The first World Olive Oil Summit, a framework for global olive growing

The first World Olive Oil Summit, a framework for global olive growing

2018/10/05 - From June 7th to 8th, the National Exhibition Center of Santarém (Portugal) will host the first edition of the World Olive Oil Summit 2018 (WOOS), whose main theme will be Olive Groves and Olive Oil. The President of the Organizing Committee, José Gouveia, and the Technical Director of the Cepaal - Center for Studies and Promotion of the Alentejo Olive Oil, Henrique Herculano, have told Mercacei how this unprecedented Summit will develop.

In this interview, the organizers indicated that under the auspices of the World Olive Oil Summit 2018 -integrated in the National Agricultural Fair- will take place various spaces such as the National Oil Congress, the Portugal Olive Oil National Competition, the VIII National Symposium of olive Growing as well as many exhibitions, oil tastings and showcookings.

What are the objectives of the Summit?
José Gouveia (JG): The main objective is to establish a meeting point for the entire sector worldwide, in which the visitors can exchange experiences, ideas and, especially, discuss the most important issues related to olive growing and olive oil.
Henrique Herculano (HH): The idea of ​​this initiative is based on covering the communication gap that sometimes occurs worldwide between the different countries interested in the sector, but also at the level of the different agents, from production to consumption, in order to deal with the main current issues.

What inspired you to integrate it inside the National Agriculture Fair?
JG: The National Agriculture Fair is the main event in the Portuguese olive sector. Each year we choose a thematic sector, and last year we chose the olive grove and the olive oil for this edition. This is what motivated the integration of the World Olive Oil Summit within the celebration of the National Agricultural Fair.
HH: In addition, the National Agriculture Fair has hosted the Portugal Olive Oil National Competition for 11 years. It is the most important contest that is held in our country and the first contest worldwide to be recognized by the International Olive Council (IOC), only after the Mario Solinas’ Awards.

What areas, events or spaces will be enabled to both exhibitors and visitors?
JG: The World Olive Oil Summit will include, in addition to the International Olive Oil Congress, a set of initiatives such as a live olive exhibition in three different exploitation systems; an exhibition of high-end machinery, dedicated to the olive grove and to the oil mill; tastings of the EVOOs awarded in the aforementioned Portugal Olive Oil National Competition, which is going to be held for the general public and for children in nearby school’s. The initiative has the sponsorship of the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who will be also present at the Congress.

Likewise, the Summit will also include photography and film exhibitions, paintings, daily showcookings and the inauguration of a Garden of Olive Trees, made up of centenary olive trees, inside the exhibition space of the Fair. Finally, the National Symposium on Olive Growing will also be held in the area of ​​the meeting.

What topics will be covered along the WOOS?
HH: The lectures and debates will address multiple approaches focussed on the global olive oil market, as well as their respective differentiation factors. The importance of olive oil in gastronomy and tourism will also be discussed, with the presence of world-renowned chefs; sensory analysis, a very hot topic in the global olive oil sector; and the European strategy for the olive growing and olive oil sector in the coming years, with the presence of the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, and the European Commissioner for Innovation, Carlos Moedas.

What international presence will the Summit have?
JG: We will receive renowed in the area of olive growing and olive oil, gastronomy, tourism and economic policy, from all around the world: Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Tunisia, Brazil, USA, Japan, and Portugal, of course.

What are the organizing and/or collaborating institutions of this meeting?
HH: The World Olive Oil Summit is the result of the work of the entire portuguese olive growing and olive oil sector, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Development, through the Confederation of Farmers of Portugal, the National Center of Agricultural Exhibitions and Markets, the Cepaal - Center for Studies and Promotion of the Alentejo Olive Oil, the Portuguese Horticultural Association, the Oil House of Portugal, the Interprofessional Association of the Olive Sector of Portugal, the Olive Farmers Association of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, the Association of Agents of Integrated Production Trás-os-Montes, the Association of Producers of Oil from Beira Interior and the Association of Farmers of Ribatejo. We can proudly say that the entire sector has been mobilized so that the first edition of the World Olive Oil Summit becomes a framework for olive growing and olive culture.

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