Jaén, olive oil's world capital

With the 59th meeting of the Consultative Committee, the events organised annually by the International Olive Oil Council (IOC), a body that acts as a world forum for debate and analysis of policies and standards relating to olive oil, have begun in the city of Jaén. The President of the Provincial Council of Jaén, Francisco Reyes, who took part in the official opening of this meeting together with the Mayor of Jaén, Julio Millán; the Executive Director of the IOC, Abddellatif Ghedira; the President of the Advisory Committee, Ali Haj Mbarek; and the President of the IOC and Minister of Agriculture in Jordan, Khaled Hanife; celebrated the fact that "Jaén is once again the epicentre of world olive oil, where we can reflect on this campaign, the situation of the sector, the consequences of the price crisis caused by the unjust war in Ukraine, and with the added value that more than 200 people from 20 countries will be in our province these days".

The President of the Provincial Administration has pointed out that "there is no better place than this territory, with this immense sea of olive trees and being the main olive oil producers in the world, also from a quantitative point of view, to celebrate the events of the International Olive Oil Council". In this sense, he thanked the IOC for this choice "which will allow us to demonstrate our capacity to organise international events such as the one that begins today".

Finally, the IOC's Deputy Executive Director, Jaime Lillo, emphasised that "the international olive oil community has Jaén as a reference point, it is the capital of olive oil and an incomparable setting for us to hold these activities". With regard to the different events to be held this week, Lillo commented that "in addition to the 18 members of the IOC, we have the presence of observers, such as Brazil and a delegation from the United States, which is approaching the world of oil and is the fastest growing market, already the third largest consumer country", said the deputy executive director of this organisation, who also referred to the approach with which these events are being held in the province of Jaén. "We want to give a boost to issues related to sustainability and the environment. We have been working for many years on the quality of oils and on transmitting best practices to producers. We have also focused on health-related aspects, and on 30 November an agreement will be signed with the University of Jaén for the creation of a website to build this narrative of the olive grove and sustainability".

The 59th meeting of the Advisory Committee, in which the private sector of the member countries, producers, distributors and consumers are represented, has opened the programme of activities that will include a technical visit by the members of the IOC to different tourist resources in the province of Jaén linked to olive oil tourism, in which they will learn how the process of making extra virgin olive oil is carried out in an olive mill in Jaén, from its cultivation to its packaging, as well as the importance of this ingredient in the provincial gastronomy.

Likewise, on Wednesday, 30 November, the plenary session of the IOC's Council of Members will take place in the capital of Jaén and the Mario Solinas Awards will be presented, organised by this organisation with the aim of recognising the highest quality extra virgin olive oils in the world each year. The International Olive Council's events in the province of Jaén will end on Thursday, 1 December, with a conference on olive groves and sustainability, with which the IOC is also commemorating World Olive Day.