affordable for the supreme quality of our extra virgin olive oil we produce”.
(SOURCE: https://www.epixeiro.gr/article/43805 )