A record number of prizes were handed out at the 2020 EVO International Olive Oil Contest (EVO-IOOC), which concluded with an award presentation in Palmi.
The organizers chose to hold the event in the main square of the Calabrian town in order to comply with local safety regulations, which were put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.See more: Fairs and Competitions
“This edition of EVO-IOOC was definitely different from the previous ones, more demanding, but in many ways very gratifying,” the president of the competition, Antonio G Lauro, told Olive Oil Times. “The complex preparation of the event was paid back by the support and encouragement of the producers who joined our quality project.”
Over the course of the competition, 449 different extra virgin olive oils, including 42 flavored oils, were sampled by the team of 25 judges, all of whom participated from their home countries. The results were live streamed from a mobile recording studio.
“In an uncertain world scenario that we could have never imagined, producers faced new difficulties and challenges and yet created new ways to promote and distribute their excellent [products],” Lauro said. “It is also for this reason that we have not stopped the competition and managed to better adapt it to the current situation.”
Among the various winners, selected by category and hemisphere, three Italian and two Spanish companies received best in class awards for the Northern Hemisphere.
Brazilian producers earned three best in class awards. A Greek producer was awarded for the best international flavored extra virgin olive oil.
“These recognitions reward us for the work done and are confirmation of our commitment to quality over the years,” said Franco Scisci, who received two gold medals and a prize for the best international organic in the North Hemisphere.
“Despite the difficult situation, over the last months we have been able to continue our normal work in the olive grove,” the Apulian farmer said. “Also, we have seen a growing interest among consumers, and this suggests that habits are still changing and more attention is given to quality products.”
The complete list of winners can be found on the EVO-IOOC website.