Business

Olive Council Session Returns to S. America

The 107th meeting of the organization will take place next month in Buenos Aires and will be followed by a seminar on olive growing in the Americas.

Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires
May. 31, 2018
By Daniel Dawson
Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires

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Some 60 olive oil experts and global stake­hold­ers will gather at the Palace of San Martin in Buenos Aires next month to par­tic­i­pate in the 107th ses­sion of the Council of Members of the International Olive Council (IOC).

Members will be dis­cussing the func­tion­ing of the orga­ni­za­tion as well as mat­ters related to olive oil econ­omy and pro­mo­tion; chem­istry and stan­dard­iza­tion; and tech­nol­ogy and the envi­ron­ment. Directly fol­low­ing the ses­sion will be a sem­i­nar on olive grow­ing in the Americas.

“Since 2016, at the request of the mem­bers of the IOC, the first ses­sion of the year has been held out­side the head­quar­ters in Madrid,” Mounir Fourati, head of inter­na­tional rela­tions at the IOC, said.

“Argentina requested to host this year’s ses­sion, and its request was unan­i­mously accepted. It should be noted that the IOC had already planned to orga­nize a sem­i­nar on olive grow­ing in the Americas in Argentina, and a deci­sion was taken to clus­ter this sem­i­nar with the ses­sion of the Council of Members to enable the mem­bers to par­tic­i­pate.”

Among the atten­dees will be rep­re­sen­ta­tives from each member nation of the IOC. Observers from non-member nations may also submit a request to attend. Due to the session’s return to South America for the first time since 2012, more rep­re­sen­ta­tives and observers from the con­ti­nent are expected.

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“In gen­eral, all the mem­bers send a head of del­e­ga­tion and alter­nates,” Mounir said. “In this case, we are expect­ing a larger rep­re­sen­ta­tion than usual from the Americas.”

Over the course of the four days, the mem­bers will break up into four com­mit­tees to dis­cuss orga­ni­za­tional issues before bring­ing their draft deci­sions back to the entire group for fur­ther dis­cus­sion and pos­si­ble imple­men­ta­tion.

The Council of Members makes all of its deci­sions by con­sen­sus, and if a con­sen­sus cannot be reached then a deci­sion is made by a qual­i­fied major­ity.

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This year, the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee will con­sider inter­nal oper­a­tional and bureau­cratic func­tion, such as bud­gets, pro­ce­dures and audit reports. The Economy and Promotion, Chemistry and Standardization, and Technology and Environment com­mit­tees will meet to dis­cuss var­i­ous ideas from the Executive Secretariat, includ­ing pro­pos­als and plans for what the orga­ni­za­tion will focus on in 2019.

Among the topics that will be up for dis­cus­sion is cli­mate change, which greatly affected the olive oil pro­duc­tion of a number of member coun­tries last year, espe­cially mem­bers in the Mediterranean.

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“The sub­ject of envi­ron­ment and cli­mate change is one of the main con­cerns of the IOC,” Mounir said. “In par­tic­u­lar, the orga­ni­za­tion is con­duct­ing a study on the carbon sink effect of olive grow­ing, which is pro­duc­ing some con­clu­sive results.”

The ses­sion for the Council of Members will take place from June 18 to June 21 and will be fol­lowed by the sem­i­nar on olive grow­ing in the Americas on June 22.