Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires

Some 60 olive oil experts and global stakeholders will gather at the Palace of San Martin in Buenos Aires next month to participate in the 107th session of the Council of Members of the International Olive Council (IOC).

Members will be discussing the functioning of the organization as well as matters related to olive oil economy and promotion; chemistry and standardization; and technology and the environment. Directly following the session will be a seminar on olive growing in the Americas.

“Since 2016, at the request of the members of the IOC, the first session of the year has been held outside the headquarters in Madrid,” Mounir Fourati, head of international relations at the IOC, said.

“Argentina requested to host this year’s session, and its request was unanimously accepted. It should be noted that the IOC had already planned to organize a seminar on olive growing in the Americas in Argentina, and a decision was taken to cluster this seminar with the session of the Council of Members to enable the members to participate.”

Among the attendees will be representatives from each member nation of the IOC. Observers from non-member nations may also submit a request to attend. Due to the session’s return to South America for the first time since 2012, more representatives and observers from the continent are expected.

“In general, all the members send a head of delegation and alternates,” Mounir said. “In this case, we are expecting a larger representation than usual from the Americas.”

Over the course of the four days, the members will break up into four committees to discuss organizational issues before bringing their draft decisions back to the entire group for further discussion and possible implementation.

The Council of Members makes all of its decisions by consensus, and if a consensus cannot be reached then a decision is made by a qualified majority.

This year, the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee will consider internal operational and bureaucratic function, such as budgets, procedures and audit reports. The Economy and Promotion, Chemistry and Standardization, and Technology and Environment committees will meet to discuss various ideas from the Executive Secretariat, including proposals and plans for what the organization will focus on in 2019.

Among the topics that will be up for discussion is climate change, which greatly affected the olive oil production of a number of member countries last year, especially members in the Mediterranean.

“The subject of environment and climate change is one of the main concerns of the IOC,” Mounir said. “In particular, the organization is conducting a study on the carbon sink effect of olive growing, which is producing some conclusive results.”

The session for the Council of Members will take place from June 18 to June 21 and will be followed by the seminar on olive growing in the Americas on June 22.

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