`Andalusia Setting Up Its Own Olive Council - Olive Oil Times

Andalusia Setting Up Its Own Olive Council

Mar. 20, 2012
Julie Butler

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Andalusian Minister of the Presidency and Spokesperson, Mar Moreno, announced the deci­sion of the regional gov­ern­ment to approve the for­ma­tion of the Andalusian Olive Council.

An over­haul of Andalusia’s olive oil sec­tor is under­way with laws now in place to set up an Andalusian Olive Council and a six-year strate­gic plan for the sec­tor just months away from com­ple­tion.

Andalusia’s regional gov­ern­ment announced today (March 20) that it had approved the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tion to set up the 26-mem­ber coun­cil, which will include rep­re­sen­ta­tives drawn from the gov­ern­ment, indus­try and con­sumer groups, experts and busi­ness peo­ple.

Agrarian union Asaja, which will have a seat in the coun­cil, crit­i­cized the com­po­si­tion, say­ing that just 26 per­cent of the mem­ber­ship would com­prise indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives and this was insuf­fi­cient.

Among the council’s first tasks will be to advise on how to pro­mote sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and improve the mar­ket­ing and qual­ity of olive oil.

In a press release, the gov­ern­ment said the coun­cil would also have the power to pub­lish bind­ing advice in rela­tion to the man­age­ment plan for the sec­tor, which it said last September would take about a year to develop.

The plan will have two main prongs: improv­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness and pro­mot­ing sus­tain­abil­ity.

As part of the for­mer, it will pro­vide mea­sures to mod­ern­ize tra­di­tional farms and encour­age use of waste-to-energy sys­tems, boost R&D and train­ing, and — pos­si­bly most impor­tantly — reduce the high degree of frag­men­ta­tion on the pro­duc­tion side.

To pro­vide for a more sus­tain­able sec­tor, poli­cies are promised to help main­tain pro­ducer income lev­els, to increase diver­si­fi­ca­tion both in farms and pro­cess­ing plants, and to help the sec­tor get greener with increased organic pro­duc­tion and more effi­cient water use.

Earlier this month, the regional gov­ern­ment also announced that it had spear­headed the estab­lish­ment of a forum of European olive oil regions to jointly lobby to pro­tect their inter­ests.

Meanwhile, European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloş is also work­ing on a plan to address prob­lems in Europe’s olive oil indus­try.

The Commission is prepar­ing an analy­sis of the sec­tor, and we hope to be able to start dis­cussing con­crete ideas to address cer­tain struc­tural issues in the com­ing months,” Cioloş said last week.

Spain’s olive oil sec­tor is at a major cross­roads with pro­ducer prices stuck at rock bot­tom as it faces likely cuts to its EC sub­si­dies. While pro­duc­tion is at an all-time high, the cur­rent drought spells trou­ble for the next har­vest.


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