The Cultural, Nutritional and the Socio-Economic Value of Greek Messinian Olive Oil

  • Eugenia Bitsani
  • Sofia Agriopoulou
  • Christina Athanasopoulou
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


The olive tree is heavily associated with human existence in Greece, and especially in the Messinian region. Messinian olive oil is associated with the tradition of the region and can trigger the olive oil–culture–tourism–economy relationship. The purpose of this study is to examine whether a traditional agricultural product, such as olive oil, can contribute significantly to sustainable regional development twofold. On one hand, the cultivation of olive and olive oil is an integral part of the Messinian land. Olive oil is a mix of symbolism, values, faith and traditions, constitutes an invaluable intangible cultural heritage of this region, and on the other hand, this Messinian Olive oil is a high quality agricultural product, famous for his benefits (health, nutrition, well-being). The key point is to link the tradition of olive cultivation with new, innovative ideas that, without neglecting the past, modernize it and link it to other forms of economic activity, adding added value to olive oil and yielding multiplier benefits to the economic and social sector. Also the existence of innovative strategies such as product certification is able to create “identity”-brand name, and promote tourism development specializing in olive cultivation, and it should be it cultural heritage. A brand name is created that harmoniously combines history with tradition, nature and the excellent quality of the Messinian Olive oil. This paper is part of a wider research on the role of cultural heritage in sustainable regional development. Methodologically it is based on the qualitative research, especially on the research technique of “triangulation”.


Sustainable development Intangible cultural heritage Health benefits 


  1. 1.
    Bitsani E (2014) Promoting traditions of multicultural communities as a tool for social cohesion in Trieste, Italy. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 148:412–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bitsani E, Elefteriou A (2014) The management of natural world heritage sites as an essential component of cultural tourism and sustainable development-the Tokaj-Holloko case study in northeastern Hungary: from a national/local past towards an international/global future. In: Schortemeyer R (ed) Tourism development and management, NY Book ID: 6349Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vernikos N, Daskalopoulou S, Bantimaroudis P, Boumparis N, Papageorgiou D (2005) Cultural industries procedures, services, goods. Critique SA, Athens. (in Greek)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kamenidis C (2010) Marketing of agricultural products. Kyriakidis Brothers House, Thessaloniki. (in Greek)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Anthopoulou T, Muchnik J (2013) Localised agrifood systems. Object, scope and policy for research and rural development. In: Anthopoulou T (ed) Food origin and specificities. A territorial approach to rural development. Papazisi Publisher, Athens, pp 35–53. (in Greek)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kozos T, Vakoufaris C, Koulouri M, Spilanis G (2004) Local products and sustainable local development in less privileged areas: local products of the region of the North Aegean. In: Spylani G, Iosifidis T, Kizos T (eds) Development strategies in less privileged areas. Publishing Houses of Typosito, AthensGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Govers R (2011) Place Brand Public Dipl 7:227. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bitsani E (2014) “Intercultural city identity” and “Human intercultural cities” (H.I.C) An ontological/dynamic model for the social cohesion of modern and post-modern cities. The research example of Trieste Italy. (Research monograph). Nova, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Belletti G, Marescotti A (2017) Geographical indications, public goods, and sustainable development: the roles of actors’ strategies and public policies. World Dev 98:45–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Anholt S (2010) Definitions of place branding – working towards a resolution. Place Brand Public Dipl 6:1. Scholar
  11. 11.
    Clodoveo ML, Camposeo S, De Gennaro B, Pascuzzi S, Roselli L (2014) In the ancient world, virgin olive oil was called “liquid gold” by Homer and “the great healer” by Hippocrates. Why has this mythic image been forgotten? Food Res Int 62:1062–1068. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fuentes E, Paucar F, Tapia F, Ortiz J, Jimenez P, Romero N (2018) Effect of the composition of extra virgin olive oils on the differentation and antioxidant capacities of twelve monovarietals. Food Chem 243:285–294. Scholar
  13. 13.
    Casas R, Estruch R, Sacanella E (2018) The protective effects of extra virgin olive oil on immune-mediated inflammatory responses. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets 18:23–35. Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bitsani E, Kavoura A (2012) Connecting enological and gastronomical tourism at the Wine Roads, Veneto, Italy for the promotion and development of agrotourism. J Vacat Mark 18:301–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Babbie E (2011) Introduction to social research. Wadsworth, p 494Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Morse J (1991) Approaches to qualitative-quantitative methodological triangulation. Nurs Res 40:120–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bitsani E, Kavoura A (2011) Organizational networks, migration, and intercultural relations in Trieste, Italy. Int J Adv Cult Tour Hosp Res 4:26–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Evangelou E (2014) The use of methodological triangulation in the research of the quality of life of mentally ill people living in the community., p 114Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Servili M (2014) The phenolic compounds: a commercial argument in the economic war to come on the quality of oliveoil? OCL 21(5):D509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kotsiou K, Tasioula-Margari M (2016) Monitoring the phenolic compounds of Greek extra-virgin olive oils during storage. Food Chem 200:255–262. Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kalogeropoulos N, Tsimidou MZ (2014) Antioxidants in Greek virgin olive oils. Antioxidants 3:387–413. Scholar
  22. 22.
    EU (2012) Regulation No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. Off J Eur Union L 136:1–40Google Scholar
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
    Kouveli A, Tzetzis D, Kyratsis P (2016) Packaging design for the Greek olive oil industry. IOP Conf Ser Mater Sci Eng 161:012038. Scholar
  25. 25.
    Karapodini-Dimitriadis E (2003) Olive oil production and consumption: a contribution to the European cultural heritage of nutrition. In: Proceedings of an international conference on “Olive and olive oil from antiquity to today”, 1–2 October 1999, Athens, Academy of Athens, pp 297–319Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kyritsakis KA (2007) Olive oil. Conventional & organic edible olive – olive paste. L. Akritidi Brothers, Thessaloniki. (in Greek), p 12Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Braudel F (1979) La Mediterranée et le monde mediterranée a l’époque de Philippe II, tome premier, tome deuxieme, 4th edn. Librairie Armand Colin, Paris. [Greek translation, 1997]Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Besnard G, Berville A (2000) Multiple origin for Mediterranean olive (Olea europea L. subsp. europea) based upon mitochodrial DNA polymorphisms. C R Acad Sci III 323:173–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
    Rigatos AG (2015) Folklore. Olive Press Publica.
  31. 31.
    Economou A (2003) The olive and oil in the traditional society of Laconia. In: Proceedings of an international conference on “Olive and olive oil from antiquity to today”, 1–2 October 1999, Academy of Athens, Athens, pp 237–249Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bitsani E (2016) Migration memory, cultural heritage: a vehicle of the city’ intercultural identity. The case study of the Eastern Greek community and the Greek museums in Trieste Italy. Cogents Arts Humanit 3:2–15Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Anthopoulou T (2010) Rural women in local agrofood production: between entrepreneurial initiatives and family strategies. A case study in Greece. J Rural Stud 26:394–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ilbery B, Kneafsey M (2000) Producer constructions of quality in regional speciality food production: a case study from west England. J Rural Stud 16:217–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugenia Bitsani
    • 1
  • Sofia Agriopoulou
    • 1
  • Christina Athanasopoulou
    • 2
  1. 1.Technological Educational Institute of PeloponneseKalamataGreece
  2. 2.Municipality of MesseneKalamataGreece

Personalised recommendations