The Olive Oil World Congress (OOWC) travelled to the city of Beja, Portugal, to present this collaborative project to the country's olive sector and involve it in the organisation of the event. Among other organisations, the event was attended by the Casa do Azeite Association and the Confederation of Portuguese Farmers (CAP).
With this conference, whose main theme was "The olive oil sector, technological solutions for its future", the OOWC aims to make its congress known to the operators of the sector in Portugal while helping them to improve the profitability of their plantations and, for this purpose, it counted on the best experts during the day.
The day began with the inauguration by José Godinho Calado, regional director of Agriculture in Alentejo; Mariana Matos, general secretary of Casa do Azeite; and Pedro Lopes, president of OLIVUM.
Godinho emphasised that "although there are areas in Portugal that are highly technified, it is necessary to continue to advance and evolve in obtaining technological solutions that encourage and help efficiency and, for this, it is important and fundamental to have information and data that allow correct decisions to be made through real data".
For her part, Mariana Matos recalled the need to "bring together all producer countries to analyse the problems of the sector and seek solutions together, which is why the OOWC is a very important opportunity for all operators worldwide".
Ricardo Migueláñez, coordinator of the OOWC, then presented "this project that can be joined by any associations, companies and institutions that wish to contribute their knowledge and experience so that the messages and actions, agreed by all in the decision-making bodies of the OOWC, are amplified and reach all olive oil producers and consumers in the world".
The day continued with the round table "Technological solutions for olive groves and olive oil", in which experts from the olive industry were present, such as Juan Carlos Cañasveras, Business Development Director of BALAM Agriculture, Andrés Cuenda, agronomic representative for woody crops of Greenfield Technologies, Francisco Mondragão, from the Elvas School of Agriculture of the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and José Duarte, president of the company; Andrés Cuenda, agronomic representative for woody crops at Greenfield Technologies; Francisco Mondragão, from the Escuela Superior Agrária de Elvas of the Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre and José Duarte, president of the Cooperativa de Moura e Barrancos and director of the Confederación de Agricultores Portugueses (CAP).
The members of the round table analysed the current situation of the sector in terms of the level of technification, putting on the table possible technological solutions that will help the sector to comply with its demands and, above all, with the new regulations that will come from the European Union on environmental and other issues.
The round table also included the presentation of 'Sultana', the new olive variety that BALAM Agriculture has launched on the market to revolutionise high-density planting. Sultana' has shown characteristics that have stood out from the more than 1,400 genotypes that have gone through the different evaluation phases.
Olive oil is one of the jewels of our food, the liquid gold of countries such as Portugal, with a great olive-growing tradition going back centuries. According to estimates by the International Olive Oil Council (IOC), the European Commission and the sector itself, Portugal is the fourth largest producer of olive oil in Europe, with an estimated 125,000 tonnes for the 2022/2023 season, 39.4% down on the previous season, while consumption is 61,000 tonnes. With regard to total exports, including operations between European Union countries and third countries outside the Union, Portugal expects to increase by 6% and reach 280,000 tonnes during the 2022/2023 campaign.
Among the communication tools that the congress organisers have developed is the mobile application 'Olive Oil World Congress', available for Android and IOS in both Spanish and English. To download the APP you need to access Google Play in the Android version or via the following link: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sentidocomun.apps.oliveoilworldcongress, and in the case of the IOS version via the APP Store by entering the following link: apps.apple.com/us/app/olive-oil-world-congress/id1672583400. But that's not all, because through the APP users who download it will remain in contact with professionals in the sector thanks to the "Olive Oil Network", a platform where anyone who registers can contact other registered operators, share projects, develop business and exchange information on production, processing and markets.
Under the slogan "Taste it, enjoy, It's olive oil", the congress has AgroBank, the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha through the brand Campo y Alma and the Junta de Andalucía through its brand 'Gusto del Sur' as Platinum sponsors; Grupo Interóleo, Balam Agriculture and Agrocolor, as Gold sponsors; and the company Kubota as Silver sponsor. Agrotec, a Portuguese newspaper specialising in the agricultural sector, has joined the OOWC Media Partners, together with Oleo.