OLIVE GROWING AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The increased focus on environmental issues is having a profound impact on the policies implemented by organisations, including the IOC which has incorporated such issues into its action strategies in response to the concerns of society about the protection and conservation of the natural environment.
Moving one step further, a new concept of sustainable development has emerged, defined as development which « meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs ».
The economic development of agriculture has to take into account every aspect of environmental compatibility by opting for an agricultural model which makes prudent use of natural resources, protects the global ecosystem and generates economic prosperity and balanced social development.
Hence, given the important economic, social and environmental role of olive farming, the IOC member countries decided in 1998 to create an Environmental Subcommittee within the Technical Cooperation Committee.
The subcommittee was given a precise brief: to examine the interrelationships between the environment and olive farming and the olive/olive oil industry and to introduce innovations and make recommendations to facilitate the development and application of environmentally friendly practices.
During its 93rd session the IOC approved its environmental activities programme for 2006 according to the proposal framed by the Environmental Subcommittee. The programme entails:
- Project for the treatment and utilisation of olive oil mill wastewater and olive pomace on agricultural land
- IRRIGAOLIVO project (training and demonstration programme for sustainable management of water resources in olive growing).
- Meeting of the working group to finalise the darfting of the Code of good agricultural pratice in olive growing.
- Code of good practice for the sustainable development of olive orchards located in areas characterised by a fragile ecosystem.