Madrid – It’s a wrap for these past weeks’ heavily charged program! From the convening of different specialised committee meetings and the celebration of its 117th plenary session, to the appointment of its new Executive Director and the Mario Solinas Quality Awards ceremony, it was a non-stop month for the International Olive Council.
The 117th session of the Council of Members kicked off with multiple online meetings of the different specialised IOC committees on 14, 15 and 16 June. On this occasion, and in very general terms, the Economic and Promotion Committee analysed the developments of the olive oil and table olive market and reviewed the IOC’s promotion activities, the Chemistry and Standardisation Committee went over the relevant developments pertaining to methods of analysis and olive product standards, while the Technology and Environment Committee focused on the research and training activities underway. Last but not least, the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee reviewed issues related to the Organisation’s daily business.
On Wednesday 21 June, senior representatives from the 19 Member countries of the IOC gathered at the Organisation’s headquarters to decide on the appointment of the next Executive Director. Following a series of interviews and deliberations, the Council of Members unanimously voted Mr. Jaime Lillo from Spain as the IOC’s next Executive Director as of January 2024. This exciting development for the Organisation was made official on Thursday 22, which was marked by the 117th plenary meeting of the Council of Members.
The headquarters welcomed representatives from the IOC’s Member countries, as well as observers from Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, Mauritania, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar and the United States. At the meeting, the Chairs of the Committees read their reports and a number of important decisions were adopted. The representative of Bosnia-Herzegovina officially presented his country’s request to adhere to the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives, 2015. The attendees also took the opportunity to thank and congratulate the current Executive Director, Mr. Abdellatif Ghedira, for his fervent leadership and hard work since his appointment in 2016.
Mr. Lillo, currently acting as Deputy Executive Director in charge of operational activities, thanked the IOC’s Members for their trust and committed himself to tackle the numerous and complex challenges facing the olive oil sector with the support of the IOC staff.
Finally, the olive on top: the Mario Solinas Quality Awards ceremony took place on Friday 23 June! The IOC welcomed at its headquarters the winners and finalists of this important international recognition for the best quality extra virgin olive oils. In the presence of a large and varied crowd composed of representatives from Member countries and the wider diplomatic corps, as well as numerous journalists and olive oil experts, the producers of the best extra virgin olive oil were awarded with golden, silver and bronze medals. The ceremony was followed by a delicious cocktail where guests had the opportunity to taste the winning oils accompanied by Mediterranean bites.
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