ATHENA international olive oil competition takes place at the historic site of Delphi in Greece, on March 26-28 2018. This is the third edition of the event, hosted at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi. The competition brings together olive oil producers from around the world, who present their produce and compete for the distinctions awarded by a large committee, consisting of 20 judges from various oil-producing countries. The deadline for registration is March 2, 2018.
Greece is the third largest olive oil producer in the world, placing itself in the same league as much larger countries like Spain and Italy, with more than 2,200,000 metric tons of olive production annually – and even more optimist estimates for the 2017/18 season. Almost 50% of the total production is intended for export, especially in markets in the EU, while most of the oil produced is extra virgin, universally accepted as the highest-quality olive oil: it’s a type of unrefined oil, meaning chemicals or heat are not used to extract oil from the fruit, maintaining the purity and taste of the olive while also containing more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives, and a very low level of oleic acid.
ATHENA is, according to the organisers, the fastest growing international olive oil competition in the world and has already gained the respect of hundreds of olive oil producers and international judges. After the success of the two previous events, the annual ATHENA International Olive Oil Competition (ATHIOOC) has been established as an institution. In 2017 the contest was held in Messinia, one of the most important olive-growing regions in Greece. The third edition will take place at Delphi, one of the most emblematic archaeological sites in the world, home to the famous oracle that was consulted on important decisions during the ancient times. Delphi is also the site of one of Greece’s oldest and largest olive groves.
The European Cultural Centre of Delphi (E.C.C.D.), where the event is hosted, is an institution founded in 1977, with the purpose of developping common cultural principles that will unite the peoples of Europe through the publication of studies on European culture and the organisation of cultural meetings and other artistic activities. The centre at Delphi is a compound including a conference, event venues and an exhibition hall, a library and a guesthouse with a view over a large olive grove. There is also an open-air theatre where plays and other shows are performed.