A new season of popular kids’ TV series Lazy Town will plump olive oil as part of its overall emphasis on exercise and healthy eating.
Pedro Barato, president of the promotional body Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva, announced the €800,000 ($1.12m) campaign at Expoliva in Jaén on Friday. He said It would target young children “because we need to educate them about the Mediterranean Diet. They will be the future ambassadors and advocates of olive oil in Spain.”
The initiative is a joint one between Barato’s organization and the Mediterranean Diet Foundation and will see the diet – and olive oil as one of its key elements – championed as part of child nutrition information in 13 new episodes of the show due to screen in Spain this fall. Barato said the relevant segments would also be accessible worldwide via the internet.
And across the border, in southern France, the Interprofessional together with other entities has launched a new phase of the European Olive Oil Program with shopping center cooking events and competitions under the umbrella slogan “Everything is better with olive oil. Even you.”
Meanwhile, with Spain’s olive oil industry steeped in a pricing crisis, municipal elections to be held country-wide next Sunday (May 22) and a general election due next March, Expoliva attracted politicians of various hues among its more than 46,000 visitors.
On Friday, it was the turn of Javier Arenas, president of Spain’s main opposition party, the Popular Party, in Andalusia. Arenas said the region’s olive oil sector – estimated to have amassed debt of €1.5 billion ($2.1b) in the last three years – needed some special care. He joined calls for the European Commission to provide private storage aid for Spanish olive oil until prices improve and for the highly fragmented production side of the industry to unify.
Arenas also said it was “absolutely essential” that an Andalusian Laboratory of Agri-Food Analysis be set up as a first step towards the creation of an Institute for the Mediterranean Diet.
Expoliva closed on Saturday having had an estimated €31 million ($43.7m) flow-on impact on Jaén’s economy over the four-day event. According to Jaén Fairs president Luis Carlos García, a survey of attendees found that 72% had made purchases of at least €4,000 ($5,644) at Expoliva.