Love may make the world go round, but I would like to start initiating the phrase “olive oil makes my food go round.” I am a staunch proponent of the ingredient, both as a pan lubricant and as a lovely addition in my recipes. After I learned I can make a difference with my everyday cooking using olive oil, I couldn’t wait to learn more from Hasan Siber, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of the company-on-a-mission, Colive.
“Colive delivers a rare and extraordinarily delicious extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) harvested from 15 family farms across a conflict zone, so you can connect to a more peaceful world with every drop,” Hasan explains to me. “It is the first company in more than 50 years to operate island-wide in Cyprus and is made with olives native to the island called ‘Kypriaki.’ Plus, Colive is the only Cypriot olive oil brand available in the United States at retail.”
After a division between northern and southern Cyprus in 1974 occurred due to civil unrest, war, and displacement, a 112-mile ceasefire line was created to separate the island with barbed wire and concrete. Colive’s mission was to bring Cyprus together with a daily necessity: olive oil.
Cyprus provides the perfect Mediterranean microclimate for olives. Colive selects the most optimal harvest time to ensure a balanced taste as each olive is hand-picked, processed within 24 hours of being harvested, and cold-pressed to ensure each bottle meets all the requirements of EVOO. In doing so, Colive’s EVOO acidity is below 0.5 percent, lower than the requirement of 0.8 percent free fatty acid.
The EVOO Colive creates uses one of the first olives to cross the ceasefire line in more than 50 years, bridging family farms and workers on both sides of the divide.
“We operate our business from a social entrepreneurship center in the demilitarized buffer zone of the last divided capital in the world, Nicosia. It is important to bring attention to Cyprus because the problem here is about finding common ground in an increasingly divisive world to co-exist together,” continues Hasan. “This is true for the U.S. as well as Cyprus. We are all going through global problems including the pandemic, climate change, and financial crises. In this environment, it is more important than ever to cooperate for better days together.”
Each Colive bottle has a QR code consumers can scan to learn about the family farms where the company harvests its olives. Also depicted on the bottle is the ceasefire line of Cyprus. As the bottle gets used, the line disappears, symbolically representing the unification efforts of Cyprus as 10 percent of the profits from each bottle sold are donated to organizations and non-governmental organizations dedicated to peace education and social entrepreneurship.
“2022 holds a lot of promise for our company. We are excited to be available across the U.S., and we hope that 2022 will be a year we deepen and expand retailer relationships,” says Hasan. “Additionally, we are planning to create more food products from Cyprus to deepen our impact there. We are also building projects to expand into other conflict zones and areas that have a need for a similar mission to Colive’s.”
Made with a purpose, and driven by a mission. Trends show many consumers are purchasing with intent, so what new products will we see grace the shelf next? Deli Market News will report.