Turkey, known as the motherland of the olive tree, has in the last decade increased its olive tree population to approximately 170 million, according to data provided by the National Olive and Olive Oil Council (UZZK). It has been estimated that olive oil production in the 2016/17 crop year will come to about 177 365 tons, for a 29% year-on-year increase. Its olive tree numbers enable Turkey to vie with Tunisia for second or third position in terms of production after the European Union.
Turkey was a Member of International Olive Council (IOC) from 1962 to 1998. In 1998, the Turkish Government decided to cease its membership. A few years later a number of stakeholders in the olive oil sector came together to draw attention to problems in the industry. As a result of these efforts, the UZZK was established in 2007. This Council became the first established product council under Turkish legislation in the area of agriculture. Its aim is to improve the olive oil and table olive sector in line with international standards. It seeks to increase the production capacity of olive farming, while ensuring the integration of the production and processing sectors in both domestic and foreign markets. In short, its mission is to provide a meeting point for the Turkish Government, civil society organisations, the private sector, and universities.
This year, Turkey has launched a new national olive oil competition, entitled “IOC Mario Solinas Turkey Quality Award Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition”. This is the first Turkish competition that will be held under the auspices of IOC, in accordance with IOC Decision No 15/s.ex.27-V/2016 of 16 June 2016, and UZZK General Assembly Resolution No 9, of 26 May 2016.
The IOC Mario Solinas Turkey Quality Award Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition is organised to determine the extra virgin olive oils with superior sensorial attributes among the competition participants. The UZZK expects this competition to contribute to increasing the quality infrastructure and the perception of quality throughout Turkey, in collaboration with public and non-governmental organisations, universities and the private sector.
Samples for this year’s competition were accepted up to 10 March 2017. The samples were checked by a technical committee, composed of instructors from some of the top national universities, to see whether they complied with the competition requirements. It determined that 21 companies were entitled to participate in the competition. The jury was made up of eight leaders of IOC-recognised panels and it conducted its evaluation on 20 and 21 March 2017.
The award ceremony was held at the 7th Olivtech Olive, Olive Oil and Technologies Fair, held on 28 April 2017. A certificate and gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for each category. Furthermore, three competitors from each category received honourable mention certificates. The award ceremony had the honour of welcoming Mr Abdellatif Ghedira, the Executive Director of the IOC, on the occasion of this first edition of the national Mario Solinas competition.
Companies were selected in the intense, medium, and ripe and mild fruitiness categories as follows:
-Intense Fruitiness – Gülcü – Gülcü Zeytinyaği Sanayi Ticaret Koll. Şti. E3H5 – 4500 lt
-Medium Fruitiness – Nova Vera –Nova Vera Gıda Ve Tarım Tic.Ltd. Şti. .– NV17 –1200 lt
-Ripe and Mild Fruitiness – Revnak – Garanti Zeytinve Zeytinyaği Ltd. Şti. 1 – 1000 lt
Third prize – Bronze Medal
-Intense Fruitiness – Kristal – Ticaret Ve Sanayi Kontuvari T.A.Ş – T4S5 – 9300 lt4
-Medium Fruitiness – Cömert – Cmrt Zeytinyaği San. Tic. Ltd. Şti. – AB01 – 1000 lt,
-Ripe and Mild Fruitiness – Onursel – Onursel Zeytincilik-1 – 1000 lt
Second prize – Silver Medal
-Intense Fruitiness – Tuay –Turgut Anadolu Yatırım Ltd.Şti- T10 – 1000 lt
-Medium Fruitiness – Seroliva – Oliva Gida San. Tic. Ltd. Şti. – SR17 – 2800 lt
-Ripeand Mild Fruitiness – Selme – Ömer Faruk Kantarci Hlf.A. Selim Kantarci
ve Ort. Koll.Şti – 1 – 1000 lt
First prize – Gold Medal
-Intense Fruitiness – Zetay – Zetay Tarım Hayvancılık Imalat Sanayive Ticaret A.Ş. – ZT16 – 1797 lt
-Medium Fruitiness – Olivurla – Turla Tarım Gıda Ltd. Şti. – AY45 – 1087 lt
-Ripe and Mild Fruitiness – Pirgion – Ahmet Çakıroğlu Eka Zeytinyağı Ve Gıda İmalatı Ticareti – 43KE – 2000 lt