We never wanted to create another olive oil brand. Supermarket shelves are loaded with them and there seemed to be no need for more.
What we wanted to create was a life lived with integrity and in harmony with the people and nature that surrounds us. Honest Toil was an intuitive route we happened upon after we started harvesting and learning about the traditional olive production in Messinia. It’s more of a project with a value system than a brand or company in the usual sense of the word.
One of those core values we held onto from early on was sustainability. Back before it was a buzzword in the olive oil industry, we set out to integrate sustainability into our working method. We knew we wanted to promote the oil in its purest form and the people who produce it, instead of letting them get blended into mass production.
Over the years, we’ve assimilated several components to this and are constantly striving to add even more. It’s a never-ending learning process that we honour and enjoy: after all, if you’re looking to set a whole new standard for doing business, you’ve got to be patient.
- We work directly with small scale farmers from the villages in Kyparissia.
- Production is low-impact and harvesting methods are manual and non-invasive, with respect to the wildlife of the grove.
- Pressing happens within a few kilometres of the lands in the small-scale, family-owned village presses of Armenioi, Rises and Ampelofito.
- Locality: Honest Toil only contains oil local to the immediate area, from a handful of small producers. Unlike mass-produced olive oil, it never travels thousands of miles to get blended in with oils from elsewhere, eventually losing its provenance and personality.
- Seasonality: we never store oil for years, never mix it with inferior stuff. Every year we offer what is freshly harvested and pressed. This involves an element of unpredictability about when we can actually ship the fresh stuff, meaning loads more preparation and administration for us. But this something we do happily, as it means we can respect the land, the weather, the crop and the farmers instead of working to unnatural schedules set by market demand.
- Packaging happens in a small local factory. The labels are printed by Adonis’ excellent workshop in Spilia. All our designs are made by friends (read more here).
- From very early on, we’ve encouraged our customers to reuse their cans and bottles in creative ways. We love seeing the results!
- We try to minimise road miles by compiling deliveries and by adding our oil to trucks transporting other goods.
- The oil travels as little by road as possible. In Budapest and Berlin, we have developed innovative cargobike-logistics systems with the help of Fahrwerk Kurierkollektiv (link: https://www.fahrwerk-berlin.de/wp/) and Aranykerék Futárszolgálat (https://aranykerek.hu/). We are proud to play our part in the zero-carbon urban logistics revolution!
- As we are just a team of two, one of us is personally in contact with all the shops, restaurants, and individuals who use our oil. This way, we are always fully accountable.
- We believe that less is more and therefore only take on as much work as we can realistically do without exploiting ourselves and the people we work with. This way, we can guarantee that we always have personal control over how the oil gets to your table and can ensure that it lives up to the high standards set by Honest Toil :)