Jean-Louis Barjol has been named Executive Director of the International Olive Council, the intergovernmental agency based in Madrid. Twenty-three nations belong to the International Olive Council, and participant members decide on the directorship. Barjol takes the place of Mohammed Ouhmad Sbitri, who headed the organization from November, 2007 until December, 2010.

Directorship of the IOC lasts for three years, and Barjol will lead the organization from through December, 2014. For the past two years, Barjol served as the deputy director of the organization, overseeing the Administrative & Financial and Survey & Assessment divisions. Barjol has been working on geographic indication questions, and especially exploring ways to develop areas outside of the European Union.
Barjol has worked both in the public and private sectors. Before being recruited by the IOC, Barjol was the director general of the Comité Européen des Fabricants de Sucre (CEFS), known in English as the European Committee of Sugar Manufacturers. He worked at CEFS from 1998 to 2009.

Another career highlight is Barjol’s knighthood, the Chevalier du Mérite Agricole Français, received when he served as France’s Agricultural Attaché in Spain between 1995 and 1998. Barjol has a degree from the Institut National Agronomique de Paris in agricultural engineering, with a specialization in economics.

With a review of the names of the latest executive directors of the IOC, one senses that nationals from countries other than the top olive oil producers, Spain, Italy and Greece, are preferred. Mr. Barjol is a Frenchman. France does produce olive oil, just not very much. In the 2008/2009 season, France produced 6,500 tons, versus Spain’s 1,150,000 tons.

Starting this year, there will be only one deputy director, rather than two. The IOC is in the process of searching for a new deputy director. That appointment is expected to be announced at the Council’s next meeting on February 11, 2011.

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