Our value proposition to our farmers was straightforward and well-received. We understood the superior quality and the health benefits of the olive oil they were producing where others had not - and we wanted to pay them a better price than the conglomerates. We also offered our farmers the opportunity to regain the pride that comes with seeing their product delivered to a customer that can benefit and appreciate it in its purest form. The fruits of their labor would finally be given a chance to stand out in the market, rather than having their pure olive oil blended and diluted into something unrecognizable at an unfair price.
The value proposition was straightforward, however, finding the farmers to deliver it to was not so easy. While our scientists lead the way in targeting the compounds to seek in olive oil, our team’s challenge became how to identify the local farms in Greece that had trees and growing conditions capable of producing olive fruit of this quality and purity.
As recent news stories have emphasized, commercially-available olive oil is routinely blended from many sources in very large batches, and often with non-olive oils, thereby effectively diluting any high-phenol strains to the point where our targeted compounds would be virtually non-existent. We needed to find the purest forms at the source, before they were blended into something unrecognizable.
It wasn’t until our science partners developed a revolutionary new way of using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) testing to accurately measure and identify the phenolic compounds found in the oil of certain types of olives that we could pinpoint the sources where this extreme grade of oil was originating.