`Expoliva Kicks Off in Jaén - Olive Oil Times

Expoliva Kicks Off in Jaén

May. 12, 2011
Julie Butler

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Spain’s biggest olive oil fair, Expoliva, kicked off in Andalusia yes­ter­day (May 11) as the region’s gov­ern­ment announced loans to help pro­duc­ers avoid sell­ing at a loss.

Andalusian pres­i­dent José Antonio Griñán, speak­ing at the fair in Jaén, also urged the olive oil indus­try to put its efforts into decreas­ing the level of frag­men­ta­tion on the pro­duc­tion side, become world lead­ers not just in pro­duc­ing olive oil but in mar­ket­ing it inter­na­tion­ally, and to put greater empha­sis on quality.

While few details were avail­able yes­ter­day, Griñán said the new credit scheme would be suf­fi­cient to help olive oil pro­duc­ers stay sol­vent and was a step towards main­tain­ing fair prices.” It’s the lat­est attempt to help the sec­tor recover from record lows in olive oil prices and three con­sec­u­tive years of sell­ing below cost.

On May 26 a work­ing party set up to con­sider other solu­tions will be meet in Madrid, fol­lowed a day later by a meet­ing between European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloş and key stake­hold­ers. There is a per­sist­ing clamor in Spain for the pro­vi­sion of pri­vate stor­age aid for olive oil but Cioloş remains adamant that prices in Spain are not low enough for the assistance.

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There were also calls this week for the International Olive Council (IOC) to make it a pri­or­ity to see new olive oil pro­duc­ing coun­tries, such as the United States, Chile and Australia, become members.

Isabel Bombal, the Director of the Industry and Food Markets within Spain’s Ministry of the Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) said she had stressed the need to see these coun­tries join in the short-to-medium term.” She said she had sent the mes­sage to the IOC dur­ing a meet­ing with IOC Executive Director Jean-Louis Barjol and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive (unnamed) from Spain’s Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva Español (a non-profit offi­cial orga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing all mem­bers of the olive oil sector).

In a media state­ment after the meet­ing on Wednesday, Bombal said she had urged the devel­op­ment of a com­mon strat­egy based on work­ing together and keep­ing the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open.” It was impor­tant to increase the role held by the IOC as the pre­em­i­nent world forum to dis­cuss and set stan­dards” that would form the basis of a level play­ing field for all olive oil pro­duc­ers inter­na­tion­ally, she said.

Expoliva has attracted 333 exhibitors — includ­ing com­pa­nies from Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the U.S. and Tunisia — and will run until Saturday. Among new ini­tia­tives announced there yes­ter­day was the ongo­ing devel­op­ment of a glos­sary of olive oil terms in Spanish, English and Chinese.

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