September 2019
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The structure of the IOC 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 and Committees Chairperson Executive Secretariat


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 twice a year to review the work carried out by the Organisation and to approve its programme of activities and budget for the next year. The Council of Members takes its decisions by consensus, but when consensus cannot be reached, a mechanism is provided 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 four-year action plans, which are then submitted to the Council of Members. At the moment, there are five committees: the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee, the Chemistry and Standardisation Committee, the Technology and Environment Committee, the Economic and Promotion Committee and the Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives. Except in the case of the Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives, the committees are made up of one delegate per Member, plus alternates and advisers.

The Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee is responsible, in particular, for:

  • Examining the annual work programme of the Executive Secretariat for the functioning of the Organisation, namely as regards the budget, financial rules and internal and statutory rules;
  • Supervising the implementation of the internal control standards set out;
  • Examining the draft annual budget of the International Olive Council proposed by the Executive Director;
  • Examining and submitting the accounts for the preceding financial year to the Council of Members for adoption at its first regular session of the calendar year together with any other measure concerning financial and administrative matters;
  • Providing advice and recommendations on matters related to the implementation of the Agreement;
  • Examining and reporting to the Council of Members with regard to applications for accession or with regard to the withdrawal of a Member of the International Olive Council;
  • Reviewing compliance with the principles enshrined in article 7 on the appointments of the staff to the Executive Secretariat and other issues related to administrative and organisational matters.



The remit of the Committee is to ensure the implementation of the objectives set out in article 1 (1) of the 2015 Agreement, namely:

  • To seek to achieve uniformity in national and international legislation relating to the physico-chemical and organoleptic characteristics of olive oils, olive pomace oils and table olives in order to prevent any obstacle to trade;
  • To conduct activities in the area of physico-chemical and organoleptic testing in order to add to the knowledge of the composition and quality characteristics of olive products, with a view to consolidating international standards and so enabling:

        -     Product quality control;

        -     International trade and its development;

        -     Protection of consumer rights;

        -     Prevention of fraudulent and misleading practices and adulteration.

  • To strengthen the role of the International Olive Council as a forum of excellence for the international scientific community in the area of olive oil and table olives;
  • To coordinate studies and research on the nutritional qualities and other intrinsic properties of olive oil and table olives;
  • To facilitate the exchange of information on international trade flows.



This Committee is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the objectives set out in article 1 (2) of the 2015 Agreement, namely:

  • To promote technical cooperation and research and development in the olive sector by encouraging the cooperation of public or private bodies and/or entities, whether national or international;
  • To conduct activities for the identification, preservation and utilisation of the gene sources of olive trees;
  • To study the interaction between olive growing and the environment, particularly with a view to promoting environmental conservation and sustainable production, and to ensure the integrated and sustainable development of the sector;
  • To foster the transfer of technology through training activities in areas connected with the olive sector by organising international, regional and national activities;
  • To promote the protection of geographical indications of olive products in compliance with the corresponding international agreements to which a Member may be a party;
  • To encourage the exchange of information and experience in the phytosanitary field of olive growing.


The remit of the Committee is to ensure the implementation of the objectives set out in article 1 (3) of the 2015 Agreement, namely:

  • To enhance the role of the International Olive Council as a world documentation and information centre on olive trees and their products and as a meeting point for all operators in the sector;
  • To promote the consumption of olive products, the expansion of international trade of olive oil and table olives and information on the trade standards of the International Olive Council;
  • To support international and regional activities encouraging the dissemination of generic scientific information on the nutritional, health and other properties of olive oil and table olives with a view to improving consumer information;
  • To examine the world balances for olive oil, olive pomace oils and table olives, undertake studies and propose appropriate measures;
  • To disseminate economic data and analyses on olive oil and table olives and provide Members with the indicators necessary to contribute to the smooth functioning of olive product markets;
  • To disseminate and use the results of research and development programmes linked to olive growing and study their applicability in increasing production efficiency.


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, traders and consumers – in the member countries. The Committee was established to voice the opinions of business circles and to tap into their hands-on knowledge to help the Executive Secretariat 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 number 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 Executive Directors (currently two) and a team of staff members.

The Executive Secretariat is the operative arm of the IOC, implementing its decisions and strategy and serving the needs of its Members. Its target Organisation Chart comprises five Units: The Administrative Management and Human Resources Unit; The Financial Management Unit; the Promotion and Economic Affairs Unit; the Standardisation and Research Unit, the Olive Growing, Olive Oil Technology and Environment Unit and the Internal Comptroller Unit in addition to the Office of the Executive Director, the Observatory and Information Systems Department, the Legal Department and the Translation Department.