The 23rd Mario Solinas Quality Awards ceremony was recently held during the 117th Session of the Council of Members of the International Olive Council (IOC). Mrs. Fatma Omrani Chargui from Tunisia, H.E. Mr. Reza Zabib from the I.R. of Iran, the Economic Attaché of the Italian Embassy, Mr. Nicola Carbone, the Counsellor of the Brazilian Embassy, Mr. Flavio Bettarello, and the First Secretary of the Portuguese Embassy, Mr. Pedro Marcelo.
The renowned chef Andrés Madrigal has been invited to represent haute cuisine in which extra virgin olive oil is an essential ingredient.
The IOC Executive Director, Mr Abdellatif Ghedira, addressed the award-winning producers and bottlers to thank them for their enthusiasm for spreading the culture of excellent quality extra virgin olive oil, as well as for their confidence in the IOC. He also emphasised the long career and the development of these awards, which had 34 candidates in their first edition in 2000 and have now received up to 117 candidates in their 23rd edition. In addition, the Executive Director announced that Saudi Arabia has joined the IOC this year, bringing the total number of member countries to 19, including the EU and its 27 countries.
The Jordanian ambassador also took the floor to highlight the prosperity of the sector. She also encouraged all producers and packagers who have not been awarded this year to continue participating in this famous competition.
The deputy executive director, Jaime Lillo, who will become the next executive director of the COI from January 2024, acknowledged the effort and dedication with which this new generation of olive growers is working, which is taking extra virgin olive oil to the top.
He also expressed special thanks for the important work of the international jury, made up of thirteen tasting panels and represented at the event by Plácido Pascual from Córdoba. Pascual, head of the tasting panel of the Agri-Food Laboratory of Córdoba, expressed his satisfaction at the steady increase in the quality of the oils presented to the Mario Solinas every year. In his speech, he pointed out that this is the basis of the prestige of these Awards and took the opportunity to remind the audience that "the sensorial analysis method is applied meticulously and objectively by each of the tasters". This 23rd edition of the Mario Solinas Awards saw the evaluation of 117 samples from countries such as Argentina (2), Brazil (2), China (2), Croatia (1), Greece (4), Italy (6), Portugal (16), Spain (63), Tunisia (19) and Turkey (2). Samples were sent by individual producers, producer associations and packers.
Samples were sent by individual producers, producer associations and packers.