Olive Oil Producers in Middle East Enjoy Award-Winning Finish to Bumper Harvest

Producers in Lebanon, Israel and Jordan overcame economic challenges to celebrate success at the 2023 World Olive Oil Competition.

Growers and millers from the three countries combined to win 14 awards at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, up from the ten awards producers from the three countries earned at the previous edition of the competition.

The outgoing Lebanese Minister of Agriculture, Abbas Hajj Hassan, lauded NYIOOC winners.Despite the biggest financial crisis in history, producers won two gold and a silver award.

“Olive oil is a promising product with which Lebanon can compete with most exporting countries despite the many crises it is going through,” Hassan said in April when the first Lebanese producers were awarded.

"It is heartwarming to see Lebanese extra virgin olive oil brands winning such competitions abroad; it makes me really happy," said Solar Olives owner Karim Arsanios.

Solar won a Gold Award in 2022 and a Silver Award in 2023 with its Kour extra virgin olive oil, placing itself among the rare Lebanese producers to win awards in consecutive years at the World Competition.

"Since the beginning, we were not trying to become the world’s best producer but rather to try to help Lebanese extra virgin olive oils conquer the international scene," he added.

Solar uses old methods and cutting-edge technology to grow organically. Arsanios said, "When I started this project, I adopted old practices of working the land and updated them by instilling new science-based techniques."