Jaén Revolution: the revolution of the EVOOs from this province

Jaén Revolution: the revolution of the EVOOs from this province

2017/10/05 - For a few years now, Jaén has been living a real revolution regarding quality, creativity and innovation. No less than 29 extra virgins from this province are among the 100 best EVOOs in the world according to the results obtained in the International Competition for the Quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil EVOOLEUM Awards. Among them, 5 are included in its TOP10. In our Mercacei Magazine Expoliva Special Issue we wanted to know the reasons that explain this success and how to face the challenges of the future, and for this we have gathered outstanding personalities of the sector that share a common link, in addition to their origin: all of them contribute with their effort, work and dedication to place Jaén and its juices in the place they deserve at an international level. We advance exclusively the conclusions of this encounter published entirely in Mercacei Magazine 91.

In your opinion, and from the scope of your discipline and activity, what do you think that needs to be done to create a Jaén brand in relation to extra virgin olive oil?
Isabel Cabello, Creative Director of Cabello x Mure:
We need union, of course, and to design a strategy, a real project at an institutional or private level whose objective must be to create a Jaén brand, investing and doing whatever is necessary.

Enrique Moreno, Projects Director of Cabello x Mure: In the end, the engine of all that has happened in this province is passion, the reason that has moved all of these producers is their tremendous passion for their product and for their land. And we are speaking about a product that allows this passion, because it is organic, it is alive. Now we must manage all that passion with a cool mind, we have to rationalize the passion, especially in unity among us.

José Antonio Jiménez, CEO of Oleícola San Francisco and Head of the Oleotourism Department: Now that everything is already invented, I would highlight a collaborative need. And I insist on professionalization. We must start giving names of those who do not comply with the regulations. If someone comes from outside and sees that we are deceiving each another here, they would be sure that we are going to deceive them as well.

Blas Melgarejo, CEO of the Department of Production and Marketing of Aceites Melgarejo: We need cooperation at all levels (health, innovation, gastronomy, landscape, people, sensations...) to sell Jaén in a planned way and following a certain strategy.

Juan Vilar, Strategic Consultant and Permanent Professor of the University of Jaén (UJA): Innovation, singularization and prescription. The first thing to do is to innovate to be capable of differentiating in a positive way, singling out to obtain a slightly higher price for our product, and prescribe this singularization achieved through innovation, with the aim of trying to achieve a profitable sector.

José María Valdivia, Manager of Ferias Jaén (organizer of Expoliva):
Regardless of the territorial marketing, of emphasising our territory, we need to create some kind of observatory of the sector at the international level to know what they think and say about us, collecting all this information and using it to improve.

José Luis García-Melgarejo, Managing Director of Olivar de Segura: What we have to do is see what unites us and select those attributes and differentiating elements that are at the same time common to all of us. And from there, develop a strategy to sell it abroad, where we must be represented together.

Juan Carlos Trujillo, Chef of the restaurant Canela en Rama (Linares): My grandfather said that it is better to be the only one than to be the best, and I think that should be the course to take: look for something that sets us apart from the rest and go for it all together hand by hand. I also miss an efficient communication, initiatives like this, which I think that enrich this sector a lot. We have to be unique instead of the best.

Daniel Millán, Founding Partner and CEO of Elaia Zait: I think all of us here are secondary players. In order to carry out such an important task, we need orchestra directors, that the Administration continues to keep the pulse of the sector in a coherent manner from the beginning to the end. We must believe in what we are and take a step forward from the point of view of innovation, taking advantage of the fact that Jaén is now the leader. And that leadership must be managed by the Administration.

José J. Gaforio, Researcher and Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Olive Grove and Olive Oil: It is necessary to continue the research work from the point of view of health, which is a fundamental spearhead, but my concept of health is very broad. We can’t talk about extra virgin's healthy properties while we're polluting our fields. I think Jaén is also known for its natural parks and we should be aware of that potential and move towards an olive model that is as ecological and respectful as possible to the environment, because that is healthy too.

Conxy Jiménez, Expert in Gastronomic Communication and Creator of the Gastroandalusí Blog: We have to make fans, not clients. As simple as that.
Union, collaboration, cooperation and joint strategies. Rationalize all of our passion.

Professionalization, innovation, singularization and prescription. Support and leadership of the Administration. Be the only ones instead of the best. Make fans, not customers. These are some of the concepts and/or conclusions about what should be done to create among all of us a powerful Jaén brand that differentiates the juices of this province respecting the rest of the planet. May this revolution never stop.

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