` Andalusia Conference on the Future of Traditional Olive Oil Production - Olive Oil Times

Andalusia Conference on the Future of Traditional Olive Oil Production

Apr. 4, 2011
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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