The IOC was pleased to welcome a delegation from Pakistan to headquarters on 9 May 2022. The delegation was composed of the following representatives:
- Dr Khair Muhammad Kakar (Director General, Oilseeds Department, Ministry of Food Security)
- Dr Muhammad Tariq (National Director of Olive Marketing Project, Oilseeds Department, Ministry of Food Security)
- Muhammad Imran (Technical Engineer, Mian Scientific Pvt Limited)
- Muhammad Tahir Yaqoob (Managing Director, Mian Scientific Pvt Limited)
After a few words from Deputy Executive Director Jaime Lillo, who presented the mission of the Organisation, the Head of the Standardisation and Research Unit, Mercedes Fernández, and the Head of the Technical Unit, Lhassane Sikaoui, explained their Units’ activities.
Mercedes Fernández presented the main activities carried out by the Standardisation and Research Unit, in particular the study of methods of analysis and the development of standards, expert meetings, standards harmonisation, panels and laboratories, the Mario Solinas Quality Award, institutional patronage of national competitions and tasting courses organised by the competent authorities, activities to disseminate information on the nutritional and health properties of olive products, the Olive Health Information System, etc.
Yousra Antit, the Head of the Olive Oil Chemistry Department, and Ibtihel Khemakhem, the Head of the Laboratory and Panel Management Section, showed the IOC laboratory and the Mario Solinas tasting room to the visitors and explained the importance of the organoleptic assessment method for virgin olive oils that the IOC developed in 1987 and regularly updates.
The delegation was then received by Executive Director Abdellatif Ghedira to discuss opportunities for collaboration and the status of Pakistan’s application for membership. Gifts were exchanged at the end of the meeting.
On 10 and 11 May 2022, representatives of the Pakistani delegation travelled to Córdoba to take part in technical visits. Catarina Bairrao, the Head of the Technical Cooperation and Training Department, organised the various activities, together with Pablo Morello, the Head of the Olive Oil Technology and Environment Department, who accompanied the delegation on their visits.
- The delegation first visited the agri-food laboratory of the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development. Plácido Pascual Morales, the leader of the virgin olive oil tasting panel, explained the process of physico-chemical analysis of the samples, as well as the sensory analysis of the oils by the tasting panels, in accordance with the standardised IOC protocol.
- The delegation then visited the University of Córdoba, where they toured the olive technology and molecular marker laboratory, the propagation and quarantine greenhouse, the University’s world olive germplasm bank, the greenhouse of commercial olive varieties and the comparative trial plots of hedge-grown olive groves.
- The Pakistani delegation also took the opportunity to visit the Montilla Olive Fair. This event was organised by the Trade Fair Consortium and the City Council of Montoro. The representatives were welcomed at different stands presenting agricultural machinery, phytosanitary products, olive grove management services, olive oil extraction equipment, olive oil production companies, etc. The aim of the fair is to bring together companies and people interested in olive growing and its products, to promote quality and to inform consumers so that they can appreciate the quality of extra virgin olive oil, promoting the distribution and commercialisation of oils and encouraging marketing strategies.