Olive oil is the focus of increasing attention of qualified professionals, and the venues where these oils are examined are now becoming points of reference for the best producers in circulation.
In Spain, and more precisely in Madrid, Ifema will host a two-day appointment that is a must for whoever wants to know more about the new trends in this sector, and witness how the industry is striving to create the necessary conditions to promote a qualified culture of oil.
The attention of the World Olive Oil Exhibition turns to various issues, giving great emphasis to cultural aspects as well as economical ones. The programme is so rich that it is going to be hard to jostle with representatives of over fifty different countries.
Over the last few years, the conditions have changed, and there is now a greater dialogue among the producing countries: by exchanging experiences, the enterprises operating in this sector should soon be able to satisfy all the demands of the market.
The sixth WOOE is going to be all about internationalization. This is because olive oil is no longer only sold at a national level, but is starting to conquer new markets, countries that have no tradition of it.
The WOOE has adopted an innovative approach, compared to all other festivals of this kind. It is certainly not easy to create new opportunities in this increasingly global market. The organizers however are making every effort to achieve their goal, and have therefore invited importers from the US, the Middle East and Central Europe. Italy too has an important role, and realizing this, the organizers are staking much on our country.
The programme of the event is very rich, with many interesting conferences and tasting sessions. Here are a few.
The debates scheduled for this two-day event will open with a speech on the current situation of the global olive oil industry given by Mr. Abdellatif Ghedira, executive director of the International Olive Council.
It will then be the turn of Professor Juan Hernández Vilar, international advisor, who will examine the new production areas of olive oil.
Mr. Salvador Cubero, director of EcoTrama, will speak about organic olive oils, whereas Ms. Desirée Rubio, secretary general of Ecovalia, will examine the latest sales trends, particularly those of new markets.
Great attention will also be given to climate changes and their effects on olive tree cultivation and oil quality: this topic will be analysed by both Prof. Juan Antonio La Cal Herrera, partner in Bioliza and associate professor at the University of Jaén, and Mr. Luca Testi, from the Department of Agronomy of the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture (IAS-CSIC).
The importance of polyphenols in olive oil will be the focus of the speech given by Mr. Javier Paulino.
Ample space will also be given to oil tasting. There first session, focusing on Californian oils, is coordinated by Ms. Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, co-founder of the Extra Virgin Alliance.
The guided tasting session of extra virgin oils from Meknes-Fes, Morocco, should also be extremely interesting: the coordinator in this case is the celebrated director of Agropole Olivier, Mr. Noureddine Ouazzani, to whom Morocco owes its olive oil renaissance.
Tunisian oils will also be tasted in a session coordinated by Mr. Chokri Bayoudh, Head of the Tunisian Olive Oil National Bureau, and Mr. Monji Msallem, from the Institut de l’Olivier de la Tunisie.
Ample space will be given to quality brands on the olive oil market, with Mr. Jose Manuel Bajo Prados, secretary general of Baena PDO, and Ms. Ana Maria Romero Obrero, president of AEMO, mayor of the town of Montoro and president of the Mediterranean Olive Oil Cities Network.
Last but not least is the launch of Evoleum, the most influential guide of extra virgin olive oils, in the presence of Mr. Juan Peñamil, editor and CEO of Mercacei.
There is great anticipation. And great expectations.