In a year of great complexity for the olive oil sector, the Wooe has managed to unite the entire sector for two days of frenetic activity at Ifema Madrid.
With more than 300 companies represented from Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Portugal, Tunisia, Turkey, and New Zealand, and more than 4,500 visitors of 45 different nationalities, the Wooe has consolidated itself as the greatest fair for olive oil business, exports, brands, and quality.
“Together we make gold” has been the slogan of an edition that has confirmed that the sector grows by joining forces between its different players.
The Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment, Luis Planas, inaugurated the fair yesterday, appealing to the popular nature of olive oil, which has always been a regular feature of all Spanish households, with exceptional quality.
For this reason, he insisted on the need to maintain reasonable prices that improve domestic sales and can help international markets grow.
The fair brings together quality oils of very different profiles, a diversity that has been highly appreciated by the professionals from all areas of the sector visiting Ifema these days: importers, chefs, restaurateurs, hotel purchasing managers, gourmet shops, e-commerce, etc.
High-quality olive oil mills such as Oro Senda Almazara, from the Campo de Montiel Pdo, have found in the fair the opportunity they were looking for to promote their products: “We offer organic products of family harvest and of the highest quality, protected by the Campo y Alma seal of quality. We have held meetings with foreign importers and met some very interesting people. For example, María Morales, a former Master Chef contestant and owner of a restaurant was very interested in our oils, and we hope to be able to collaborate with her”.
The Wooe is a unique fair because it brings together producers from different regions. Jordan, Tunisia, Turkey, and Lebanon are some of the countries that have brought their oils to the fair.
In the case of Lebanon, the company Organica Sal participated with a stand promoting its oils for the first time abroad. “We have a special variety in the Midwest called Suri and it has created a lot of expectation among visitors to the fair. The most interesting thing for us is the diversity of the professionals attending: buying companies of all sizes, gastro journalists, other producers… We have greatly expanded our network of contacts in the sector,” commented its export manager.
A message shared by all the participants at the fair is the importance of seeing each other again and being able to get together, after the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. As the manager of the Olirrubia olive oil mill emphasised, “the fair is allowing us to see our clients again and it is very important to have physical contact and to be able to be with them”.
At an olive oil fair, there is also a place for other complementary products such as quality vinegars, for example those from Montilla Moriles. Enrique Garrido, managing director of the Montilla Moriles Designation of Origin Regulatory Council, described his decision to come to the fair as follows: “The quality of Andalusian and Montilla vinegars is a guarantee for us to be able to share this fair with the best olive oils, we understand that buyers and importers of olive oil can have a complementary product in our vinegars”.
The Wooe is not only an important business gathering, but also a meeting aimed at knowledge, debate and being able to extract, among the real players in the sector, the keys that will define the next steps. Conferences, round-table discussions, tasting sessions, food and wine pairings, cooking competitions, and other activities took place during these days, all of which were fully booked, which shows just how lively the sector is.
In the coming days we will be communicating some of the conclusions that have been discussed in each talk, but today we make special mention of the one that was held to coincide with the day of the working woman: “The women of Evoo take the floor”. An unprecedented meeting in the sector directed and presented by Pandora Peñafil Peñafiel that managed to bring together some of the most powerful women in the Evo world: Herminia Millán, manager of QvExtra! Internacional; Ana Martínez, general secretary of Infaoliva; Consoli Molero, manager and head of production at the cooperative Colival; Chania Chagas, taster, coach and owner of Emporio do Azeite (Brazil); Anita Zachou, gastronomic consultant and founder of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting (Greece); and María Morales, owner of Esencia by María Morales.
The Wooe is also presided over by a woman, Otilia Romero de Condés, who today wanted to emphasise that this is the sector’s fair and that it includes the entire olive oil business, from olive oil mills and producers to bottling companies, importers and the HoReCa sector.
Wooe 2023 leaves with a good taste in its mouth and a lot of work ahead to study the conclusions that can be drawn from these two days of activity, to continue working for a more united and stronger sector.