Following the summer period, the IOC Executive Secretariat resumes its activities with a busy calendar of meetings and activities in all its areas of action.
Olive economy: the eighth meeting of the Statistics Working Group will be held on 29 September. This working group is made up of experts from IOC member countries and its main mission is to monitor IOC statistics, revise world and national balances for olive oils, olive-pomace oils and table olives, and consider suggestions and proposals to improve the quality of statistical data. During the meeting, discussions will focus, among others, on the estimates of the 2017/18 crop year, export trends, the various aspects of the current state of the olive sector, including olive surface, national plans to expand the olive sector in the next few years and trends in producer prices. In the next issue of this Newsletter we will provide information on the estimates for the 2017/18 crop year.
Research: a meeting is planned for 2 and 3 October with experts from renowned research centres such as the French Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES); the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); the Departments of Entomology of the Universities of Turin and Bari (Italy); the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture (ARS-USDA); the Italian Research Council (CNR); the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC-FAO); the University of Cordoba, Spain (UCO); the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) and with representatives from the European Commission. Over those two days, participants will establish the basis for drawing up technical guidelines containing instructions to prevent, identify, control and combat Xylella fastidiosa and enable the application of all the protocols available to protect olive trees from this bacterium. The conclusions of the meeting will be presented before the Council of Members at its November session and will be published afterwards.
Chemistry and standardisation: a restricted meeting of nutrition experts will be held in order to prepare for a workshop that the IOC is organising in the University of Davis (California) in January 2018, as part of the promotion campaigns that the IOC plans to resume in the United States. In addition, IOC chemistry experts will meet to continue their work updating and studying new testing methods, and the Technical Committee will meet to assess the results of the 2017 proficiency tests for the IOC recognition of physico-chemical testing laboratories. The meeting of experts on organoleptic assessment to discuss the studies conducted by the electronic working groups, the evaluation of the results of the 2017 tests for the IOC recognition of tasting panels and a day on panel harmonisation will be held in October. An update workshop on the organoleptic assessment method for virgin olive oils will be held on 18 October and will bring together experts and members of the IOC Advisory Committee, which will also hold its own meeting, alongside the meeting of the signatory associations to the agreement on physico-chemical quality control, on 19 October. The outcomes and the conclusions of these meetings will be presented to the Council of Members at its 106th session in November 2017, which will also include the award ceremony of the 17th Mario Solinas International Competition. It should also be noted that the Executive Secretariat will participate in the Conference on Volatile Compounds organised by the Italian Society for the Research of Fatty Matter (SISSG) in Sanremo (Italy) and in the annual meeting of the OLEUM Project as a member of the Advisory Board. It will also be involved in meetings to draw up a revision proposal for the different categories of olive oil and olive-pomace oil for the World Customs Organization.
Promotion: the IOC will continue its promotional activities in Japan and will launch campaigns in the United States and China. Activities planned for the last quarter of this year include the 106th session of the Council of Members and the celebration of World Olive Day at the headquarters of the IOC on 23 November.