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TDC-OLIVE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 505524
Funded under: FP6-FOOD
Country: Spain

Green gold

Precious olive oil and its products have been harnessed to help boost the economy of Southern Europe and bring their benefits to the rest of the continent.
Green gold
The olive and olive oil industry in Southern Europe is an important pillar in the agro-economy of the region and one that can benefit tremendously from newer technologies and global distribution. The EU-funded project 'Setting-up a network of technology dissemination centres to optimise SMEs in the olive and olive oil sector' (TDC-OLIVE) sought to boost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector and stoke this segment of the agro-economy.

TDC-OLIVE aimed to establish a physical and virtual network of technology dissemination centres (TDCs) in Europe, linking the industry with research institutions. It aimed to improve technical competence and high-tech innovation processes in SMEs, as well as promote olive products in other parts of Europe.

In this light, the project established TDCs in Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy which together gathered 30,000 visits in 2005 alone, representing a valuable tool for SMEs in the sector. These efforts were followed by the publication of an Olive Encyclopaedia for SMEs and another edition for consumers, as well as 24 articles in leading journals to promote olive culture globally.

Furthermore, the project produced a report titled 'Familiarity & Consumption / Non-Consumption of olive products and Consumer knowledge of the beneficial effect on health'. The report revealed that 10 % of participants from Germany and over 50 % from the United Kingdom were not familiar with the use and consumption of olives and olive oil products. This alluded to the huge potential in the sector.

TDC-OLIVE also promoted the health benefits of olive oil and olive products through numerous channels. It participated in dozens of seminars and organised three conferences in Greece, Spain and Italy on the latest trends in the industry.

Lastly, the project delivered five training modules for SMEs on information and communication technology (ICT), food quality, environmental issues, legislation in the sector and promotion/consumption. Training programmes were conducted in the 3 Southern European countries, attracting over 500 participants. All these efforts can add an important boost to the ailing economies of Southern Europe, opening up the rest of the continent to this valuable, nutritious set of natural products.

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