The International Olive Council will be holding its 101st regular session at its Madrid headquarters at calle Príncipe de Vergara 154 between 25 and 29 November. Representatives from its 18 Members (Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Croatia, Egypt, European Union, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Uruguay) will carry on discussing the future of the IOC besides taking part in the meetings of the specialist committees. For the first time, a representative of the United States will be attending an IOC session as an observer.
The Working Group on the Future of the IOC will be meeting on 25 and 26 November to continue the debate on the future of the Organisation ahead of the renewal of the current 2005 International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives.
On the morning of Wednesday 27 November, the Executive Secretariat will report to the Economic Committee on the production, consumption and trade statistics for olive oil and table olives entered in the balances for three crop years: 2011/12 (final), 2012/13 (provisional) and 2013/14 (estimated). Committee members will also analyse producer prices and how currency aspects affect international trade in olive oil and the final balance for the 2011/12 crop year will be adopted. The Executive Secretariat will also present the conclusions of the meetings held by the working groups on IOC statistics and the Harmonised System.
The Promotion Committee will meet on the same day to review the action carried out since the last extraordinary session of the IOC, when the Members approved the budget for 2013, and the activities scheduled for 2014. In particular, it will be informed about the four awards carried off by the IOC promotion campaign in the United States, the launch of the promotion campaign in Brazil, the Grants Seminar and IOC participation in the ANUGA trade show. Committee members will be invited to approve a financial proposal for the award of grant funding in 2014 for generic promotional activities to boost consumption in the member countries. They will also discuss the list of trade shows for potential IOC participation in 2014 on the basis of a proposal framed by the IOC Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives.
The Technical Committee will be next to meet on the morning of Thursday 28 November. The Executive Secretariat will report on the progress in activities since the last session in the areas of olive oil chemistry and standardisation, research, development and environmental affairs, training and technical assistance, and will present the programme drawn up by the Technical Unit for 2014. The topics for consideration will include the Mario Solinas Quality Award, the outcomes of work on new testing methods and of the olive oil authentification seminar organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and the Joint Research Centre, the conclusions of the working group on quality strategy, the harmonisation of the Codex and IOC table olive standards and the IOC laboratory and panel recognition scheme. The Executive Secretariat will also outline the results of several ongoing projects (irrigation management (IRRIGAOLIVO), genetic resources (RESGEN), pilot demonstration olive nurseries, world olive germplasm collections, carbon footprint). It will report on the numerous courses and similar initiatives organised by the IOC (PhDs, intensive specialisation courses, olive oil marketing course co-organised with the IAMZ and grants seminar) besides framing a proposal to the Council for the potential continuation of these activities in 2014.
The afternoon of the same day will be set aside for the meeting of the Financial Committee to discuss customary financial business such as the IOC budget, the contributions of the member countries, proposed amendments to administrative procedures and other items.
Later in the evening, the IOC will host a reception at 8 p.m. for delegations, the press and the diplomatic corps to celebrate World Olive Day. The venue will be the IOC headquarters.
The plenary session will be held on 29 November. An official welcome will be extended to Uruguay, the IOC’s latest new Member, after which the Executive Director will present his activity report and the chairs of each IOC committee, including the IOC Advisory Committee, will report on the outcome of their deliberations.
Madrid, 15 November 2013