Agroecology is a relatively new practice in Greece. It’s a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainable agriculture that combines the social, biological and agricultural sciences, while using traditional farmers’ knowledge throughout the process.
As a social movement, agroecology champions rural communities, smallholders and family farms, local and short supply chains. It also promotes food sovereignty and the use of indigenous seed breeds.
We believe that agroecology will play a vital role in the global shift towards fighting climate change. It provides a holistic solution to improving rural livelihoods, promoting biodiversity and producing organic food.
That’s why we’ve chosen to support Themelion Project, a grassroots farmers’ initiative based in Xironomi, Greece – the same area in which we’re developing our Kadmus Olive Mill. Together, we’ll be building synergies with olive farmers in the region and helping their efforts to produce high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).
Themelion Project’s mission is to prevent the abandonment of traditional olive groves while using agroecology to grow olive trees and produce monovarietal EVOO. They also hold informative sessions for farmers about the importance of preserving indigenous Greek olive species.
Agroecology in Greece was first adopted on the island of Crete in the late ‘90s as an applied research project. It aimed to design, develop, and spread the knowledge and practice of ecological olive production. The project resulted in the creation of a local organic farmers’ cooperative in 1998 which made certified organic olive products available in the market.
Since then, there have been several NGOs, farmers’ cooperatives and academic institutions that promote organic farming and agroecological practices in Greece. There are clear benefits in doing so. The country’s topography of rugged mountainous terrain, semi-arid and isolated islands as well as a high percentage of traditional small farm holdings make it an ideal platform in which to produce organic food.
Greek agricultural traditions already use some agroecological practices, such as: conservation and use of locally adapted crops, dry farming, rain harvesting, terracing for olives and grapevines in rugged terrain. We want to build on this knowledge and use agroecology as a way of improving the resilience of our natural landscapes and local food systems.
Contact us to hear about how we plan on using agroecology in the region of Xironomi, Greece.