“Building Bridges” is the theme of the International Congress of Extra Virgin Olive Oil being held next Tuesday and Wednesday in Córdoba, Spain.
One of its main objectives is the creation of an international network of producers, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) experts, doctors, journalists and chefs interested in promoting excellence in the product, according to joint organizers QvExtra! Internacional and the Spanish Association of Municipalities of the Olive Tree (AEMO).
QvExtra! Internacional president Soledad Serrano López told Olive Oil Times one of the big problems in the sector is a lack of knowledge about a product that is truly “unique and unparalleled.”
“The paradox is that the sector is actually becoming poorer, a situation that we have to change by placing EVOO in the position it deserves. So that’s why the gastronomic and health features that make it such a special product will be emphasized at the conference.”
About 60 producers, from about eight different countries, are expected to attend. One of the aims of the QvExtra! Internacional association is to unite all producers worldwide in the quest to promote EVOO. “Premium quality oils are made in new producer countries just as they are in the Mediterranean region and all countries are equally welcome in this association,” Serrano said.
The congress is billed as offering consumers simple tools to help them better appreciate and enjoy EVOO, while producers will gain tools aimed at excellence in production and be encouraged to share their experiences and expertise. Dedication to quality is seen as the best way to increase EVOO consumption.
The congress features experts from around the world and workshop topics include
– Quality achievement in different productive areas,
– Myths and facts about EVOO,
– Building bridges and gathering efforts in relation to extra virgin olive oil.
A series of lectures will cover topics including the stability and preservation of mono-varietal EVOOs, the organoleptic characteristics of EVOOs, Andalusia’s olive oil quality promotion strategy, olive oil and the Mediterranean diet, the PREDIMED study and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, the Mediterranean diet and cancer, the extra virgin olive oil symphony, and a study of consumer habits and consumer perception.