Interview with Teresa Carrillo

The revolution we are living in the olive oil sector is incredible. What does a leader company bring to what is happening in the olive oil sector?
Balam is a company that has a clear strategy for promoting innovation. I think that is the key to being a leader company in a sector like the agricultural one. This involves the development of technics, services or differentiated products that provide solutions for the issues and necessities of our clients while, of course, increases the quality of their activity.
Nowadays, there are various types of consumers. The market is demanding a particular kind of olive oil that is not always available. Are we also experimenting a varietal revolution in this sense?
Of course. The olive sector’s varietal revolution is a reality that came from the responses and necessities of the industry and the consumer, who is increasingly challenging. In its genetic improvement program, Balam is evaluating the agronomic and industrial behaviors of more than 1.400 varieties and genotypes, of which 30 are already in the pre-commercialization phase. In this work line, Balam has reached an important milestone thanks to the positioning on the market of “Sultana”, a variety that is agronomically remarkable in areas such as vigor, earliness, production and, also, the olive oil quality in comparison to the already commercialized varieties for high density systems.

The transformation of the olive tree cultivation models is unstoppable. How do you think the traditional system will coexist with future ones?
Traditional high-density systems are complimentary and have well differentiated markets. We certainly know that high-density systems are highly profitable while making a sustainable use of the available resources. Traditional systems are essential due to their economic, environmental, and social value to rural areas. They have exclusive varieties that produce excellent olive oils that deserve to be recognized to make them highly competitive.

This year, the market is experimenting a very particular situation regarding pricing and production. How is that affecting new crops?
The situation of a complicated year weatherwise does not affect projects of new crops. These types of projects are designed and evaluated with average tendencies from previous years, not like the unusual casuistry of this example.

The new high-density crops obtain high average productions with a reduced handling fee and guarantee the success of and investment in this kind of projects.
What is the participation of Balam bringing to an international project like the Olive Oil World Congress?
Balam has the opportunity of being in touch with the main global actors of the olive oil sector. Essentially, it is bringing the opportunity of being updated with new trends and being able to anticipate the changes that may happen in the market, the production, the industry or the consumer area.