` Andalucía Shores Up Olive Oil Cooperatives with 4.38M Euros - Olive Oil Times

Andalucía Shores Up Olive Oil Cooperatives with 4.38M Euros

Aug. 18, 2010
Daniel Williams

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Spain’s Andalucían Regional Government Invests 4.38 Million Euros in Olive Oil Producing Coops as Delegate Felipe López Outlines Future Plans for Sector

The del­e­gate for the Andalucían regional gov­ern­ment, Felipe López, provin­cial del­e­gate of agri­cul­ture, Roque Lara, and the mayor of Baeza, Spain, Leocadio Marín, handed out sub­stan­tive incen­tives to a num­ber of Spanish coop­er­a­tives in an effort to trans­form and fur­ther com­mer­cial­ize south­ern Spain’s olive oil prod­ucts. This most recent invest­ment in the amount of 4.38 mil­lion Euros stems from Andalucía’s Program of Rural Development and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) whose stated pur­pose is to strengthen eco­nomic and social cohe­sion in the European Union by cor­rect­ing imbal­ances between regions.” [1]

The invest­ment is specif­i­cally directed towards Spain’s shaky olive oil sec­tor which despite recent increases in inter­na­tional exports, still suf­fers from the effects of the world­wide pric­ing cri­sis. Mr. López explained that, due to the cur­rent cri­sis, the Andalucían gov­ern­ment has so far awarded a total of 62.4 mil­lion Euros to dif­fer­ent coop­er­a­tives towards their improve­ment, seek­ing to increase their inter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive edge through trans­for­ma­tion and com­mer­cial­iza­tion.” [2]

Mr. López cited some of the recently cre­ated insti­tu­tions such as the Olive Oil Technological Center and the Geolit Science and Technology Park as fruits of these huge invest­ments. He also spoke of Spain’s unique geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions, which serve to cer­tify Spanish olive oil as pos­sess­ing cer­tain qual­i­ties and world­wide rep­u­ta­tions as a result of its ori­gin.

López also referred to the present sit­u­a­tion of the olive oil mar­ket stat­ing that, only a few dom­i­nate the inter­ests of many.” He warned that, what is miss­ing is that those that sell and pro­duce lack a com­mon strat­egy which would allow none to tyr­an­nize and could instead, cre­ate a sit­u­a­tion in which the national inter­ests are more well-bal­anced.”

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To con­clude, Mr. López spoke of the need for Spain’s olive oil pro­duc­ers to prove their envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity in order to secure EU agri­cul­tural sub­si­dies in the future: The European Union will not sup­port cul­ti­va­tion projects that do not respect the envi­ron­ment. We have to become capa­ble of grow­ing with­out destroy­ing.”

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