`Olive Council, FAO Pact Calls for Joint Efforts on Xylella - Olive Oil Times

Olive Council, FAO Pact Calls for Joint Efforts on Xylella

By Lisa Anderson
Jul. 8, 2021 11:14 UTC

Last week the International Olive Council (IOC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations signed an agree­ment to for­mal­ize their long-run­ning asso­ci­a­tion.

The mem­o­ran­dum, which was signed dur­ing the 113th ses­sion of the Council of Members of the IOC, clar­i­fied the work­ing details of the part­ner­ship that is geared toward sup­port­ing the olive sec­tor.

Formalizing this rela­tion­ship through a mem­o­ran­dum of under­stand­ing lets us frame the scope of our already long-stand­ing rela­tion­ship,” Executive Director of the IOC Abdellatif Ghedira said.

Signed dur­ing a video­con­fer­ence meet­ing between Ghedira at the IOC head­quar­ters in Madrid and the direc­tor of the FAO invest­ment cen­ter, Mohamed Manssouri, in Milan, the agree­ment sets out the terms and con­di­tions of col­lab­o­ra­tion so that we can develop, pro­mote and strengthen joint activ­i­ties to sup­port a more effi­cient and sus­tain­able olive sec­tor,” Ghedira said.

A press­ing issue listed in their goals was apply­ing their joint exper­tise on plant pro­tec­tion — with a spe­cial focus on Xylella fas­tidiosa — to impart coor­di­nated infor­ma­tion to their mem­bers.

The crit­i­cal need for solu­tions for the dev­as­ta­tion caused by Xylella fas­tidiosa has recently been under­scored fol­low­ing a new out­break in Puglia late last year, which sig­naled there is no end in sight for the destruc­tion sowed by what has been termed as the Ebola of olives” more than seven years after it first appeared in south­ern Italy.

Other goals out­lined by the two orga­ni­za­tions dur­ing last week’s meet­ing included work­ing towards opti­miz­ing the pro­duc­tiv­ity of the olive sec­tor across the value chain, mak­ing knowl­edge of olive oil qual­ity read­ily avail­able, pre­serv­ing and employ­ing olive genetic resources and gath­er­ing and shar­ing infor­ma­tion per­tain­ing to the olive sec­tor.

Reporting on the meet­ing on their web­site after the meet­ing, the IOC noted that these activ­i­ties would enable them to impart infor­ma­tion on new trends rel­e­vant to the olive sec­tor.

It was fur­ther noted by the IOC that their role is vital to alle­vi­ate rural poverty, estab­lish food secu­rity and enhance the sus­tain­abil­ity of the olive sec­tor.

The col­lab­o­ra­tion between the IOC and the FAO came on the heels of the Council ally­ing with the Culinary Institute of America to pro­mote the piv­otal role of extra vir­gin olive oil in the Mediterranean diet.


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