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2nd Olive Picking Championship Set for October

Teams from around the world will compete in the 2nd World Championship in Olive Picking on the Croatian island of Brač.

Postira Tourist Board
Jul. 19, 2018
By Isabel Putinja
Postira Tourist Board

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The 2nd World Olive Pick­ing Cham­pi­onship will be held from Octo­ber 11 to 14, 2018 on the Croa­t­ian island of Brač.

Par­tic­i­pants came here to take part in some­thing that never hap­pened before, to some­thing unknown.- Ivana Jelinčić, Postira Tourist Board

The host of this inter­na­tional event is the charm­ing 16th-cen­tury fish­ing vil­lage of Postira on the north coast of the island which is also an olive grow­ing region.

The orga­niz­ers have put out a call for teams from all over the world to par­tic­i­pate in the 2018 com­pe­ti­tion. The aim of the inter­na­tional event is to fos­ter friend­ship among olive oil lovers from dif­fer­ent parts of the world and pro­vide an oppor­tu­nity to learn about the island’s olive oil sec­tor.

Dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, each team’s olive har­vest­ing skills are tested in two cat­e­gories: tra­di­tional hand-pick­ing and mod­ern pick­ing tech­niques using hand­held har­vest­ing rakes. Each team is made up of four mem­bers (two women and two men) and the team that picks the most olives within a deter­mined amount of time wins.

At the first cham­pi­onship in 2017, nine teams made up of par­tic­i­pants from Croa­tia, France, Greece, Hun­gary, Italy, Mon­tene­gro, the Nether­lands, Slove­nia and New Zealand took part.

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The first edi­tion of the World Cham­pi­onship in Olive Pick­ing was really much more than we expected. The peo­ple, atmos­phere, weather, local peo­ple, media, every­thing,” shared Ivana Jelinčić, the direc­tor of the Postira Tourist Board and one of the event orga­niz­ers.

Par­tic­i­pants came here to take part in some­thing that never hap­pened before, to some­thing unknown. They gave us their con­fi­dence and we did our best. Soon they all became friends but also each team also wanted to win. Postira is a small vil­lage with only 1,500 peo­ple liv­ing here so local peo­ple knew who the par­tic­i­pants were and were hang­ing out with them in local bars.”

Postira Tourist Board

At the 2017 edi­tion, the Croa­t­ian team came first with 107.6 kg and the advan­tage of hav­ing Tonko Škarić, known as the fastest olive picker on the island, as part of their four-mem­ber team. The Nether­lands came sec­ond with 86.4 kg, while Hun­gary fol­lowed close behind in third place with 84.4 kg.

Win­ners took home sym­bolic medals made of the white stone the island of Brač is famous for, while all par­tic­i­pants received a bot­tle of oil freshly pressed from the olives har­vested dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

The event also gen­er­ated a lot of media inter­est,” revealed Jelinčić. All the main Croa­t­ian TV chan­nels came to Postira and the com­pe­ti­tion was widely reported on TV, online and offline.”

The com­pe­ti­tion is not all about spend­ing time in the groves and pick­ing olives. There are vis­its orga­nized around the island to meet local pro­duc­ers, visit the island’s olive oil museum, see a tra­di­tional mill, and explore inter­est­ing tourist spots like the eco-ethno vil­lage of Dol and Zlatni Rat, one of Croa­t­i­a’s best beaches. Of course, there’s also the oppor­tu­nity to taste local olive oils as well as those from par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries.

Postira Tourist Board

Brač has only 15,000 res­i­dents liv­ing on this Adri­atic island but one mil­lion olive trees grow here. Olives have been cul­ti­vated here for cen­turies and locally-pro­duced extra vir­gin olive oils have won inter­na­tional awards for their excep­tional qual­ity.

The Postira tourist board sup­ports this inter­na­tional event by pro­vid­ing board and lodg­ing for all the par­tic­i­pants.

So far we have con­firmed teams from Slove­nia, Hun­gary, Greece, Mon­tene­gro, the Nether­lands and Croa­tia,” said Jelinčić. We’re still receiv­ing appli­ca­tions from par­tic­i­pants and would espe­cially like to have peo­ple from Spain, Por­tu­gal and France join us this year.”

To get in touch with the orga­niz­ers, visit the web­site of the Postira Tourist Board.

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