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.” 
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.” 
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.”
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.”