Since our last Blog post about the Mediterranean olive oil academy at the beginning of February we have been in contact with several producers and updated them on the Academy project and we are pleased to now have more news about how the project is progressing.
Last week we were in both Malta and Sicily meeting interested parties and also viewing venues in Valletta the capital of Malta which might be suitable for both an office, tasting rooms and a space for talks and lectures. We saw several venues that were extremely interesting to us and one that was almost perfect for our requirements but possibly in the wrong area of Valletta to be of real use to us at this time, and we are still interested in exploring ways in which it can possibly be made to work.
We launched our crowdfunding appeal two weeks ago but whilst we were in Malta we received two pledges which have already exceeded our initial crowdfunding target, these are from businesses that are both involved in olive oil production and Mediterranean food. This has been a great boost to our Academy project, but we feel that we still need to keep our crowdfunding campaign running for the two full months as originally planned.
As part of our aim to bring the project to a wide a investor base as possible we will be setting up a special fund to which the first eighteen donors can in the future elect become shareholders once we are fully established on Malta later this year.
Along with our new partners we have also started working on plans for the courses and talks that will start once the Academy is open later this year, these will involve producers and agronomists from across the Mediterranean region, and will include Malta, Italy, Greece, Spain, Crete, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
The Academy will also have access to groves of indigenous olive trees on Malta which will be part of the tours and tasting events that we will hold on the Island, also our partners in Sicily and mainland Italy will be playing an important part in setting up visits to their olive groves and mills.
We also hope to arrange courses and tours to be held in Greece, Tunisia and Spain in late 2018 or early 2019.
We currently we are in contact with an olive oil producer in Algeria which will be a first for olive oil courses normally held at events and schools across the Mediterranean and there will more news in our blog over the next couple of months.
Malta is increasing becoming a vibrant and popular destination for visitors from across the globe and we also visited the new market in Valletta to see the outstanding small food businesses that are now present there, and we believe that our Academy will be an important addition to the food culture on the Island.