Anna Cane was reappointed to the presidency of the Olive Oil Group of the Italian Association of Oil Industry (Assitol) after a unanimous vote by the assembly of entrepreneurs.
With the goal to enhance the use and knowledge of olive oil, we will continue to promote this product through education in tasting and healthy eating.
Riccardo Cassetta, managing director of the olive oil company Biolevante in Andria, was reconfirmed as vice-president, along with the newly appointed vice-presidents Dora Desantis, head of quality control at the olive oil company Agridè in Bitonto, and Mario Rocchi, owner of the RM olive oil mill located in Lucca.
“For the next two years, my task is to be as dialoguing and inclusive as possible with all the players in the supply chain and institutions,” the freshly re-elected president, who is Corporate Scientific and Public Affairs Director at Deoleo, told Olive Oil Times.
“With the goal to enhance the use and knowledge of olive oil, we will continue to promote this product through education in tasting and healthy eating.”
The Olive Oil Group confirmed its support to the research sector through collaborations on several projects, including Oleum, within the Horizon 2020 program. “We will continue to investigate in analysis systems on volatile compounds,” Cane remarked. “Sensory analysis remains fundamental, but it is necessary to make it even stronger by adding new analytical tools.”
Among the next objectives is also to take action against the low-cost selling of extra virgin olive oil, which devalues the product, debasing the entire supply chain.
“This as well other initiatives will be also brought to the attention of the Italian olive oil interprofessional organization, FOI,” the president stressed.
In the short term, however, the focus of the Olive Oil Group is on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the lockdown, the Italian market saw a growth of olive oil sales by almost 10 percent, and Assitol data for 2019 show an increase in exports (3.2 percent), particularly to the U.K. (+14.3 percent), Germany (+18 percent), and the U.S. (+1.2 percent), but the consequences, with the closing of restaurants and the slow demand recovery, will be seen only in the second half of 2020.
“The coronavirus crisis has clearly shown us that you cannot win alone, and division leads nowhere,” Cane added. “We will take the path of sharing and dialogue with all the actors of the production chain, in order to address together the issues of the sector.”