Profitable and Sustainable artisanal olive oil industry in the Mediterranean

About the project

Mediterranean small extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) farmers suffer from similar problems: they own small plots of land and use traditional rain-fed farming, while relying on family manpower. Given globalization challenges, the olive sector of MSMEs is unprofitable and many olive orchards are abandoned or untended, resulting in unemployment within marginalized communities. To face these challenges, ARTOLIO  aims at establishing, in each participating region, a Native Olive Regional Knowledge Center (NOReKC) which will provide up-to-date training on how an artisanal EVOO should be produced in order to remain competitive; and, at defining a networking management model for artisanal EVOO through a Pan-Mediterranean Platform comprising all NOReKC, which will assist MSMEs across the Mediterranean region in marketing, sales, finance, policy and legislation, at national level and in entering new global markets. The project will result in higher olive yield and oil quality as well as improved profitability through connecting individual farmers into a global network of resilient MSMEs able to create jobs at mid-long term and manage businesses. 

Key information

Profitable and Sustainable artisanal olive oil industry in the Mediterranean
A.1 Business and SMEs development
A.1.2 Euro-Mediterranean economic clusters
Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, France

Financial data

2.9 million
Total budget
2.6 million
EU contribution
Project co-financing


Project in numbers

Technical outputs

Project duration

Start date
End date





Project outputs




To enhance the economic sustainability of the Mediterranean MSMEs in the olive oil local industries and increase both olive oil yield and quality, by establishing local knowledge regional institutions as mentors, as well as a Pan-Mediterranean Platform to assist local producers in global marketing and sales

What will be improved?

From one side, olive yield will be increased by at least 200% through the introduction of advanced, evidence-based, irrigation techniques and deployment of sensor networks. Higher yield will translate directly into resilient MSMEs with higher income, then, more likely to create jobs. Form another side, olive oil quality of rural MSMEs will be improved to meet the bar of EVOO both chemically and organoleptically according to international standards and regulations, as well as the promotion of different variants of artisanal EVOO and diversification of products. This will allow small farmers to access world markets at premium prices, then increasing income, resilience and, finally, regional/community growth. 

Who will benefit?

  • Olive farmers with plots of less than 3 hectares
  • Local consumers who will have access to higher quality oil
  • Local business, marketing, branding and finance professionals 
  • 80 EVOO artisanal producers (olive growers and mills owners) 
  • Regional and local authorities in Israel, Palestine, Cyprus, Greece, France and Spain
  • Local chambers of commerce and trade associations
  • Health seekers local and international consumers
  • Non EVOO producing countries consumers who will have access to variant tastes and types of olive oils

Expected achievements

  • 1 Native Olive Regional Knowledge Center established in each participating region  
  • 62 sub-grants awarded to oil MSMEs to participate in pilot activities and receive relevant equipment to upgrade their farms
  • Irrigation, fertilization and mill equipment installed in the 62 olive MSMEs
  • Agronomic training and guidance, as well as financial and business training delivered to 62 MSMEs
  • Extra-virgin quality verified chemically and organoleptically for 46 oil farmers
  • 8 regional marketing and branding strategies (1 per participating region)
  • 1 marketing, branding and sales strategic plan for the ARTOLIO Pan-Mediterranean platform
  • 8 regional supportive business and financing regulations promoted
  • 8 regional supportive technical and agronomic regulations promoted 
  • 8 regional clusters of local farmers collaboration and unionizing models promoted
  • 8 Protected Designation of Origin and 8 Protected Geographical Indication marks of quality promoted

Contribution to policy-making

Most of the ARTOLIO partners that will establish the Native Olive Regional Knowledge Center are public bodies which regard the project as a unique pilot opportunity for policy implementation. Once the knowledge centers are set up, in each participating region, these public organizations will be uniquely positioned to continue funding them beyond the lifetime of the project. The success of the project will also lay the foundations to negotiate with regions on partially funding the Pan-Mediterranean platform so that it will continue to thrive and grow beyond the project lifetime while providing profits and visibility to each region.


Project news

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