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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 16 January 2016
BUSINESS 24 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 16 JANUARY 2016 Greek olive oil finally gains recognition The local reputation of this premium product is travelling beyond the country’s borders TANIA GEORGIOPOULOU Slowly but surely, thanks to the great efforts of passionate people to overcome numerous obstacles, Greek olive oil is at last getting the recognition it deserves. While locals have long claimed that Greece produces the best olive oil in the world, it's now being recognised as a premium product beyond the country's borders. For a number of years now, Greek olive oil has been venturing out into the world in artfully designed packaging that almost makes you regret opening it, and presented as a precious elixir, all the time winning new fans. Gaea is a champion in exporting packaged olive oil, which constitutes 50 per cent of its sales. This year the company launched its latest product in the US, an extra virgin olive oil from the Koroneiki variety that does not come into contact with light or air from the time of pressing to the moment the bottle is opened, which has met with great success. The neck of the bottle is filled with nitrogen "to ensure that the product retains all its excellent characteristics until the moment of consumption", says Gaea CEO Aris Kefalogiannis. The Greek capital controls briefly held up the Japanese launch of George Koropoulis's Maleas olive oil, made with organically grown olives from Laconia, cold pressed with very low acidity and a distinctive taste, also stocked by Harrods. But this was his year and he reaped the rewards: a gold medal in the Olive Japan 2015 competition, gold for taste and silver for packaging in the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, and a gold medal in the Premio Biol 2015 in Apulia, Italy. In Greece, Maleas also received the olive oil production award for 2015 from Gastronomos magazine. Does all this mean a boom in Greek olive oil exports? Unfortunately, no. Of the total Greek production (310,000 tons per annum) only a small proportion is standardised, approximately 27 per cent (the rate in Spain is 50 per cent and Italy 80 per cent). Thus Greece has only a four per cent stake in the international standard olive oil market, while large quantities of Greek olive oil are still exported in bulk to Italy, where they are blended and marketed as Italian olive oil. But the creation of a standalone product, with all the features of a high-quality brand name in an international market, is definitely paving the way for future success. It's worth noting that the 25 million or so tourists that visited Greece in 2015 have the potential to act as brand ambassadors once they taste Greek olive oil in the country that produces it. Back home, they are bound to seek it out as long as savvy Greek companies keep on stepping up to meet this demand. * This article first appeared in Kathimerini's K magazine. App to manage a smart car via smartphone officially launched by Greek Australian George Parthimos presented the groundbreaking Commercial Link software at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Imagine being able to run your car's diagnostics from your smartphone, or to monitor its fuel consumption and battery life. Commercial Link does exactly that - and much more; it can help drivers locate their vehicles, or keep track of speed and driver behaviour in real time. The ground-breaking application - the first of its kind - was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Developed by Melbourne-based tech company Connexion Media for General Motors, the application operates via an internet-connected SIM card installed in GM's smart cars. "It's the first subscription service in the world that will use built-in connected car technology for everyday people. And this is the first of many," explained George Parthimos, chief executive of Connexion Media, acknowledging the revolutionary aspect of the product. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Mr Parthimos explained that the app is a way to access the data. "But we have built a complete computer system which collects the data and stores it in the cloud, so that the user can have access via app or the web." The automobile industry is investing more and more in this kind of technology, with predictions of an estimated 250 million internet-connected cars being in circulation by the year 2020. This fact alone has created a great need in the market for software and applications. George Parthimos is well aware of that and promises that Commercial Link will be followed by many softwareas-a-service vehicle management products for internetconnected cars. As presented at the CES in Las Vegas, Commercial Link can be used by vehicle owners and small fleet managers. The subscription fee starts at $10 per month, per vehicle, when the user has an OnStar account with GM (which is behind brands such as Holden, Chevrolet and Cadillac). Almost all of the 3.4 million vehicles that the auto giant manufactures for the US market alone each year will have access to Commercial Link. "The smart car is the vehicle of the future and I feel especially content that Connexion Media is the first company in the world to turn it into reality," stated Mr Parthimos. "This is big for Australia, not just us. People are going to look back in 10 years and see a particular point in time. When was the first time the connected car actually created value for consumers? This is that moment," he said. The ASX-listed Connexion Media came to fame with the miRoamer, the world’s first in-car internet radio, which opened the way for partnerships with major car manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Peugeot. Apart from developing cutting-edge software, Connexion Media has broader plans for the future, as it is aiming to become an agent in the rejuvenation of the Victorian automotive sector, keeping the industry alive, after the closure of Toyota and Holden's manufacturing divisions in Australia. For that purpose, it is creating an innovation centre in Melbourne and another in Detroit, linking automotive tech companies with major industry players. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM South Melbourne launches new networking group Ahead of the 2016 season, South Melbourne Football Club (SMFC) has launched its highly-anticipated Business Corporate Networking Group. The new addition has been in the works for the past 12 months, with the aim being to connect likeminded individuals and businesses supporting the club. In an interview with smfc. com.au, head of SMFC corporate sales Nicholas Maikousis expressed his excitement about the launch. "We have worked tirelessly over the last twelve months to formulate a model that caters to our growing corporate base," he said. "It is testament to the growth of our club that we have already been able to welcome more than 60 corporate partners for the 2016 season. We cannot wait to officially welcome them all into the extended SMFC family." SMFC president Leo Athanasakis expressed similar thoughts, emphasising that the club aims to continue its growth off the field. "We have been blown away by the amount of support that we have received so far for 2016. With our new model and our increased off-field staff, we are very excited to commence this journey," he said. The new group will see a tiered partnership approach, with each category defined by an appropriate level so that all corporate partners see maximum benefits. There will also be greater networking opportunities, set to be hosted in the club's fully-catered corporate area at Lakeside Stadium, in addition to other events, which will have less of a football focus and more of an emphasis on bringing the SMFC business partners together. To register your interest or to become a SMFC in Business member, contact the SMFC operations manager George Kouroumalis via email at multimedia@ smfc.com.au Memberships commence at $500+GST and there are various packages on offer for consideration.
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