Rafael Marchetti accepted the Best in Class Award for Prosperato at the 2019 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition

South American pro­duc­ers enjoyed unprece­dented suc­cess at the 2019 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, bring­ing home a record-break­ing 26 awards, includ­ing four Best in Class Awards.

Brazil, Chile and Argentina all set records for the num­ber of awards they brought home, with 11, 10 and four tri­umphs, respec­tively. Uruguay also won a Best in Class Award for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year.

The impact of win­ning prizes is that we are becom­ing rec­og­nized in the world of olive oil. It gives us a good place to show­case our prod­ucts and attracts inter­est from buy­ers.- Diego Livingstone, Agricola Pobeña

However, Brazilian pro­duc­ers were undoubt­edly South America’s biggest win­ners, bring­ing home a Best in Class, a record-break­ing eight Gold Awards and one Silver. In the pre­vi­ous four years in which Brazilian pro­duc­ers have entered the com­pe­ti­tion, they have com­bined to win six awards.

Rodrigo Costa and Olivares Costa Doce were among the biggest win­ners in Brazil, bring­ing home two Gold Awards for their medium blend and medium Koroneiki as well as a Silver for another medium blend.

See more: NYIOOC 2019

“It was the first time that we entered at NYIOOC,” Costa told Olive Oil Times. “We are very happy because these results are recog­ni­tion for our family’s work, which is done with so much ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion.”

But for Olivares Costa Doce, which is based in the south­ern state of Rio Grande do Sul, these awards are much more than an ego boost. They also serve as an incred­i­ble sales pitch.

“The con­test is very well rec­og­nized and from the dis­clo­sure of results we are receiv­ing con­tacts for inter­views and new sales oppor­tu­ni­ties,” he said. “The result of this con­test will cer­tainly encour­age us to seek good results in other con­tests.”

Like many oth­ers in the indus­try will attest to, Costa believes that Brazilian olive oil is expe­ri­enc­ing an upswing and awards from pres­ti­gious inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions, such as the NYIOOC, prove to the world that Brazilian olive oils are among the best in the region as well as the world.

“The Brazilian olive oil indus­try is work­ing hard with a spe­cial focus on qual­ity and health, cer­tainly Brazilian oils will soon be as rec­og­nized as those of older pro­duc­ers in other coun­tries,” Costa said.

Among the other Brazilian win­ners were Prosperato, which took home a Best in Class and Gold Award; Verde Louro Azeites, which won three Gold Awards; Azeite Irarema and Casa Montiva, both of which won a sin­gle Gold Award; and Olivas do Sul, which won a Silver Award.

However, Brazilian pro­duc­ers were not alone in their unprece­dented suc­cess. Chilean pro­duc­ers were fol­low­ing close behind, bring­ing home a record-break­ing 10 awards, includ­ing two Best in Class, five Gold and three Silver Awards.

Their 43 per­cent suc­cess rate in this year’s edi­tion of the NYIOOC also smashed their pre­vi­ous record, achieved last year, by 16 points.

Diego Livingstone, of Agricola Pobeña, told Olive Oil Times that there were two impor­tant fac­tors behind Chile’s unprece­dented suc­cess.

“First of all, most of us arrived with fresh oils this sea­son, which is impor­tant at the time of the com­pe­ti­tions,” he said. “The other fac­tor was the cli­mate. It was a year of scarcity in terms of water and there were ther­mal oscil­la­tions in the sum­mer, which caused greater stress to the plants and there­fore yielded more com­plex oils.”

This year, Agricola Pobeña won one of Chile’s two Best in Class Awards, for their del­i­cate Coratina, as well as two Silver Awards, for their del­i­cate Koroneiki and a medium blend.

Sparse rain along with fluctuating summer temperatures led to many distinctive flavors for Chilean olive oils this year.

“First of all, we are very happy to con­tinue win­ning these awards,” he said. “This shows us that the work we have been doing and all the ded­i­ca­tion that we put to deliver the best pos­si­ble qual­ity has paid off.”

Livingstone added that the NYIOOC was rais­ing the stock of Chilean olive oils all around the world, which was attract­ing more cus­tomers and adding value to the oil that they will con­tinue to pro­duce.

“The impact of win­ning prizes is that we are becom­ing rec­og­nized in the world of olive oil,” he said. “It gives us a good place to show­case our prod­ucts and attracts inter­est from buy­ers in vis­it­ing us and hav­ing our oils. It gives a great added value to our oil.”

Along with Agricola Pobeña, Agricola Monteolivo won the other Best in Class, as well as two Gold Awards. Viña Morande, Agroindustrial Siracusa and Olivas Ruta del Sol each won a sin­gle Gold Award. Meanwhile, Olivares de Mayermo won a Silver Award.

While not achiev­ing the same lev­els of suc­cess as its neigh­bors to the west and north, Argentinian pro­duc­ers still enjoyed a record-year at the NYIOOC as well.


 

Latin America’s old­est olive oil pro­ducer brought home two Gold and two Silver Awards. In the pre­vi­ous five years, Argentine pro­duc­ers had only man­aged to win two Gold, two Silver and one Best in Class Award oat the com­pe­ti­tion.

“Argentina was the first Latin American olive oil pro­ducer, and is now try­ing to show the world that we are pro­duc­ers of great qual­ity,” Patricia Calderón, of Olivum, told Olive Oil Times.

Olivum took home both Gold Awards, for a pair of medium blends. It was the San Juan-based com­pa­ny’s first year enter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion. Meanwhile, Mendoza-based Millan won both of the Silver Awards.

“Our hap­pi­ness was immense to ver­ify that only by com­ply­ing with our usual pro­ce­dures, we could obtain a Gold medal,” she said. “The awards obtained con­firm that our work and method­ol­ogy allows us to obtain oils of excel­lence and con­firms to us that what we are doing works.”

Calderón added that Olivum would not rest on its lau­rels, and like many other pro­duc­ers in Argentina, they would con­tinue to work on improv­ing their oils in order to com­pete with other pro­duc­ers in South America as well as the rest of the world.

“Argentina and Olivum are just mak­ing them­selves known to the world and we have a long way to go,” she said.

For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, Uruguay sub­mit­ted two entries and won one Best in Class at the NYIOOC. This year’s win­ner of that pres­ti­gious award was Olivares de Santa Laura.

“It’s the first time we’ve received a NYIOOC award,” Gonzalo Aguirre said. “We are very grate­ful to be part of the cho­sen ones for this pres­ti­gious con­test.”

For the second consecutive year, an Uruguayan producer brought home a Best in Class Award.

Aguirre said that for Uruguayan pro­duc­ers, as well as oth­ers in South America, get­ting oil to the NYIOOC in time is a race against the clock.

“For the Southern Hemisphere, we are at the begin­ning of the har­vest and the Coratina that we needed for the blend was har­vested 10 days before the clos­ing of sam­ples recep­tion,” he said. “We ran against the clock, even with the logis­tics of the courier that deliv­ered the sam­ples the day before 3pm dead­line.”

However, the rewards for win­ning this race have proven to be ample enough for Aguirre and his wife with whom he runs the grove, Laura.

“Our prod­ucts are sold in bou­tique stores in Uruguay, and we are notic­ing grow­ing inter­est from Brazilians ask­ing about our oils,” he said. “As we are in the Southern Hemisphere, we have an advan­tage, which is to have fresh oil at this time of year, a com­ple­men­tary attrac­tion for buy­ers of qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils from the Northern Hemisphere.”



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