The IOC said the platform will be developed to organize and share sector-related information.
In practice, we are building a tailor-made platform that meets the needs of stakeholders but also those of the whole sector.
Abdellatif Ghedira, the executive director of the IOC, said his goal was to have the observatory up and running by the end of 2021.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Ghedira told Olive Oil Times. “It takes time understanding the needs of the Executive Secretariat, our member countries and the global olive oil industry.”
“When complete, we will start cataloging the agreements and information using metadata to make the search engine more user-friendly,” he added. “In practice, we are building a tailor-made platform that meets the needs of stakeholders but also those of the whole sector.”
According to the IOC, the observatory will provide news from member states, environmental and health updates from the olive oil and table olive sectors, information on chemistry, trade data and promotional efforts.
Information about relevant Ph.D. and master’s programs, international scholarships and pertinent olive oil research will also be posted.
Ghedira said the observatory will be the IOC’s new dissemination tool, allowing the organization to more easily collaborate with its partners, identify market imbalances and advise public and private entities on how to cope with the imbalances.
According to the IOC executive director, part of the challenge of setting up the observatory has been the stretched resources of the Executive Secretariat.
He added that the idea of setting up an observatory is a complex project to complete in its entirety and came about from an idea that was approved by the Council of Members at its 105th session in Rome in June 2017 when the Observatory and Information Systems Department was created.
“We set up the observatory as a way of applying paragraph one of Article 3 of the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives 2015, which entered into force on January 1, 2017, to enhance the role of the International Olive Council as a world documentation and information center about the olive tree and its products and as a meeting point for all the operators in the sector,” Ghedira said.