13th international course on olive oil production, quality improvement and environmental protection. This year, the IOC organised the 13th international course on olive oil production, quality improvement and environmental protection in Larnaca, Cyprus, from 4 to 10 March, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment of Cyprus
THE COURSE WAS STRUCTURED AROUND A FOUR-PART SYLLABUS:
1. Olive oil production, quality improvement and environmental impact.
2. Agronomic and environmental factors that have an influence on olive oil quality.
3. Olive oil processing technology, environmental impact and olive oil quality.
4. Olive oil quality control.
A number of field trips also gave attendees a chance to see the subjects discussed at the course at first hand. Visits were made to:
- The collection of local varieties at the Zyghi Agricultural Research Institute (Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment);
- A modern continuous-extraction olive oil mill near Nicosia and adjacent olive farm featuring trials using olive oil mill wastewater to irrigate both olives and other herbaceous crops;
- The Acheleia government farm to view a plot demonstrating organic farming and the use of olive oil mill wastewater for olive irrigation;
- An organic olive farm located in a semi-mountainous area of the Paphos region.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The course discussions on the significant part that quality improvement has to play in cementing olive oil's position on the world marketplace for vegetable oils placed particular emphasis on two considerations:
- Cooperation between the producing countries needs to be strengthened not only on raising productivity but also on the criteria and means for performing olive oil quality control during the various phases of production and processing, which have to be environmentally friendly.
- Action to promote olive oil consumption needs to be maintained and even increased at institutional and private level, not only in the non-producing countries where the IOC carries out promotion but also in some producing countries where per capita consumption is still low.