The International Olive Council (IOC) celebrated 60 years with an event held at the IOC headquarters in Madrid in conjunction with the 110th session of the Council of Members.
The ceremony, which was also the occasion to honor the UNESCO’s official proclamation of November 26 as World Olive Day, was attended by representatives of governments, diplomatic corps, and delegations from the Member States.
In his introductory speech, the IOC executive director, Abdellatif Ghedira presented an institutional film, a celebratory logo created for the occasion and the 60th-anniversary issue the Organization’s official journal, Olivæ.
Ghedira stated that countries which join the IOC by adhering to the new International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives “are supporting the olive sector and sustainable economic and social development.”
During the ceremony, the IOC signed agreements with the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food establishing the relationship between the two institutions, and with the Santander Foundation for sustainable collaboration and synergy in training, research, and events.
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The Executive Secretariat paid a tribute to representatives of the international olive sector who have distinguished themselves for their work in promoting olive oil throughout the world, including Luis Planas, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture; Ezeldine Abusteit, former Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt and current chair of the IOC; Pierre Bonnet, a pioneer in the international olive sector and first IOC Executive Director; Loriana Abbruzzetti, chair of Pandolea, an association of women promoting the culture of extra virgin olive oil; Luis Rallo, professor emeritus at the University of Cordoba, who has dedicated his life to research and development in the olive sector; and Nehayah Shaher Mustafa Almuhisen, an agronomist who has devoted his career to the study of the olive tree and to the development of the olive sector in his country, Jordan.
At the end of the event, the flag of Georgia was raised to honor its recent accession to the IOC.