` NYIOOC Moves to Remote Judging Amid Travel Restrictions - Olive Oil Times

NYIOOC Moves to Remote Judging Amid Travel Restrictions

Mar. 26, 2020
Olive Oil Times Staff

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The NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition has announced it will move for­ward with an inno­v­a­tive plan to judge this year’s entries remotely amid the coro­n­avirus cri­sis.

Postponing is the easy way out, but it doesn’t con­sider the pro­ducer, who has a lim­ited win­dow of time to mar­ket this year’s har­vest.- Curtis Cord, NYIOOC pres­i­dent

The judg­ing panel for the world’s most impor­tant olive oil qual­ity con­test, sched­uled to take place in early May, con­sists of tast­ing pro­fes­sion­als from more than one dozen coun­tries, includ­ing many of the regions hard­est hit by the pan­demic.

Curtis Cord, the NYIOOC pres­i­dent, said he began devel­op­ing the con­tin­gency plan with his tech­ni­cal team after travel restric­tions went into effect in early March.

Even while the world faces a ter­ri­ble cri­sis, olive oil pro­duc­ers depend on the NYIOOC,” Cord said. We must ful­fill our respon­si­bil­ity to rec­og­nize their ded­i­ca­tion and hard work, even in these dif­fi­cult times.”

Cord said he weighed post­pon­ing the com­pe­ti­tion but ulti­mately decided against it.

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Postponing is the easy way out, but it doesn’t con­sider the pro­ducer, who has a lim­ited win­dow of time to mar­ket this year’s har­vest,” he said. There is lit­tle point in push­ing the awards back into sum­mer or fall when the next har­vest will already be upon us.”

Instead, sam­ples of the con­test entries will be pre­pared fol­low­ing a pro­to­col NYIOOC has devel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with health safety and food han­dling pro­fes­sion­als.

Each entry will be trans­ferred to a tam­per-evi­dent, dark glass con­tainer with zero head­space and blind-coded. They will be packed and shipped in tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled cases to pro­tect them dur­ing trans­port and pre­serve their qual­ity for sen­sory analy­sis.

Tasting experts around the world will ana­lyze the sam­ples in con­cert using NYIOOC’s pro­pri­etary judg­ing appli­ca­tion and an inte­grated com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool that allows them to con­fer with oth­ers on the panel, the com­pe­ti­tion pres­i­dent and the tech­ni­cal team.

Cord said the pro­to­cols and the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of his judg­ing experts will ensure accu­rate results and the admin­is­tra­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion at the high­est stan­dards, even as the world con­fronts an unprece­dented cri­sis.

This cri­sis calls for even greater cre­ative solu­tions guided by our promise to pro­duc­ers who deserve every pos­si­ble effort to rec­og­nize their excel­lence.- Curtis Cord, NYIOOC pres­i­dent

We wish it weren’t nec­es­sary to do it this way,” Cord said of the pio­neer­ing pro­gram. But we are dri­ven by our mis­sion to rec­og­nize the com­mit­ment of olive oil pro­duc­ers, and this is the best way to do that under these con­di­tions. They still have prod­ucts to sell, and con­sumers still need to know which ones to buy.”

Beginning on May 11th, the NYIOOC will unveil the results of the com­pe­ti­tion in real-time, allow­ing pro­duc­ers and the pub­lic to fol­low the awards as they unfold.

At the same time, a totally redesigned Best Olive Oils Index will launch fea­tur­ing a new retail loca­tor that will help every­one find an award-win­ning oil nearby.

Olive Oil Times writ­ers will be fan­ning out in every region to report on win­ning pro­duc­ers in break­ing-news arti­cles opti­mized for shar­ing and syn­di­ca­tion.

This sum­mer, the Best Olive Oils Marketplace will be expanded to Canada and Europe to help pro­duc­ers and dis­trib­u­tors get their high-qual­ity olive oils into even more of the kitchens where they deserve to be.

We were already plan­ning the most inven­tive com­pe­ti­tion in our eight years orga­niz­ing this event,” Cord said. This cri­sis calls for even greater cre­ative solu­tions guided by our promise to pro­duc­ers who deserve every pos­si­ble effort to rec­og­nize their excel­lence.”

Registration for the 2020 NYIOOC ends at mid­night, April 1st. Samples are due May 1st.


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