Panagiotis Tsiriotakis, the Founder of Acropolis Organics, understands that using traditional farming methods is not simply about creating great tasting, healthful food products. He views the practice of Bioharvest agriculture—a chemical-free farming system—as a way to save the planet.
“By staying true to a traditional system that builds soil health and respects the earth,” he says, “Acropolis Organics’ Bioharvest agriculture contributes to the creation of a nutrient-dense ecology of food production that is self-sustaining.”
Panagiotis was introduced to the olive harvest at the age of seven, when his grandfather, Andreas, took him to the family orchard in Vouves, Crete in 1983. He credits his grandfather for teaching him the artisanal practices and natural systems that inform Acropolis Organics’ farming methods today.
Grandfather Andreas never used synthetic fertilizers and was not familiar with chemical pesticides; instead, he taught Panagiotis that old-fashioned, rich manure, from sheep and other livestock—or a top dressing of composted wild herbs and native plants— is the only viable course for a rational olive fertilization program: it increases soil capacity, activates microorganisms, and creates favorable farming conditions.
Panagiotis still remembers scooping up the small, green olives that had fallen on the tarp his grandfather had strewn across the rich soil during harvest. He remembers how the sun-kissed olive fruit shone like shiny gems in his young hands.
That same day, Panagiotis’ grandfather showed him the world’s oldest olive tree that has been growing in the ancestral village of Vouves, Crete for over 3500 years, and the aromatic herbs and wild flowers that continue to surround the awe-inspiring landscape.
Over the next twenty years, Panagiotis made it his goal to become an expert on every aspect of olive oil production, from harvest to cold pressing to the technology of chemical analysis that ensures optimal quality for every bottle of Acropolis Organics “liquid gold”. His mission: to bring the world’s best olive oil from the Tsiriotakis family estate on the island of Crete to loving homes across North America.
In 2004, Panagiotis moved back to Toronto, Canada and turned his living room into the company headquarters for his first import of olive oil, selling at the largest local farmer’s market, as well as small grocery stores across the city.
“I didn’t choose the olive oil business,” he says. “It chose me.”
Acropolis Organics products are available online and at shops across Canada. Our products will be coming to fine food retailers in the U.S. very soon.