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The Story of Mitera

May 22, 2022

Antonella Meyer-Masciulli is an olive oil sensory expert and a jury member in the Swiss Olive Oil Panel of the ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Sciences) and ambassador of the renowned Italian ONAOO (Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori di Olio di Oliva) for Switzerland and Greece.

It started with a visit to Crete…

Antonella Meyer-Masciulli is an olive oil sensory expert and a jury member in the Swiss Olive Oil Panel of the ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Sciences) and ambassador of the renowned Italian ONAOO (Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori di Olio di Oliva) for Switzerland and Greece. And as an olive oil producer, she is committed to protecting and preserving ancient olive varieties. In Crete and Umbria, it produces pure, award-winning extra virgin olive oils from the original varieties Throumbolia, Mastoidis and Raio under the MITERA brand name.

«A few years ago I was working as a jury member in Crete and had the opportunity to visit an old olive grove with trees that are several thousand years old. I felt like entering a temple. The vital power of these majestic trees and the peaceful stillness touched me deeply. But this magical moment was interrupted by the noise of a chainsaw. I learned that such ancient giant trees were being felled in a neighboring olive grove. These unique natural wonders were liked because the sale of the wood is more lucrative in the short term than the production of olives.

Since the care of these mighty trees is very time-consuming, many farmers do not even bother to harvest the olives in time. They content themselves with laying nets on the ground to collect the overripe, already rotten olives. A low-quality, cheap lamp oil is then pressed from these olives, which is first processed in a refinery using chemical processes to produce an inferior oil! But these ancient olive trees have an enormous cultural value. They survived the Egyptians, the Minoans and the Romans and tell stories from those times long past. And then I stood there and watched these majestic giants being felled!

That was the moment when I decided to become active. I subsequently traveled to Crete several times and met the owner of the visited olive grove and other farmers. The goal was to find a way to produce high-quality olive oils from the endangered Cretan original varieties Throumbolia and Mastoidis and to preserve the threatened olive trees, some of which are thousands of years old, at their locations. At the same time I learned that there are still a certain number of trees of the original Raio variety in Umbria.

In autumn 2018, with my dedicated employees (the Italian agronomist Dr. Nicolò Cultrera and the Cretan Agronova team), I produced my first two varietal olive oils from the varieties Mastoidis (Crete) and Raio (Umbria) under the MITERA brand. In the meantime, another pure oil from the Cretan original variety Throumbolia has been added. And I recently added two more premium olive oils to the range, which are also DNA-certified: These are harmonious connections between the aforementioned original varieties and younger varieties from Crete, the Thygatera BIO and Amerius from Umbria.

The olive oils sold under the MITERA brand are DNA-certified and guaranteed varietal. Consumers are therefore assured that they are purchasing a product that has not been mixed with other oils from other varieties of olives. The MITERA bottles contain exactly what they say on the label.»

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