Africa / Middle East

TerraOlivo Completes 8th Edition

Despite the recent loss of TerraOlivo's president, Raul Castellani, the competition in Israel attracted 630 olive oils from 20 countries.

Jun. 21, 2017
By Alexis Kerner

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Last week Ter­raO­livo wrapped up the 8th edi­tion of its inter­na­tional olive oil com­pe­ti­tion. With the recent loss of the pres­i­dent of Ter­raO­livo, Raul Castel­lani, it was not an easy task to ensure the event ran smoothly. How­ever, with ded­i­ca­tion and hard work, Moshe Spak, Eyal Has­son, Leonardo Castel­lani and Anto­nio G. Lauro ran the com­pe­ti­tion admirably.

The con­test drew more than 630 olive oils from 20 coun­tries. Spain was the grand win­ner tak­ing home 111 prizes — four in the Top Ten cat­e­gory.

Jurors of the com­pe­ti­tion agreed that the dif­fi­cult har­vest year was evi­dent in many sam­ples, not­ing indi­ca­tions of exces­sive heat, fruit that ripened early and oils with low sta­bil­ity.






Despite a tough year, Israeli pro­duc­ers were able to present 131 oils and took home over 40 awards.

The pres­i­dent of the Agro-nutri­tional Part­ner­ship of the Region of Crete, Mano­lis Chnaris, attended in a show of sup­port for the par­tic­i­pat­ing Greek pro­duc­ers and the com­pe­ti­tion itself. Dur­ing a speech at the awards cer­e­mony, Chnaris expressed the impor­tance of qual­ity olive oil and his grat­i­tude for the col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Crete and Israeli com­pe­ti­tions.

For jurors, morn­ings were occu­pied with tast­ing flights of about 33 oils per day. How­ever, after­noons were spent in the field to pro­mote infor­ma­tion exchange between panel mem­bers.

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A spe­cial trip was hosted by the Israeli Olive Oil Board to Beit Gemal, a monastery near Beit Shemesh, and to Kib­butz Revadim which pro­duces local vari­eties like Barnea and Souri.

Zohar Kerem from the Hebrew Uni­ver­sity of Jerusalem first spoke to the group at Beit Gemal on the his­tor­i­cal impor­tance of the area. It was here where David defeated Goliath and where olive trees had been domes­ti­cated thou­sands of years ago.

Kerem also explained the results of a very inter­est­ing study that was car­ried out in the region. The study revealed that the olive trees now planted near the monastery had roots from many Ital­ian species with local cul­ti­vars grafted onto the for­eign roots. It is believed that the Ital­ian vari­eties were intro­duced by trav­el­ing monks.

Adi Naali, the CEO of the Israeli Olive Oil Board and his team explained mod­ern Israeli pro­duc­tion and the work that the Board is doing to ensure qual­ity prod­ucts and healthy mar­kets. He stressed the impor­tance of using a seal of qual­ity, trace­abil­ity, and good brand­ing. He went on to say that it is when you give con­sumers qual­ity, that pro­duc­ers can demand a fair price for their hard work.

The after­noon was con­cluded in the groves of Kib­butz Revadim with an olive oil tast­ing and dis­cus­sions lead by Ayala Noy Meir and Ehud Sori­ano on the pro­duc­tion of local vari­eties.

The trees sur­round­ing the group were laden with new fruit start­ing to plump. It is this fruit that will be used for this com­ing harvest´s olive oil and just per­haps it will be a win­ner in Ter­raO­livo 2018.



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