council-offers-grants-for-olive-oil-promotion-in-member-countriesThe International Olive Council has called for applications for grants to co-fund activities promoting olive oil and table olives in its member countries.

According to its call for proposals, it would welcome pitches for educational and awareness campaigns “showcasing the chemical and organoleptic characteristics and nutritional, therapeutic and other properties of olive oil and table olives and (that) are adapted to international market conditions and trends.”

The types of activities expected to feature in proposed programmes are: seminars, trade fairs or shows; symposiums and workshops; information points at food fairs; promotional material (brochures, CDs, books, etc); invitations for the participation of international experts; or scientific events on subjects of major relevance such as the nutritional and health-related properties of olive oil and table olives, lipid technology and science, cardiovascular disease, and antioxidants.

The budget for the grants was €330,000 ($430,716) in 2011 and a similar amount is expected to be available this year but the IOC won’t make the final figure public until all the grants have been awarded. It will co-fund up to 50 percent of selected proposals for events and actions implemented in 2012 and up to 31 March 2013 in the countries of its members: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Croatia, Egypt, the E.U., Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.

Proposals must be received by the IOC by noon on February 13 and include a description of the target groups, aims and objectives of the event, and the themes and messages to be conveyed. The planned closing date for the grant procedure is February 17. If all the available funds have not been allocated at this point, a second call for proposals will be made.

Among the initiatives funded under the same programme in 2011 were a conference on polyphenols and health; a medical congress on health, nutrition and olive oil; a Mediterranean Diet forum; an olive oil and table olives promotional campaign for the Cyprus Agricultural Fair; a conference on olive culture and biotechnology; the development of an interactive EVOO tasting kit; and promotion of a new virgin olive oil tasting school for children in Córdoba.

The IOC also continues to fund promotions to open up new markets in non-member countries and its programme for 2012 includes ongoing promotions in Russia and North America and a campaign now ramping up in Brazil. The IOC is also choosing between Japan, Australia and South Korea – which would be a newcomer to IOC promotion – for a new campaign.

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