` Alentejo Olive Oil Association Appoints First Executive Director

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Alentejo Olive Oil Association Appoints First Executive Director

Jan. 16, 2020
By Daniel Dawson

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Gonçalo Almeida Simões has been appointed as the first-ever exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Alen­tejo Olive Oil Asso­ci­a­tion (Olivum), in Por­tu­gal.

My appoint­ment is related to the fact that Olivum is now focused on com­mu­ni­cat­ing bet­ter with exter­nal stake­hold­ers and mar­ket­ing,” he told Olive Oil Times. The olive oil sec­tor wants to remain one of the main eco­nomic strengths in Por­tu­gal.”

Almeida Simões comes into the posi­tion after work­ing in pub­lic and gov­ern­ment affairs in Brus­sels for the past 15 years. He pre­vi­ously worked at the food unit of the Por­tuguese Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tion to the E.U. and as a senior advi­sor to the E.U. head of the office of the Por­tuguese Farmer’ Con­fed­er­a­tion.

With his appoint­ment, Almeida Simões brings knowl­edge about the strict agri­cul­tural stan­dards set by the E.U. — includ­ing those related to the envi­ron­ment, bio­di­ver­sity, water and phy­tosan­i­tary issues — all of which are rel­e­vant for the region’s olive oil pro­duc­ers.

Alen­tejo is the largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing region in Por­tu­gal and is respon­si­ble for roughly 85 per­cent of pro­duc­tion.

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In a recent report, two con­sult­ing firms pre­dicted that Por­tu­gal is on pace to become the third-largest global olive oil pro­ducer by 2030 and Alen­tejo will lead the way in its rise to the top.

Since the sec­tor is per­form­ing pretty well on the eco­nomic side, the focus will now turn into com­mu­ni­cat­ing the sec­tor per­for­mance on envi­ron­men­tal and social sus­tain­abil­ity,” Almeida Simões said. The main pri­or­ity will be to grow in a sus­tain­able way hav­ing always in mind the qual­ity of the Por­tuguese olive oil as the main growth dri­ver.”


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