The proceedings of the 107th session of the International Olive Council (IOC) are now under way in Buenos Aires, the city which is hosting the IOC at the invitation of the Argentine authorities. The meetings are being held at the Palace of San Martin, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital.
The IOC is the world’s only international intergovernmental organisation in the field of olive oil and table olives. It was set up in 1959, under the auspices of the United Nations, and has its headquarters in Madrid, Spain. The Council is a decisive player in contributing to the sustainable and responsible development of olive growing and it serves as a world forum for discussing policymaking and tackling present and future challenges.
For its part, Argentina was the first country of the Americas to accede to the International Agreement on Olive Oil, in October 1965, and it continues to participate actively in the implementation of the successive International Agreements on Olive Oil and Table Olives and in the working groups set up to examine the Organisation’s activities. In 2018, it holds the presidency of the IOC.
Argentina leads both the production and the exportation of olive oil and table olives in Latin America. It has an estimated olive acreage of 90 000 hectares, most of which is irrigated. Approximately 50% of this area is used to grow olive varieties for olive oil, 30% is used to produce table olives, and 20% is used for dual purpose olives. The largest olive growing areas are found in the provinces of La Rioja, in the lead with 27.8% of the total olive growing area, followed by Mendoza (22.9%), Catamarca (20.8%), San Juan (20.2%), Cordoba (5%), Buenos Aires (2.8%) and Rio Negro (0.6%).