Honest Toil's central values are traceability, cooperation, and respect for the human & nonhuman environment.
We bring our olive oil to you in cooperation with all parties involved, using low-impact methods, taking responsibility for the whole process.
How we work
Honest Toil's central values are traceability, cooperation, and a respect for the human and nonhuman environment.
We produce and distribute our olive oil through environmentally responsible harvesting methods, in cooperation with our neighbours, and with a full responsibility for the whole process.
Our oil comes from our own groves as well as other select small farms in the neighbourhood. In stark contrast to intensive, industrial olive oil production, groves in our area are small-scale and family-owned.
Preferring an early harvest, we pick our olives when the fruit is most packed with flavour and those coveted polyphenols. We exclusively use traditional, manual, low-impact methods, using sticks with ‘propeller-like’ endings (we like to call them ‘ticklers’) that remove the teeny koroneiki olives from the branches, letting them fall onto large nets spread underneath the trees. This process respects birds and other animals who cohabit in the olive grove. Once picked, the olives are gathered into sacks and taken to the village press the same day to preserve their quality.
Presses function on a collective basis: farmers bring in the harvested olives and give a percentage of the oil in exchange for the pressing. Everyone knows everyone and the whole process is based completely on trust – this is how it's been for centuries. Presses are locally owned and run as family businesses, passing down the knowledge from generation to generation. Over the years, we’ve built direct cooperation with three nearby presses who help us with the pressing of our own olives and share some of the best of the oil that comes through during the harvest. We personally sample each batch in search of that perfect ‘Honest Toil’ flavour.
Initially, the oil from our groves was sufficient to supply Honest Toil, but this is not the case anymore. Instead of buying up more land and expanding our production, we decided to cooperate directly with other local producers who grow the same, koroneiki variety and harvest their trees with the same traditional methods. This way, we guarantee an income for our neighbours, support local, traditional livelihoods, and make sure that the high-quality olive oil from these groves ends up directly on your table instead of being bought up at rock bottom prices and mixed in with inferior oils by large-scale corporations.
Honest Toil is a family enterprise and we believe in direct trade with no middlemen. This means that our involvement is very hands-on at every step of the process, from picking through pressing to packing and often even delivering! This way, we can offer full traceability for our product.