New Spanish Podcast Delves into the World of Olive Oil

A la Sombra del Olivo brings together three hosts from different backgrounds and a diverse range of guests with the goal of educating the public about olive oil.
Pablo Voitzuk, Mercedes Uceda and Maripaz Aguilera
By Daniel Dawson
Jul. 8, 2024 13:45 UTC

Olive farm­ers, millers and bot­tlers con­sis­tently lament the lack of con­sumer knowl­edge sur­round­ing extra vir­gin olive oil.

Indeed, 49 per­cent of respon­dents to the 2023 Olive Oil Times Harvest Survey cited a lack of con­sumer knowl­edge as one of their top con­cerns.

To that end, three olive oil pro­fes­sion­als have launched a Spanish-lan­guage pod­cast to dis­cuss the basics of olive oil with a diverse range of guests and cre­ate new enthu­si­asts.

The vir­gin olive oil sec­tor needs a lot of dis­sem­i­na­tion and peo­ple to con­nect with it, espe­cially young peo­ple.- Mercedes Uceda, co-host, A la Sombra del Olivo

Pablo Voitzuk, an olive oil edu­ca­tor, con­sul­tant and NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition judge, came up with the idea for A la Sombra del Olivo (In the Shade of the Olive Tree) in 2023 and tapped Mercedes Uceda and Maripaz Aguilera as his co-hosts.

Pablo told me at Christmas that he wanted to do a pod­cast,” said Aguilera, a tech­ni­cal spe­cial­ist in olive oil at the Andalusian Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training (IFAPA), panel leader and con­sul­tant.

Because of our work, we often stay at a tech­ni­cal level. We always address the sec­tor, and this pod­cast is a way of dis­sem­i­nat­ing the cul­ture of olive oil to a large audi­ence,” she added.

See Also:Trade Group Launches Digital Campaign to Promote Olive Oil in Australia

Uceda, a cer­ti­fied taster whose fam­ily-owned engi­neer­ing con­sul­tancy is ded­i­cated to olive mill con­struc­tion and design, is a fre­quent pod­cast lis­tener and was excited to join the project. She believes pod­casts are an excel­lent way to enter­tain and inform younger audi­ences.

According to Spotify, an audio stream­ing plat­form, more than half of Spaniards lis­ten to pod­casts, with one-third lis­ten­ing habit­u­ally. Separate research from iVoox Observatory, which col­lects data about Spanish-lan­guage pod­casts, found that 40 per­cent of lis­ten­ers are between 18 and 44.

The world of pod­casts, which I have got­ten hooked on, seems like a very good way to dis­sem­i­nate any topic,” Uceda said.

The vir­gin olive oil sec­tor needs a lot of dis­sem­i­na­tion and peo­ple to con­nect with it, espe­cially young peo­ple,” she added. Podcasts are a form of shar­ing knowl­edge or con­nect­ing with dif­fer­ent top­ics that young peo­ple use, so it seemed like a very good idea.”

Uceda believes that the long-form con­ver­sa­tional for­mat of pod­casts, which is among the most pop­u­lar gen­res, is ide­ally suited for dis­cussing olive oil, allow­ing the hosts and their guests to exam­ine the details and nuances of each sub­ject rather than resort­ing the sound­bites typ­i­cal of cable news and tra­di­tional radio pro­grams.

We cover a lot, but the pod­cast is made for non-pro­fes­sion­als,” Uceda said. It has a fairly trans­fer­able vocab­u­lary so that every­one can under­stand it. We try to avoid using tech­ni­cal words.”

Aguilera agreed that the pod­cast is meant to be acces­si­ble to the gen­eral pub­lic but added that olive oil pro­fes­sion­als would also find it inter­est­ing. Aguilera has spent her entire pro­fes­sional life study­ing olive oil but still learned many intrigu­ing facts while mak­ing the pod­cast.

The objec­tive is to reach as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble,” she said. I think we have tried to get all kinds of peo­ple involved, espe­cially peo­ple who want to learn.”

The three hosts have recorded six episodes of the pod­cast, which are divided the­mat­i­cally. The first is an intro­duc­tion where the hosts dis­cuss their vision for the pod­cast and how they hope lis­ten­ers will start to think about olive oil.

The rest of the pod­cast will cover health, gas­tron­omy, cul­ture, olive vari­eties and mar­ket­ing. Each episode, which is about an hour long, begins with a dis­cus­sion among the three hosts and is fol­lowed by an inter­view with an expert in each field.


We looked for guests from all over the world, both from Europe and the Southern Hemisphere, so the pod­cast would also be broader,” Uceda said. We thought that in this way, peo­ple in Spain would lis­ten to peo­ple and opin­ions from the rest of the world, espe­cially in terms of sales in South America, which was very inter­est­ing.”

There are peo­ple from Chile, Argentina, the United States and Italy,” Aguilera added. That is to say, we did­n’t want it to be just our vision, but also a vision that draws from dif­fer­ent parts of the world.”

The third episode fea­tures guest inter­views with Alicia Moya and Carola Dümmer, co-authors of Chile’s first olive oil guide­book, to dis­cuss retail and cul­ture.

Filippo Falugiani, the found­ing pres­i­dent of the International Association of Olive Oil Restaurants, and Dani Garcia Peinado, a chef who spe­cial­izes in olive oil and cooks for the Royal Spanish Football Federation, appear in the fourth episode to dis­cuss restau­rants’ role as ambas­sadors of olive oil to a broader audi­ence.

I liked the episode with Filipo and Dani because it opened up about the Horeca and restau­rant chan­nels,” Uceda said. We always say that pen­e­trat­ing the restau­rant chan­nel is the most dif­fi­cult thing in the world of vir­gin olive oil, and lately, we have been strug­gling. Chefs and restau­ra­teurs are also the scribes of our prod­uct.”

Other guests include Nico and Rafael Alonso Barrau of award-win­ning pro­ducer Oro del Desierto, Carmen Nieto of Paraiso Virgen Extra, a spe­cialty retailer, and Juan Pablo Castellano, a mem­ber of the Olive Chamber of Commerce of San Juan, Argentina, among oth­ers.

The first episodes of A la Sombra del Olivo are already stream­ing on Spotify, and video ver­sions are avail­able on YouTube.


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