NYIOOC Wins Waylay Economic Woes for Producers in Southern Cone

South American producers from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay combined to earn the highest number of awards for the region since 2019.

Photo: Colinas de Garzón
By Daniel Dawson
Jun. 22, 2022 16:35 UTC
Photo: Colinas de Garzón

Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Producers from the Southern Cone – com­posed of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay – com­bined to earn 14 awards at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, the region’s high­est total since 2019.

Half of the awards – three Gold and four Silver Awards – were earned by four pro­duc­ers from Chile. Meanwhile, two Argentine pro­duc­ers com­bined to win two Gold Awards and a Silver Award. Finally, three Uruguayan pro­duc­ers came away from the com­pe­ti­tion with a com­bined two Gold Awards and a Silver Award.

With these post-pan­demic years and the eco­nomic dif­fi­cul­ties that our coun­try is going through, con­tin­u­ing to pro­duce qual­ity oils with inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion makes us proud.- Patricia Calderón, direc­tor, Establecimiento Olivum

While the pro­longed drought in north­west­ern Argentina and Chile’s cen­tral val­ley impacted the 2022 har­vests in Latin America’s two largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries, Uruguay enjoyed more favor­able con­di­tions.

However, pro­duc­ers from all three coun­tries faced chal­lenges related to con­gested global sup­ply chains and ris­ing pro­duc­tion costs. These were espe­cially felt in Argentina, where annual infla­tion has risen to 58 per­cent, and energy costs have increased sub­stan­tially.

See Also:The Best Olive Oils from Argentina

With these post-pan­demic years and the eco­nomic dif­fi­cul­ties that our coun­try is going through, con­tin­u­ing to pro­duce qual­ity oils with inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion makes us proud and gives us the strength to con­tinue mak­ing an effort,” Patricia Calderón, the direc­tor of Establecimiento Olivum, told Olive Oil Times.

The pro­duc­ers earned a Silver Award for a medium blend dur­ing their fourth appear­ance at the com­pe­ti­tion, in which they have won six awards.

At Establecimiento Olivum, we pro­duce pre­mium qual­ity oils,” Calderón said. For this, the qual­ity of the fruit on the farm, the early har­vest and imme­di­ate grind­ing with strict tem­per­a­ture con­trol are essen­tial.”


Olive groves at Establecimiento Olivum

Situated in the north­west­ern province of San Juan, Olivum’s olive groves sprawl over 1,000 hectares at the foot of the Andes Mountains. The San Juan Valley’s unique micro­cli­mate yields Olivum’s high-qual­ity olives and pro­vides plenty of chal­lenges through­out the har­vest.

Defining the right har­vest time is always a chal­lenge,” Calderón said. The frosts that promised to be early forced us to be very effi­cient to fin­ish the har­vest before they arrived.”

Being awarded in such a pres­ti­gious con­test and with such a rec­og­nized tast­ing panel con­firms the qual­ity we claim to achieve in our pro­duc­tion,” she added.

On the Southern Cone’s east­ern seaboard, Uruguay’s largest olive oil pro­ducer cel­e­brated its sec­ond-con­sec­u­tive award at the 2022 NYIOOC, win­ning Gold for a del­i­cate blend.


Olivares de Rocha’s olive groves (Photo: San Antonio Studio)

We are very proud and hon­ored by the recog­ni­tion,” María José Morín, the mar­ket­ing man­ager at Agroland and Nuevo Manatial, which pro­duces Olivares de Rocha, told Olive Oil Times. We trust these awards will help us con­quer new mar­kets.”

According to Morín, Agroland pro­duces more than 40 per­cent of all olive oil in Uruguay and is find­ing a dis­trib­u­tor in the United States. Morín cited this as one of the rea­sons the com­pany decided first to enter the com­pe­ti­tion last year.

Therefore, we are the main stake­hold­ers in con­tin­u­ing to posi­tion Uruguay as one of the best qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­ers in the world,” she said. This award can have an impact on the recog­ni­tion of Uruguay as an ori­gin also for extra vir­gin olive oil.”

See Also:The Best Olive Oils from Uruguay

Morín attrib­uted the company’s com­mit­ment to qual­ity instead of quan­tity and sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion tech­niques as two rea­sons for its suc­cess.

We take max­i­mum care of our crops and the sur­round­ing envi­ron­ment,” she said. We are inside the first wind farm in Uruguay, and the energy is 100-per­cent self-gen­er­ated, as well as tak­ing care of our own water resources.”


Quality is pri­or­i­tized over quan­tity,” Morín added. The process is metic­u­lous and is mon­i­tored by our lab­o­ra­tory. The fun­da­men­tal thing is that the entire human team involved has a pas­sion for the prod­uct.”

Despite hav­ing a more coop­er­a­tive cli­mate this year than in pre­vi­ous years, Morín said that adapt­ing to Uruguay’s chang­ing cli­mate remained their most sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge.

Víctor Rodríguez, the gen­eral man­ager for olive oil at Agroland, which pro­duces Colinas de Garzón, another NYIOOC win­ner from Uruguay, said the high lev­els of humid­ity through­out the year make pro­duc­ing con­sis­tently high-qual­ity olive oil more dif­fi­cult.


Photo: Colinas de Garzón

Uruguay is a coun­try with a lot of humid­ity, and this leads to a lot of health mon­i­tor­ing (pro­lif­er­a­tion of dis­eases) in addi­tion to main­tain­ing the same sen­sory pro­file year after year in each of our extra vir­gin olive oils,” he told Olive Oil Times.

Colinas de Garzón earned a Gold and Silver Award for a pair of medium blends. Rodríguez said win­ning in the com­pe­ti­tion helped the brand and pro­file of Uruguayan olive oils on the world stage.

This is a con­test of great impor­tance world­wide, and obtain­ing these results gives us a let­ter of intro­duc­tion to the world that is very good,” he said.

On the other side of the Southern Cone, pro­duc­ers in Chile recorded the third-high­est awards total in nine years at the com­pe­ti­tion.


Photo: Agricola Pobeña

Of those, Agricola Pobeña earned two Gold Awards and a Silver Award. José Manuel Reyes, the company’s devel­op­ment man­ager, agreed that con­sis­tent suc­cess in the com­pe­ti­tion pro­motes Chilean oils on the inter­na­tional stage.

The results con­firm the good work that has been done,” he told Olive Oil Times. Chile is a high-qual­ity pro­ducer, and this is being rec­og­nized world­wide. It moti­vates all pro­duc­ers to con­tinue tak­ing Chilean olive oil to the top.”

See Also:The Best Olive Oils from Chile

During the har­vest, Reyes said Chile’s ongo­ing drought had been one of the company’s biggest chal­lenges. The lack of rain in 2021 forced the com­pany to reduce its irri­ga­tion by up to 50 per­cent for some vari­eties.

However, this did not stop the pro­ducer of the Alonso Olive Oil brand from extend­ing its his­tory of suc­cess in the com­pe­ti­tion.

We have man­aged to be con­sis­tent in our work over the years, pro­duc­ing qual­ity olive oils,” Reyes said. It is no coin­ci­dence that our Coratina has obtained Gold Awards in each of the last five years.”

Olivos del Sur, one of Chile’s largest olive oil pro­duc­ers, also con­tin­ued its legacy of NYIOOC suc­cess, win­ning a Silver Award.


Photo: Olivos del Sur

We’re not here for the awards, but they feel awe­some,” Claudio Lovazzano, the company’s mar­ket­ing man­ager, told Olive Oil Times about the third con­sec­u­tive award for its O‑Live & Co brand, a medium blend.

For Olivos del Sur, ris­ing pro­duc­tion costs and ongo­ing global sup­ply chain issues have pre­sented the most sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges.

However, Lovazzano attrib­uted years of invest­ment in water man­age­ment infra­struc­ture and knowl­edge to why the drought has less impact on the com­pany than other Chilean pro­duc­ers.

The huge dimen­sions of our groves, an inte­grated process from farm to bot­tle, and our pas­sion for pro­duc­ing only the high­est qual­ity of extra vir­gin olive oil with a deep respect for the envi­ron­ment is what makes Olisur dif­fer­ent,” Lovazaano con­cluded. We do this every day and expect to do it for a long time.”

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