At the end of each year, «fruits of solidarity” sends a thank you letter to those who support the national campaigns to make them aware of the impact of their choice. And the yearly achievements for the cooperatives that make up the network in Greece.
Part of this letter is publishing here.
Following months of red-tape hurdles, the standardization plant is now in full operation, as we were able to witness during our visit to the Modousa facilities on the occasion of Lesvos Food Festival (link). Lesvos Food Fest aims at giving prominence and disseminating the island’s culinary tradition. Each day is hosted in a different place by a different organizer.
This was not the only cultural event to take place in the Modousa facilities, as this is a space of permanent cultural activities for the surrounding area. An area which, while never having constituted a tourist destination, is nevertheless suffering – as is the rest of the island – the consequences of the EU-Turkey agreement, which has led to thousands of migrants and refugees being stranded on the first-reception islands.
Even as these lines are being written, the island populations are in great turmoil. However, the people of Modousa do the best they can. In collaboration with newly established Sporos Regrowth Institute (Ινστιτούτο Αναγέννησης, Ο Σπόρος), they organize seminars on olive cultivation for locals and refugees. Furthermore, they provide produce at cost on a permanent basis to organizations supporting refugees.
Back to the cooperative’s headquarters, the same resources have been used to build the area’s much-need athletic facilities. In addition, there are plans to create, in collaboration with other bodies, a pilot oil mill to cover the needs of the entire area. The innovation of this project lies in the crushing process, which fully releases the polyphenols contained in this specific oil.
Regrettably, the management of the olive grove mentioned in previous reports did not come into the hands of the cooperative. Fortunately, their work has begun to inspire similar ventures in other areas of Lesvos, the news of this travelling all the way to Athens.
The group has recently undertaken an active role in promoting Kalamata PDO olives through an association created for this purpose. This effort is currently at a judicial standstill, as the court decisions regarding the appeal against the relevant ministerial decisions are not expected any time soon.
However, Green Land is not standing on the sidelines. As producers who want to have control over their product, from production and distribution to residue disposal, the members of the association played a leading role in the creation of the Messinia environmental and cultural association.
Amongst the association’s objectives is the streamlining of the operation of the region’s olive-pomace oil processors. These facilities process the olive stone, that is, all that remains after the pressing of the olive and the obtention of oil. The processing of this by-product is a complicated procedure with a negative impact on the water table.
The association’s first objective is to cooperate with an international measurement company in order to determine the damage caused to the environment by the region’s most popular economic activity.
Needless to say, the group’s R&D department continues to experiment on the development of traditional olive-processing techniques and has recently completed Green Land’s own olive standardization and packaging facility.
In addition, Green Land co-farming played an active role in the establishment of the School of Olive Oil and Olives https://www.kaloos.com/en/. A group of people who are experts on all the stages of producing Olive Oil came together in order to combine their scientific knowledge and experience by creating a national database information bank for extra virgin olive oil to which everyone can have access, either to share their concerns or to get acquainted with better practices of how to produce secure and superior quality products.
The launching of the support centres for social and solidarity economy, to which reference had been made in the previous informative note, has not changed anything in terms of the group’s objectives and operation.
For the fourth consecutive year, DOCK continues to provide support and information to already existing or under construction cooperatives. Through daily consulting and non-formal education seminars, we reinforce the economic, social and political facet of a social cooperative. In 2019 we provided support to over 220 individual cases and to ten existing social enterprises. Furthermore, we staged 6 public events on issues pertaining to SSE, Fair Trade and Networking, and provided training to young people on issues of professional orientation in relation to SSE. The services we provide are free of charge.
In addition, DOCK partook in content production and the organization of the collectivity of the first digital educational platform on SSE, kalomathe.gr.
As a result of our involvement in Fruits of Solidarity and fair trade, we have been entrusted with the organization in Greece of the biennial WFTO Europe meeting.
Finally, in what refers to Fruits of Solidarity, the network is now online in 4 different languages, at: https://fruitsofsolidarity.gr/. Amongst other features, the site includes a summary report presenting the voluntary solidarity structures that have been supported through all campaigns launched since October 2019.