MED DIET / Scientific Committee Meeting

Building the Mediterranean Knowledge System
MED DIET : Mediterranean Diet and Enhancement of traditional foodstuff – Scientific Committee Meeting (Tunis 29-30/11/2013)

The Cultural Foundation « Routes of the Olive tree » participated in the scientific committee meeting for the Project «MED DIET Mediterranean Diet and enhancement of traditional foodstuff» that took place in Tunis. The Foundation was represented by a team of collaborators headed by Mr. Ilias Vlachos, assistant professor at the Agricultural University of Athens and Mrs. Theodora Kolokotroni.


The scientific meeting took place on the occasion of the completion of the MED DIET Guide, containing guidelines for the promotion of the Mediterranean Diet and methodology for their application. The Guide, result of a scientific research in the framework of MED DIET project with the participation of experts from all partner countries (Greece, Italy, Spain, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia), will be distributed during training courses addressed to selected officers of Greek local authorities, with the aim of sensitizing and encouraging them to contribute in the promotion of the Mediterranean diet and traditional products among all consumers, especially young people.

3rd International Forum on Mediterranean Diet

For the 3rd consecutive year, the Cultural Foundation « Routes of the olive tree » participated in the International Forum on Mediterranean Diet which was organized in Imperia, Italy, on the initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Imperia, the Network of Mediterranean Olive Oil Cities RECOMED and the National Association of Olive Oil Cities of Italy Citta del’Olio .


Greece was represented by the Executive Director of the Cultural Foundation « Routes of the Olive Tree » Mr. George Karampatos and the Ambassador of Italy in Messinia Mrs. Margherita Bovicelli. 
In the framework of the Forum, which included information sessions and workshops around the themes International Synergies for the promotion of Mediterranean diet, Mediterranean Diet and enhancement of traditional foodstuff, the Future of Mediterranean Diet etc., animated by experts from the Mediterranean countries, was also held the General Assembly of the Network of Mediterranean Olive Oil Cities RECOMED.

Mr. George Karampatos participated in the Assembly as coordinator of the National Association of Olive Oil cities of Greece and member of the Board of Directors of RECOMED.

Mr. G. Karampatos took also part in the partnership meeting for the project «MED DIET: Mediterranean Diet and enhancement of traditional foodstuff » realized on the occasion of the Forum. The Cultural Foundation is one of the two Greek partners (Cultural Foundation « Routes of the olive tree» and Messinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) of the project which started in January 2013 with the aim of promoting Mediterranean Diet in Greece.

Among others, the Forum was also attended by: Mr. Fiamma Spena Prefect of Imperia ; Mr. Carlo Capacci Mayor of’Imperia; Mr. Nottaio Franco Amadeo President of CCIAA (Chamber of Commerce Industry Agriculture and Small Business) of Imperia ; Mr. Enrico Lupi President of RECOMED  and Vice president of the Chamber of Imperia ; Mr. Ferruccio Dardanello President of the Union of Chambers of Italy ; Mrs. Diana Julia Llobet from the Mediterranean  Diet Foundation in Spain ; Mrs. Dalenda M’Hamdi Makki Deputy director of promotion and communication at the Chamber of commerce of Tunis etc.


Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean


Marseille hosts a museum that looks like her: leaning on the northern side of the Mediterranean, a meeting point of the two sides, open to the winds of ideas. A Museum of the civilizations of the 21st century, the MuCEM belongs to a new generation of museums: much more than an exhibition space for art work and objects, it is a true cultural site, a place of life and multiple expressions. Meetings and debates, spectacles, concerts, cinema and archives projections complete the offer of the museum on an everyday basis, interrelating all the human sciences and mobilizing artistic expressions from both sides of the Mediterranean.

The MuCEM is interested in the civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean and studies their history in order to better understand the phenomena of nowadays, in a constant quest to combine looks and disciplines. This approach is visible in the exhibitions, where the past and the present meet, in the classical collections and the contemporary works of art, but also in the cultural programme of the auditorium and the exterior spaces of the fort Saint-Jean, where the important current issues are analyzed.


The project ‘MedDiet : Mediterranean Diet’

This project has a double objective: raise awareness on nutrition and promote the local agricultural products and traditional gastronomy.

As an outcome, all sectors of local economy and Small & Medium Enterprises will benefit from a series of actions focusing on Messinia and its products, which will address the large public, nutrition and tourism operators and public decision makers.

2013-05-27The project is financed by the European Commission through theENPI CBCMED program . Over 3 years, it will implicate over 15.000 consumers and 5.000 schoolchildren in 6 Mediterranean countries/regions. Greece is represented by the region of Messinia through the Cultural Foundation “Routes of the Olive Tree” and the Messinian Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

In the framework of the project the following actions have been scheduled:

  • A mass promotional campaign in all the Mediterranean countries.
  • The principles of the Mediterranean Diet will be presented at eight international events with leaflets, brochures and other promotional tools.
  • A bimonthly newsletter will update on the progress of the action and a multilingual website connected to the biggest social networks will inform the consumers.
  • A Public Knowledge System and a digital library with studies on the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, a list of traditional products and good practices.
  • Seminars at 120 schools in the partner countries; 1.200 teachers and 5.000 primary and secondary school children will participate in 120 pilot actions (tasting laboratories, visits to farms and factories, school vegetable gardens, contests of idea, promotion of Mediterranean products at school canteens etc.)
  • An educational initiative on nutrition will involve 15.000 consumers in 45 pilot actions (cooking courses, MedDiet ideas contest, tasting laboratories)
  • Experimentation for the creation of the « MedDiet quality label». This tool will enable the Chambers and the commercial unions in the partner countries to encourage SMEs and restaurants  to offer true Mediterranean dishes.The restaurants willing to promote and valorize the genuine Mediterranean diet will become more extrovert and 300 among them will participate in pilot actions for training, services and promotion of the «MedDiet quality label».
  • 90 public officers from Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia will visit Greece, Italy and Spain, in order to study the best EU practices, policies, measures and initiatives for the protection of local foodstuff and wines.
  • A Euromediterranean Agreement for the promotion and protection of the Mediterranean Diet will integrate the public knowledge system with the digital library, the legal framework analysis and the promotion initiatives.


More information about bout MedDiet :


Project “TOPEKO”

The Project «Local Collective Action for the Employment and Social Integration of Vulnerable Groups in the Regional Unit of Messinia» is financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) in the framework of Action 3 «Local actions for social integration of vulnerable groups» / Intervention 1 «Prevention and elimination of social exclusion of vulnerable population groups» / Thematic Priority Axe «Full integration of manpower in an equal opportunity society » / Operational Programme «Development of Man power 2007-2013».
The objective of the Project is the professional integration of 100 people from vulnerable social groups through multiple support (consultancy, training, contact with businesses etc.)
The expected outcomes of the Project are:
60 beneficiaries hired by businesses active in the construction, retail and services sectors.
20 beneficiaries assisted to create businesses in the retail trade and food sector.
20 beneficiaries assisted to create two (2) social cooperative associations


  •   Direct contact of the beneficiaries with businesses.
  •   Vocational Training of beneficiaries, depending on their individual needs:

1. Quality services in tourism – alternative tourism
2. Office automation with PC use
3. Basic principles on organization, management and running of small & medium enterprise
4. Modern methods of production, standardization and distribution of agro-food products, emphasizing on organic agriculture
5. Development of social entrepreneurship

  • Consultancy to the beneficiaries in order to support them in their professional integration
  • Drawing up business plans for the creation of new business and consultancy.


The Cultural Foundation «The Routes of the Olive Tree»  participated for 6th consecutive year in the event « Mediterranean Days of the Olive Tree» and the Meeting of the Network of the Olive Oil Producing Countries in the Mediterranean (Re.Co.Med), which was successfully realized in the city of Meknès in Morocco (February 26th-28th & March 1st 2013) 

For another year the « Routes of the Olive Tree » participated in the «Mediterranean Days of the Olive Tree», a major event which gathers every year all the olive oil producing countries of the Mediterranean around the same table.


The Cultural Foundation was represented by the Vice President of the CE Mrs. Marinella Katsilieri, who, in the framework of the International Congress under the title«Quality, Health and Mediterranean Diet: at the heart of Competitivity, Marketing and Strategies Commercialization of Olive Oil», presented the promotional strategies for Greek olive oil in the foreign markets.  Approximately 30 representatives from the Mediterranean countries participated in the Congress, which was organised by the National Agricultural University- Agro-pole Olivier – of Morocco and the International University of Andalusia in Spain.

The National Agricultural University- Agro-pole Olivier- of Morocco is among the most dynamic members of the Euromediterranean network the Routes of the Olive Tree and the Cultural Foundation « The Routes of the Olive Tree » has an active part in it, both as a co organizer and a promoter of the annual events.

On the occasion of this event, on February 26th 2013 was held the Meeting of the Olive Oil Producing Countries of the Mediterranean (Re.Co.Med), with the participation of all the Mediterranean olive oil producing countries. The Cultural Foundation «The Routes of the Olive Tree» is a founding member of the network and its official representative for Greece. During the meeting, the Cultural Foundation «the Routes of the Olive Tree» was represented by its delegate Mrs. Margarita Boviccelli, who took part in the works.
This double participation has a multilevel importance, considering that the Cultural Foundation «The Routes of the Olive Tree» was the only Greek actor to participate in the 2 important Mediterranean meetings that aimed at dissemination and promotion of intercultural dialogue among the Mediterranean countries.


The Project of promotion of olive products among pupils has been completed successfully. The action was implemented by the Cultural Foundation « The Routes of the Olive Tree » in cooperation with the International Olive Oil Council and the « Centre of  Environmental Education of Kalamata »/ ELIA Network.

In the framework of the project, which involved 10 schools from the region of Messinia, were realized:

  • 10 Sensitization & Information Days on the olive tree, its history and its products
  • 10 Tastings of olive and traditional products
  • 40 educational workshops for pupils

The goal and result of the Project was the creation of a new snack by the pupils themselves. The snack was made with traditional products and olive products from the region of Messinia and it will be promoted for sale to school canteens and the Centre of Environmental Education/ Network ELIA.

The 600 pupils who took part in the Project had the opportunity to:

  • gain knowledge on the olive tree, its importance and nutritional value of its products
  • taste traditional products from Messinia and select the ingredients for their snack
  • fill out a questionnaire with their preferences and feedback in order to participate in the creation of « SCHOLATSIO », a traditional healthy snack.

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The Foundation « The Routes of the Olive Tree » participated to the International Forum « Dieta Mediterranea » that took place at Imperia Chamber of Commerce, from 15th to 17th November 2012, in Italy.


Among this meeting objectives: to take actions in favor of Olive grove landscape preservation and the feedback about « Mediterranean Diet » valorization path. Since one year and a half from the first session (on May 6-7, 2011) and two year since UNESCO recognition  to the « Mediterranean Diet » , the International Forum brings together, for its second edition, delegates from 14 Mediterranean countries, merged into « Re.C.O.Med. » (Mediterranean Olive Oil Cities Network), born in Imperia last 17 November, 2011.
Culture, landscape and territory but also tourism and employment…
Mediterranean Diet, UNESCO label and intangible heritage, Mediterranean Olive Grove landscape, whose ReCOMed is carrying on the recognition path to UNESCO, are the focal issues discussed during the 3 days of 2012 Forum. Also, on Friday November 16, ReCOMed held its third Board of Directors, to the presence of delegates from Croatia, Morocco, Spain and Turkey, beyond Italy with President Enrico Lupi. The meeting was exceptionally enlarged for this occasion to the other present countries: Albania, Greece, Israel, Slovenia, Tunisia and Lebanon. Lebanon joined the network as thirteenth country just during the current Board of Directors session.


The Foundation “The Routes of the Olive Tree” , which counts, for many years now, among its network Italian members, the National Association of Oil producing Towns of Italy  “Città dell’Olio”, is the official representant of Greece within ReCOMed network, and is involved from the start in the ReCOMed process .
She participates to reflect about promotion of the common Olive cultural heritage and local tourism enhanced through this tree and its products. To reflect also on recent data showing an increasing defection from olive grove areas with worrying repercussions on hydro geological soils ‘shape, on the whole ecosystem but above all on local agricultural economy and on historical recollection belonging to centuries-old olive trees.

International Cultural Heritage Exhibition 2012 in Paris

The « Routes of the Olive Tree » participated for the second time in this important International Exhibition, which every year attracts culture and tourism professionals from all over the world as well as many local visitors.


At the invitation of the European Institute of Cultural Routes and in the framework of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes between the European Committee and the Council of Europe , the « Routes of the Olive Tree » took part in the event, which this year was dedicated to cultural ecological heritage.


Visitors were impressed with the presentation of the « Routes of the Olive Tree » at the stand of the Council of Europe. This Euromediterranean project was promoted through various information materials and modern communication tools, including brochures, posters, promotion videos and an interactive cabin, where people had the opportunity to discover the itineraries in a realistic way.
The « Routes of the Olive Tree » also stood out by offering olive products, among which Kalamata olives, olive paste and Messinian olive oil made an impression!


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Study on the impact of European Cultural Routes on SME’s

The study of the “Impact of European Cultural Routes on SME’s: innovation and competitiveness”, jointly launched by the European Commission (EC) and the Council of Europe (CoE), is now available online.


This study was launched in September 2010 (see previous articles:The “Routes of the Olive Tree” and Cultural Tourism ; Study on the impact of cultural Routes on the SMEs ), to give an idea of ​​the impact of the Cultural Routes Programme of the CoE on the performance of SMEs, cluster initiatives and networking. The study also seeks to examine the potential of cultural routes to promote sustainable tourism and quality tourism in Europe, to strengthen the European identity, the awareness of the value of European cultures and to foster intercultural dialogue and understanding.

The network of “Routes of the Olive Tree”, partner of the study, is one of five exemplary case studies selected and published.

Download the Study of the “Impact of European Cultural Routes on SME’s: innovation and competitiveness”