The Project


Project acronym: INFOIL

Project title: Promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns: the example of olive oil

Duration: 36 months, 1st January 2010 – 31st December 2012

The project will be implemented in the following Country: Greece

Administrative regions: Crete, Peloponnese

Project partners

  1. Technical University of Crete (TUC)
  2. National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF)- Institute of Olive tree and Subtropical plant of Chania (ISPOT)
  3. Musuron Municipality Development Enterprise (MUDE)
  4. ILEIAKI Development Agency S.A. of local self government (ILEIAKI)



Olive oil cultivation and production has been a traditional agricultural activity maintained for centuries in Greece and other Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc. The production of olive oil is located mostly at the southern part of Greece and especially Crete and Peloponnese. Olive oil is a valuable good with high nutritional and biological value. However, the process of cultivation and production of olive oil may have adverse effects on the environment in several stages during the life cycle, if not managed properly. This is partly linked to the use of fertilizers and pesticides during cultivation, irrigation, waste generation, and the processes taking place during olive oil production.

Key messages to be passed to target audience (in compliance with EU legislation and policy)

  • Sustainable production - environmental impact prevention (problem is targeted) such as air, ground, water through sustainable production patterns. Best available techniques in production process and consumption of natural resources (Thematic strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources). LCA results for eco-production strongly indicate the advantages of environmental friendly processes as far as sustainability is concerned. All the proposed measures and messages seek to promote the basic principles of the EC legislation and policy as it is expressed by the recent waste framework directive and the IPPC and EIA legislation.
  • Sustainable consumption according to the Sustainable Development Strategy – EU SDS and the thematic strategy on sustainable use of resources. There is the need to change consumers as well as producer’s behaviour. The approved health benefits of eco- and biological products maintain a stronger sustainability in the consumption of those products compared to the conventional ones. Concerning sustainability of resources consumption, eco-products have by default a comparative benefit.
  • Forward “green products” at the markets, the importance of biological products and their added value at human health. There are a lot of possibilities for a well advertised and promoted certified label to achieve, about which the public should be informed. The promotion of green production is part of the Integrated Product Policy of the EU
  • Life Cycle Assessment for the eco production of Olive Oil and the added value of impact assessment for other products. The whole approach will be based in the Life Cycle of products, as required by the EC policy (e.g. Waste Framework Directive) and emphasis will be put on the benefits in relation to greenhouse gases, which is the hot topic of our times.
  • Environmental impacts prevention, “green products”, LCA, Reduction of greenhouse gases, Best available techniques, have been repeatedly proven in a wide range of relevant studies for their beneficial results to the improvement of quality of products and consumption. The target group (producers + consumers) should move towards a relevant target-oriented way of thinking and practice in order to obtain the above objective.

The main aim of EU policy, which is supported by INFOIL, is sustainable cultivation systems and a variety of high quality products. Emphasis is given on environmental protection, biodiversity and high standards of animal protection. The key message intended to be passed through the project is the need to implement sustainable and ecologic production and consumption according to the EU sustainable development strategy and the thematic strategy on sustainable use of resources, as well as the promotion of green products.

The project will liaise and cooperate, to the extent that is appropriate, with any corresponding information and communication campaign being undertaken by the Commission on the topic covered by the project such as Sustainable Consumption and Production, Life Cycle Assessment, Integrated Product Policy and Green Products.