What role does AGROCOLOR play in the olive oil sector?
AGROCOLOR is a benchmark certification body in the agri-food sector for all products in general. In the olive oil sector in particular, we are a certification body with very interesting figures. For example, we certify more than 250,000 hectares in Integrated Production and we also certify many operators in organic production..., we have a high presence and knowledge within the olive oil sector, in which we are a certification body of reference.
To what extent do certifications ensure the quality of olive oil?
Certifications are a complement to the quality of olive oil. It is a way of demonstrating different parameters, aspects or requirements that are indicated in the specific document. Quality "per se" is not a quality that is certified, what is certified are different production methods to obtain high quality products for the final consumer. If it is in Integrated Production, we certify that it complies with the requirements to be in this production method. Normally, compliance with all these requirements means that the end product obtained is of better quality and has been obtained using sustainable systems that respect the environment.
Certification means attesting to the fulfilment of certain requirements that are usually linked to the production of high quality products.
What are the most demanded certifications within this sector?
The most demanded certifications within this sector, regarding Good Agricultural Practices, are Integrated Production and organic production; and regarding food safety, in processing centres, oil mills, etc... BRCGS, IFS are the most common.
There are also other relevant certifications such as PGI or PDO that certify the origin of a product, or ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 that certify the quality and environmental management system respectively.
What advantages does certification offer olive oil producers in terms of marketing?
Basically, certification is a differentiating factor and an important competitive advantage when it comes to marketing a product. It is a plus. With certification you demonstrate to clients and consumers, through an independent third party, certain aspects of food safety, good agricultural practices, traceability, how the processes are carried out, etc. In short, your product has this plus through certification. There are also many marketers who use certification as a requirement for choosing their suppliers. Logically, they choose suppliers who demonstrate the product's goodness through independent certification.
What can your participation in an international project such as the World Olive Oil Congress bring to AGROCOLOR?
As an entity involved in the sector, we believe that we should be in this World Congress and also coinciding with our 25th anniversary because the olive oil sector is very important in Andalusia and also for AGROCOLOR. We participate in such important events to improve our services, to increase our knowledge of the sector and of olive oil so that our working system for this product is as efficient and effective as possible.