Much Ado About Nothing

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By Nieves Ortega
Olimerca | Madrid

Much Ado About Nothing | Olive Oil TimesIn the last three years, with the economic crisis plaguing the main players in this sector, regional and state governments have continued to throw to the winds various plans to find the savior needed by growers, mills and cooperatives.

Andalusia submitted within one year various plans, among them El Plan Director del Olivar and the Strategic Plan for Quality Improvement, not forgetting the plans proposed by the European Commissioner Cioloş and the Agriculture Ministry itself.

Many plans, with the speed with which governments act with their development and implementation, in the end become outdated over time. Specifically I mean the Plan Director del Olivar that was launched last fall and it was not until late February 2013 when I first met the technical group (task force) to initiate the first contacts.

The law of Olivar, one of the projects that many Andalusian olive agents have hoped for, in the end is meant to be just another fraud and disappointment for the sector.

And if we go further in time, back to the summer of 2012, when the Commissioner traveled to Spain and met the reality of our olive grove, we had another plan: Plan Cioloş. That seemed to be the salvation to many of the problems of olive oil, and the first results of that will be, if all goes well, prohibiting the use of refillable oilers in 2014.

Not bad to adopt these measures, as they are very necessary to enhance and preserve the quality of EVOO, but there are other more important issues that affect the profitability of farming and the marketing of olive oils that need solutions and action urgently and quickly.

And finally we have the Strategic Plan for Improving the Quality of Olive Oils, a comprehensive document which includes every one of the problems affecting production and marketing, both domestically and abroad.

We know the problems, but finding and adopting solutions is not going to be easy, and making everyone happy is a tough task when the interests are not always consistent.

Hopefully our politicians think about these questions, because sometimes you do not need so many plans, but a bit more agility in decision-making.

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This article was last updated January 26, 2014 - 1:18 PM (GMT-5)

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