` Andalusia Conference on the Future of Traditional Olive Oil Production

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Andalusia Conference on the Future of Traditional Olive Oil Production

Apr. 4, 2011
By Charlie Higgins

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Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Spain’s Min­istry of Rural and Marine Envi­ron­ment (MARM) met in Jaén this week to dis­cuss the many chal­lenges fac­ing the country’s tra­di­tional olive oil indus­try. Mem­bers of the Board of Andalu­sia and the Olive Oil Agency were also in atten­dance at this pub­lic con­fer­ence held in the Audi­to­rio Guadalquivir de Ifeja.

The event, enti­tled Tra­di­tional Cul­ti­va­tion of Olive Con­ver­sion: Chal­lenges and Future Strate­gies for the Cur­rent Finan­cial Envi­ron­ment and the Future Con­text of Reduced Aid” was hosted by Andalusia’s Provin­cial Trade Fair and Con­gress. Other orga­ni­za­tions involved in the event plan­ning included the Cen­ter for Devel­op­ment and Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion for GEA West­falia Sep­a­ra­tor Ibérica, CBH Agro and Caja Rural de Jaén. Span­ish agrobusi­nesses Bioibérica, Mañez and Lozano, and Guillermo Gar­cia also lent their sup­port.

The main goal of the con­fer­ence was to pro­vide valu­able and up-to-date infor­ma­tion to farm­ers work­ing in this vul­ner­a­ble indus­try. In recent years, tra­di­tional olive oil pro­duc­ers have strug­gled to com­pete due to the imbal­ance between the sup­ply and demand of olive oil. Through a series of round­table dis­cus­sions and sym­posia, the par­tic­i­pants devel­oped plans of action to help the indus­try’s prof­itabil­ity and main­tain its vital­ity going for­ward.

Note­wor­thy par­tic­i­pants at the con­fer­ence included Leo­ca­dio Marín, pres­i­dent of the Com­mu­nal Olive Grower Her­itage Foun­da­tion; Agustín Rodríguez, sec­re­tary gen­eral of UPA-Andalucía; Fran­cisco Molina of the Rural Foun­da­tion of Jaén; Rafael Civan­tos, sec­re­tary gen­eral of COAG-Jaén; and José Anto­nio Gar­cía, direc­tor of IFAPA Venta del Llano.

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One of the main round­table dis­cus­sion, enti­tled The Future of Tra­di­tional or Extended Olive Pro­duc­tion: Pos­si­bil­i­ties and Alter­na­tives for Restruc­tur­ing,” fea­tured keynote speak­ers Luis Car­los Valero, man­ager of ASAJA-Jaén; Pro­fes­sor Luis Rallo of the Uni­ver­sity of Cor­doba; Cotecnisur’s José Humanes; and Juan Fran­cisco Her­moso, of IRTA-Tar­rag­ona. Máx­imo Cañete Baque­r­izo, CEO of CBH Agro, shared his plan for the restruc­tur­ing of the indus­try. The event closed with a speech by Roque Lara Car­mona, del­e­gate of Andalusia’s Board of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries.

MARM Direc­tor Shares Lat­est Pro­duc­tion Data

Dur­ing her speech, MARM Direc­tor Gen­eral Isabel Bom­bal ana­lyzed the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of the sec­tor in Spain and abroad, stress­ing that Spain is a leader in pro­duc­tion, mar­ket­ing, export and the inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of olive oil. And while the cur­rent price sit­u­a­tion is not con­sis­tent with that real­ity, it is nec­es­sary to find a com­mon diag­no­sis and reach joint solu­tions.

Bom­bal indi­cated that the total amount of olive oil pro­duced to date for the 2010/2011 mar­ket­ing year, is 1,325,700 tons, rep­re­sent­ing an increase of 22 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous sea­son and 26 per­cent com­pared to the aver­age of the last four sea­sons.

Bom­bal went on to say, accord­ing to ini­tial reports for the month of Feb­ru­ary, exports totaled 328,200 tonnes, up 20 per­cent over last year and 27 per­cent com­pared to the aver­age of the four.

In addi­tion, Bom­bal has indi­cated that the total amount of olive oil traded (domes­tic and exports) reached 570,900 tons, an increase of 18 per­cent over last year and 16 per­cent com­pared to the aver­age of the last four, because mainly to the high vol­ume of exports.

Finally, the direc­tor pointed out that, at the end of 2010, con­sump­tion of olive oil in Span­ish house­holds was 446,326,000 liters, remain­ing sta­ble over the year before.

The province of Andalu­sia alone cur­rently rep­re­sents one third of Europe’s entire olive indus­try and pro­vides 40 per­cent of the world’s table olives and 40 per­cent of its olive oil.

Source: El Min­is­te­rio de Medio Ambi­ente y Medio Rural y Marino

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