Organizers said nearly 200,000 Japanese consumers joined 53 extra virgin olive oil exhibitors and expert olive oil tasters from ten countries to celebrate extra virgin olive oil quality for the third edition of Olive Japan, sponsored by the Olive Oil Sommelier Association of Japan.
Toshiya Tada, founder and chairman of the Olive Oil Sommelier Association of Japan and the event organizer, was pleased with the outcome. “The great success of Olive Japan 2014 is the result of the cooperation and contribution by many people dedicated to two key things — quality and the consumer,” he said.
Olive Japan is comprised of several integrated events held the week before the Japanese Golden Week holiday: an international olive oil competition, the “Olive Oil Sommelier Concours” to determine the top sommelier in Japan for 2014; the International Olive Oil Symposium, which was a gathering of producers, agronomists, scientists, and marketers; and the consumer Olive Oil Marché, an open-air market featuring exhibits, workshops, demonstrations, talk shows and other interactive events for consumers.
Olive Oil Competition
Organizers said 400 olive oils entered the competition from 21 countries. 256 oils earned accolades: 14 Premier Medals, 150 Gold Medals and 92 Silver Medals (see the complete results here).
Olive Oil Sommelier Concours
From Tuesday, April 22nd through Thursday, April 24th, 16 entrants vied for the “#1 Olive Oil Sommelier in Japan” distinction at the first Olive Oil Concours. The top-scoring contestants were Mikiko Watanabe, Sekiyo Mizuno, Tomoko Kikuchi and Osamu Jinguji.
International Olive Oil Symposium
On Friday, April 25th, 120 olive oil enthusiasts, growers, marketers and journalists from Japan gathered at the Marriott Hotel in the Ginza district of Tokyo for an all day symposium on olive oil quality delivered by some of the world’s top experts.
Olive Marché – Open Air Market for Consumers
On Saturday and Sunday, April 26th and 27th, Olive Japan’s 2014 Marché opened to sunny skies at the upscale Futako Tamagawa RISE mall in Tokyo near the Tama River. Organizers estimated attendance for the two days at nearly 200,000.