The structure of the IOC is quite simple and revolves around the key figures of the Council of Members and its committees, the chairperson of the Organisation and the Executive Secretariat.
COUNCIL OF MEMBERS
The IOC is governed by the Council of Members, which is its principal decision-making body. The Council of Members is made up of one delegate per Member, who is assisted by alternates and advisers. It meets at least once a year to review the work carried out by the Organisation and to approve its action programme and budget for the next year. Sessions are normally held at the IOC headquarters.
The Council of Members takes its decisions by consensus. If consensus is not reached, a mechanism is in place for decision making by a qualified majority. The official languages of the IOC are Arabic, English, French, Italian and Spanish.
The Council of Members can set up as many committees or subcommittees as it needs. The committees do a very important job in discussing and laying the groundwork for proposals and three-year action plans which are then submitted to the Council of Members. At the moment, there are five committees: the Economic Committee, the Technical Committee, the Promotion Committee, the Financial Committee and the Advisory Committee. All the committees are made up of one delegate per Member, plus alternates and advisers.
This committee discusses and approves the statistics compiled by the Executive Secretariat on production, consumption, imports, exports and stocks of olive oils and table olives. It keeps track of market developments and national policymaking in the olive sector and makes proposals to achieve balanced supply and demand.
The brief of this committee is to review and discuss the programmes and activities proposed by the Executive Secretariat in the areas of olive oil chemistry and standardisation, research and development, technology transfer, training and customised technical assistance for the member countries.
Ongoing and future promotional activities and campaigns to promote olive oil and table olive consumption are examined at the meetings of the Promotion Committee. This committee marks out the direction of IOC promotional policy.
The broad remit of this committee is to ensure the financial control of the IOC. It examines the IOC accounts and yearly audit and analyses the draft budgets proposed by the Executive Secretariat. The IOC programme of activities is funded by the Members through contributions made to its three budgets: administrative budget, technical cooperation budget and promotion budget.
The Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives is a fundamental talking partner for the Council of Members. Its representatives are drawn from all the branches of the olive sector – producers, processors, marketers and consumers – in the member countries. The committee was established to voice the opinions of business circles and to tap their hands-on knowledge to help the Executive Secretariat to find effective solutions to problems and to keep its finger on the pulse of the industry.
The Council of Members elects a chairperson who serves a one-year term of office, which is rotated among the IOC Members. The chairperson plays a vital part in the life of the Organisation and carries out a string of duties, most importantly presiding over meetings and sessions and representing the IOC legally.
A vice-chairperson is also elected each year and succeeds to the chair the following year.
The IOC is served by a Secretariat headed by an Executive Director, who is assisted by a college of senior officials made up of the Deputy Directors (currently two, but only one from 2011 onwards) and the Financial Delegate, and a team of staff.
The Executive Secretariat is the operative arm of the IOC, implementing its decisions and strategy and serving the needs of its Members. It is made up of four Divisions – the Survey & Assessment Division, the Technical Division, the Promotion Division and the Administrative & Financial Division, in addition to the Office of the Executive Director.