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Open AccessArticle

A Comparison between Organic and Conventional Olive Farming in Messenia, Greece

Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Navarino Environmental Observatory, Navarino dunes, Costa Navarino, 24 001 Messinia, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2018, 4(3), 15;
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce)
Olive farming is one of the most important occupations in Messenia, Greece. The region is considered the largest olive producer in the country and it is recognized as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for Kalamata olive oil, which is considered extra fine. In response to the declining trend of organic olive farming in Greece, this study assesses to what extent organic olive farming in Messenia provides a financially and environmentally competitive alternative to conventional olive farming. In this study, 39 olive farmers (23 conventional and 16 organic) participated in interviews based on questionnaires. The results showed that organic olive farming is significantly more profitable than conventional farming, primarily because of a higher price for organic olive oil. Despite this, the majority of the conventional farmers perceived a low profit from organic farming as the main constraint to organic olive farming. All farmers agreed that organic olive farming contributed to a better environment, health and quality of olive oil. Organic farmers used fewer synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and applied more environmentally-friendly ground vegetation management techniques than conventional farmers. Overall, organic farming was found to provide a competitive and sustainable alternative to conventional olive farming in Messenia. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable olive farming; organic produce; conventional produce; food safety sustainable olive farming; organic produce; conventional produce; food safety
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Berg, H.; Maneas, G.; Salguero Engström, A. A Comparison between Organic and Conventional Olive Farming in Messenia, Greece. Horticulturae 2018, 4, 15.

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