Madrid – The Executive Secretariat recently hosted a group of Chinese representatives at headquarters in Madrid: Lijiang Zhou, Chair of the Association for the Promotion of Olive Growing in the Sichuan province and researcher at the Sichuan Institute of Forest Planning and Inventory; Jian Xiao, Vice-Chair of the same Association, Deputy Secretary General of the Olive Growing Directorate of the China Forrest Association and Chair of Sichuan HUA-OU Olive Development; and Ning Yu, of the Sichuan Institute of Forest Planning and Inventory.
The group was welcomed by the Deputy Executive Director of the IOC, Jaime Lillo; the Head of the Economy and Promotion Unit, Ender Gunduz; the Head of the Olive Oil, Olive Oil Technology and Environment Unit, Abdelkrim Adi; and the Head of the Technical Cooperation and Training Department, Catarina Bairrao Balula.
The visit was an opportunity to discuss the olive sector in China and the possible future collaboration between China and the IOC. The importance of technical training to improve olive grove management and olive oil production were among the topics discussed. Another area of interest was the bank of genetic material that China has had for over 40 years, which holds some 130 varieties of olive trees, and the fact that the country’s olive-growing area covers more than 60,000 hectares. Unfortunately, climate conditions hinder the sector’s expansion.