`Call for Entries for Olive Oil Culture Award

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Call for Entries for Olive Oil Culture Award

Jan. 13, 2020
Daniel Dawson

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Entries for the eleventh edi­tion of the Agustí Serés Memo­r­ial Award, Spain’s olive oil cul­ture prize, are open and will be accepted until March 30.

The award rec­og­nizes indi­vid­ual and col­lec­tive efforts to pro­mote, share and memo­ri­al­ize olive oil cul­ture through­out Spain.

The prize aims to rec­og­nize a per­sonal or col­lec­tive work in favor of the oil cul­ture car­ried out in Spain in the last three years.- Paco Lorenzo Tapia, Olearum

The Serés San­ta­maría Fam­ily rewards the efforts of peo­ple and projects that try to pre­serve the tra­di­tion, knowl­edge and cul­ture of the olive grove and extra vir­gin olive oil in our coun­try,” Paco Lorenzo Tapia, the pres­i­dent of Olearum and one of the judges of the com­pe­ti­tion, told Olive Oil Times.

The prize aims to rec­og­nize a per­sonal or col­lec­tive work in favor of the oil cul­ture car­ried out in Spain in the last three years,” he added.

See more: Olive Oil Cul­ture News

Agustín Serés Jr. is a doc­tor by train­ing but grew up in an olive oil-pro­duc­ing fam­ily in north­east­ern Spain. His father, Agustín Serés Sr, pro­duced olive oil in a tra­di­tional mill that was typ­i­cal of time and place.

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As pro­duc­tion in Spain has shifted away from small and tra­di­tional pro­duc­ers to larger, more mod­ern and super-inten­sive pro­duc­ers, Serés Jr and his fam­ily started giv­ing out the award in order to honor his father and cel­e­brate a tra­di­tional way of life for much of the coun­try.

I wanted to know the per­sonal effort that my father made could be pre­served along with our fam­ily her­itage for the enjoy­ment of oth­ers,” Serés told Olive Oil Times in a 2018 inter­view. “[I also wanted these awards] to cover a space in the cul­ture of olive oil in the Seg­rià region that has always been an olive-grow­ing region.”

The win­ner of the prize, who is decided by a three-per­son judge includ­ing Serés and Lorenzo Tapia, receives €1,000 ($1,114).

Lorenzo Tapia, who won the first edi­tion of the awards for his book about Span­ish olive oil muse­ums, said that he expects to receive between five and eight entries, but added that the exact num­ber of entries can never be pre­dicted.

Of course, on occa­sions where the can­di­da­cies do not meet suf­fi­cient require­ments, the jury has the power, ex offi­cio, to grant it to other can­di­dates,” he said. In fact, all those who work in favor of the cul­ture of oil in Spain are can­di­dates to obtain the Agustí Serés award.”

Last year, the award went to La Molienda de Rio­gordo, a fes­ti­val in the south­ern Span­ish province of Malága, where local res­i­dents cel­e­brate tra­di­tional pro­duc­tion prac­tices, hold edu­ca­tional work­shops about olive oil health ben­e­fits and cook­ing with oil as well as par­take in a vari­ety of other activ­i­ties.

It is an emi­nently cul­tural fes­ti­val that revolves around the Munic­i­pal Ethno­graphic Museum of Rio­gordo and with extra vir­gin olive oil as the main pro­tag­o­nist,” Lorenzo Tapia said. Specif­i­cally, this fes­ti­val has been devel­oped in such a way where its main attrac­tion is to be able to see, in oper­a­tion, an oil mill over 300 years old.”

Mem­bers of the town vol­un­teer to demon­strate to vis­i­tors and chil­dren how olive oil used to be made. A key com­po­nent in the judges’ unan­i­mous deci­sion to award Rio­gordo the prize was the high level of com­mu­nity involve­ment in the project.

The award-win­ning projects are a mag­nif­i­cent exam­ple that with lit­tle means, you can achieve mag­nif­i­cent and suc­cess­ful goals that exem­plify the cul­ture of olives and olive oil,” Serés Jr said.

Con­tes­tants can send a com­pleted entry form to par­tic­i­pate in the con­test.


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