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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)

Abstract

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”.

Keywords

Sustainable development Intangible cultural heritage Health benefits 

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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

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