By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barceloma
The International Olive Oil Council met this past week in Essaouira, Morocco for its 25th Extraordinary Reunion. During the four-day encounter, significant members of the international olive oil community including industry experts, producers, consumers, and agricultural scientists participated in lively debates surrounding the present value of olive oil to assess current prices as they stand against today’s consumer profiles.
This past Tuesday, June 22nd the economic committee met to share information about the 2008 – 2009 and 2009 – 2010 harvests and discussed a real need to modify current internal and external prices throughout the world. The committee agreed to enact any necessary changes or price modifications in their upcoming November reunion. The economic committee also met in a group seminar setting that discussed issues surrounding the inclusion of an olive oil’s country or region of origin on bottle labels.
On Wednesday, the 23rd the specialized technical committees of advertising and finance presented a list of promotional activities which it has been actively developing since its meeting in Madrid last November. In a similar vein, various countries have already followed suit, launching major advertising campaigns to promote olive oil at home and abroad.
The following day, June 24th the presidents of 18 delegations represented by the IOOC met to debate the function of the position of Executive Secretary. Most importantly, these delegates participated in an assessment of the surrounding Moroccan region that hosted the event and discussed plans to further develop the olive oil industry in North Africa.
According to the Moroccan newspaper L’Economiste, the olive industry already occupies roughly 700,000 hectares of Moroccan land and generates some 100,000 permanent jobs. To supplement this, the Moroccan delegation presented its own olive oil expansion plan, an addition to the Moroccan Green Plan which outlines steps to modernize the olive oil sector and raise the production of olive oil in Morocco to some 340,000 tons yearly.