Brazilian Producers React to Record-Setting Year at World Competition

Farmers and millers said the record-high 50 awards earned at the 2023 NYIOOC promote locally-produced olive oil at home and abroad.

(Photo: Verde Louro)
By Lisa Anderson
Nov. 14, 2023 15:15 UTC
(Photo: Verde Louro)

Brazilian pro­duc­ers are cel­e­brat­ing an unprece­dented year of suc­cess at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, earn­ing 50 awards, 20 more than the pre­vi­ous record set last year.

Producers from Brazil first entered the World Competition with one sam­ple in 2015. Since then, entries have steadily risen, with pro­duc­ers sub­mit­ting 55 extra vir­gin olive oil sam­ples this year.

International recog­ni­tion puts Brazil in the spot­light for the qual­ity of the olive oils pro­duced. This causes the domes­tic con­sumer to seek out, taste and rec­og­nize the olive oils pro­duced here.- Daiana Fuhrmann, owner, Verde Louro Azeites

The record year at the NYIOOC coin­cides with a bumper har­vest in South America’s largest coun­try, with the pri­mary olive oil-pro­duc­ing state, Rio Grande do Sul, yield­ing 580,228 liters of olive oil in the 2022/23 crop year, 29 per­cent above the pre­vi­ous year’s yield.

Estância das Oliveiras from the Viamão region in Rio Grande do Sul led the way with seven Gold Awards at this year’s NYIOOC, the most from a Brazilian pro­ducer at a sin­gle edi­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion.

See Also:The best olive oils from Brazil

The com­pany was awarded for Arbequina, Coratina, Frantoio, Koroneiki and Picual mono­va­ri­etals, along with two blended oils.

This is a true mile­stone for national olive farm­ing, and espe­cially for Estância das Oliveiras,” Estância das Oliveiras’s direc­tor of mar­ket rela­tions, Rafael Goelzer, told Olive Oil Times.

We real­ize that all the effort we make on a daily basis is being rewarded,” he added. Our founder [Goelzer’s father, Lucidio] was thrilled when he found out and shared it with every­one in the fam­ily and team.”

Besides the ter­roir and a focus on all stages of pro­duc­tion, Goelzer cred­ited his fam­ily, part­ners and col­lab­o­ra­tors who are pas­sion­ate about pro­duc­ing extra vir­gin olive oils for the company’s suc­cess.

Our biggest chal­lenge is to have olive oils to sup­ply the mar­ket until the next har­vest,” Goelzer said.

Meanwhile, Azeites Costa Doce from the state’s Gaucho region earned four awards at the World Competition.


The producer behind Azeites Costa Doce attributed his four awards to a precise and early harvest.

Rodrigo Costa, Azeites Costa Doce’s finan­cial direc­tor, described the crux of win­ning Gold Awards for its Arbequina and Koroneiki and Silver Awards for a Koroneiki and a Picual.

Our main chal­lenge in har­vest­ing was the imple­men­ta­tion of mech­a­nized har­vest­ing and being able to har­vest all 300 tons of fruit in a short time to ensure that they had the ideal degree of matu­rity to main­tain the qual­ity of our prod­ucts,” he said.

Elsewhere in Rio Grande do Sul, the country’s biggest pro­ducer, Prosperato, cel­e­brated two Gold Awards for a blend and Picual and two Silver Awards for Frantoio and Koroneiki mono­va­ri­etal oils.


Brazil’s largest olive oil producer won four more awards.

We still get the willies before the results, even though this is already the sev­enth year we are par­tic­i­pat­ing,” chief exec­u­tive Rafael Marchetti said. We never know what the judges will think about our olive oils. So when you see your bot­tle with a golden seal on the screen, it’s very excit­ing and reward­ing at the same time.”

The awards help to strengthen the image of our com­mit­ment to max­i­mum qual­ity in the pro­duc­tion of our olive oils, some­thing that is shared not only by pro­duc­ers in our region but by all pro­duc­ers in Brazil,” he said. Despite our short time in the mar­ket, com­pared to other more tra­di­tional coun­tries, there is noth­ing more impor­tant than start­ing with max­i­mum qual­ity as a pri­or­ity.”

Marchetti said pay­ing care­ful atten­tion through­out the pro­duc­tion chain ensures Prosperato’s oils stand out.


We have had the priv­i­lege of closely fol­low­ing the entire emer­gence of Brazilian olive oil pro­duc­tion just over 10 years ago, always pay­ing atten­tion to the needs of our con­sumers in this grow­ing olive oil mar­ket in Brazil,” he said.

Less than two hours east of Prosperato, Fazendas do Azeite Sabiá earned two Gold Awards for a blend and Arbequina, along with a Silver Award for its Koroneiki.


Azeite Sabiá owners Beatriz Pereira and Bob Costa

We are very happy,” said owner Beatriz Pereira, adding that win­ning the three awards means a lot for the com­pany, Rio Grande do Sul and Brazil.

Brazilian olive oil has only been around for 15 years. Before that, we used Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Greek oils,” she explained. Brazilians believe that the oils imported from Europe are the best.”

“[To com­pete], we send Azeite Sabiá to inter­na­tional con­tests to demon­strate that we are as good,” Pereira said.

She believes the entire process at Fazendas do Azeite Sabiá makes their oils stand out from the way we take care of our olive trees, the har­vest, the extrac­tion and the way we clean our mill,” she said.

Our har­vest is dur­ing the sum­mer [begin­ning in February, dur­ing the end of the Southern Hemisphere’s sum­mer], so the olives are picked at high tem­per­a­tures,” she said. We use a refrig­er­ated truck at the har­vest site to lower the tem­per­a­ture of the olives, so they arrive at the mill at a low tem­per­a­ture.”

Also hail­ing from Encruzilhada do Sul, the pro­duc­ers behind MF Agropastoril cel­e­brated win­ning four Gold Awards, attribut­ing some of this suc­cess to the region’s cli­mate and geog­ra­phy.

Our land and cli­matic con­di­tions are very dis­tinct, which brings unique char­ac­ter­is­tics to the olive oils pro­duced in Encruzilhada do Sul,” owner Flavo Fernandes said. And this is par­tic­u­larly seen in our grow­ing areas.”

The har­vest that resulted in MF Agropastoril’s award-win­ning Arbequina, Frantoio, Koroneiki and Picual oils came with some obsta­cles.

Once again, we had a vital dry period since spring and the need to irri­gate the olive trees dur­ing the sum­mer,” Fernandes said. At the end of February, with the Arbequina already har­vested, we had a large vol­ume of rain that stopped the mat­u­ra­tion of the other fruits and extended the har­vest for another almost 45 days, with a break of one month.”

As our har­vest is entirely man­ual, it was a chal­lenge to keep the team mobi­lized and wait­ing for the har­vest to resume,” he added.

In nearby Mato Grande, Verde Louro Azeites cel­e­brated their four tri­umphs at the NYIOOC, includ­ing two Gold Awards for an Arbequina and a blend and two Silver Awards for Arbosana and Koroneiki extra vir­gin olive oils.


Verde Louro Azeites expect their strong showing to firmly place Brazil on the olive oil world map.

International recog­ni­tion puts Brazil in the spot­light for the qual­ity of the olive oils pro­duced,” owner Daiana Fuhrmann said. This causes the domes­tic con­sumer to seek out, taste and rec­og­nize the olive oils pro­duced here.”

This boosts domes­tic con­sump­tion, which will bring great ben­e­fits from invest­ments and the expan­sion in pro­duc­tion,” she added.

While plenty of Brazilian pro­duc­ers were cel­e­brat­ing a sec­ond, third or even sev­enth-straight suc­cess at the NYIOOC, the pro­duc­ers behind Al-Zait tri­umphed in their first year enter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, earn­ing three Gold Awards for its Frantoio, Koroneiki and Picual oils.


Al-Zait celebrated three awards at their World Competition debut.

It is a huge recog­ni­tion of our poten­tial, of the speed at which olive trees have adapted to a soil and cli­mate con­di­tion so dis­tinct from their ori­gin,” Luiza Osorio, Al-Zait’s exec­u­tive offi­cer who co-founded the com­pany with her part­ner, Fernando Alfama, said.

The awards in the Southern Hemisphere edi­tion of the NYIOOC were announced in batches over the course of a month-and-a-half, and Al-Zait learned about its awards in early September. As a result, the com­pany has already seen the impact of win­ning.

The awards have been instru­men­tal in ele­vat­ing our brand’s recog­ni­tion and cred­i­bil­ity glob­ally,” Osorio said. They reflect and sup­port all our effort and hard work. We’ve seen a notice­able increase in con­sumer inter­est in our extra vir­gin olive oil. This has trans­lated directly into height­ened sales and enhanced brand value.”

Not too far away, Estância Dona Genoveva, another first-time win­ner, won two Gold Awards for its Olivas Alto Bonito brand’s blend and Koroneiki.

Obtaining awards, such as our Gold Awards, in a pres­ti­gious global com­pe­ti­tion such as the NYIOOC gives us an extra­or­di­nary incen­tive,” said owner Renato Kalil.

He added that on an indi­vid­ual level and for the region and the coun­try, achiev­ing inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion illu­mi­nates the way for­ward for Brazilian olive oil glob­ally.

Our lat­est har­vest was in March 2023, when the trees were four years old, and we faced a severe drought in the sum­mer,” Kalil said. To pre­serve the olive trees’ health and main­tain the fruits’ proper tur­gor, we car­ried out con­tin­u­ous man­ual irri­ga­tion dur­ing the last 50 days until har­vest. This was effec­tive, com­pletely recov­ered our fruit, and allowed good qual­ity oil to be obtained.”

Another new­comer, Olivas de Gramado, from Rio Grande do Sul, won a Silver Award for its Terroir Serrano blend de Campo.


Olivas de Gramado celebrated their first-ever triumph at the NYIOOC.

André Bertolucci, the company’s olive oil spe­cial­ist, said they always strive for qual­ity.

We had a very pro­nounced dry period by the time before the har­vest,” Bertolucci said. However, this didn’t pre­vent the har­vested fruit from main­tain­ing all their sen­so­r­ial and organolep­tic prop­er­ties.”

As we har­vest man­u­ally on very rugged ter­rain, the strain on the team was great,” he said. But this did not pre­vent us from being very suc­cess­ful through­out the process, har­vest­ing the high­est qual­ity fruits.”

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