`A Pact to Protect the Andalusian Olive Grove - Olive Oil Times

A Pact to Protect the Andalusian Olive Grove

By Pandora Penamil Penafiel
Feb. 6, 2012 10:16 UTC

Santiago Herrero

The President of the Confederation of Employers of Andalusia (CEA), Santiago Herrero, and the man­ager of the Juan Ramón Guillén Foundation, Alvaro Guillén, have signed a col­lab­o­ra­tion agree­ment to pro­tect and pro­mote the Andalusian olive groves, not only from the point of view of the qual­ity of olive oil, but also as an envi­ron­ment engine, and a tourism, cul­ture and job cre­ation tool in the Andalusian coun­try­side.

The part­ner­ship is designed to help the Foundation’s achieve its tar­gets: an increase in the vis­i­bil­ity of the rural envi­ron­ment and olive fields in par­tic­u­lar, the for­ma­tion of a social com­mit­ment between its agents and the imple­men­ta­tion of research and devel­op­ment activ­i­ties.

The Foundation Juan Ramón Guillén is made up of pro­fes­sional sec­tors such as busi­ness and uni­ver­sity cen­ters, finance com­pa­nies, agri­cul­ture asso­ci­a­tions and coop­er­a­tives. The CEA, the University of Jaén, the College of Agricultural Engineering of Andalusia, Jaencoop and Caja Rural Jaén, are also rep­re­sented.

The CEA, is the main inter­locu­tor of busi­ness­men in Andalusia, and pro­vides the Foundation its impor­tant vision and part­ner­ship to develop many projects and oppor­tu­ni­ties for the rural entre­pre­neur.

Olive Heritage

Today, one of the larger projects car­ried out by the Foundation is to achieve the recog­ni­tion and dec­la­ra­tion of the olive grove as a World Heritage. To do this, they have enabled online forums to seek pop­u­lar sup­port for this ini­tia­tive.

The Juan Ramón Guillén Fundación head­quar­ters is located in the Hacienda Guzmán, a Sixteenth Century for­mer oil fac­tory, within over 140 dif­fer­ent olive tree vari­eties from five con­ti­nents — all of them in pro­duc­tion.

In this oliv­oteca, vis­i­tors can learn the char­ac­ter­is­tics of each of the species in a con­tin­u­ous process of research and study funded by the European Union.

There are vari­eties from Greece, Israel, Turkey and Argentina — each with its par­tic­u­lar color, shape, type of branches and fruit.

Throughout the tour, vis­i­tors can appre­ci­ate the dif­fer­ent types of leaves and olives, elon­gated, horn-shaped, peak- shaped, wrin­kled, grape-shaped, cherry-shaped.

I inher­ited the love for the land, for the olive trees and their fruit, the olive. I respect and admire the cult of this prodi­gious juice, extra vir­gin olive oil, and I am in love with the tra­di­tional rites that accom­pany each of the processes which the olive runs through, from plant­ing to removal,” says Juan Ramón Guillén, pres­i­dent and founder of Aceites del Sur and Ambassador of the Juan Ramón Guillén Foundation.

Mercacei arti­cles also appear in Mercacei mag­a­zine and are not edited by Olive Oil Times.

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