The International Olive Council is about to hold the 116th session of its Council of Members. Representatives from the 18 member countries (Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Montenegro, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, the European Union and Uruguay) will participate in meetings of the specialised committees, the plenary session and a variety of events. Representatives from Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan – two countries that have applied to join the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives 2015 – will attend as observers, along with other observers such as the United States, Iraq, Sudan and the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies, or CIHEAM.
The first part of the session will take place from 22 to 24 November 2022 by videoconference from Madrid.
The Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee will meet on 22 and 24 November to address the usual issues concerning the IOC budget, member country contributions, Executive Secretariat staff, etc.
On 22 November, the Executive Secretariat will inform the Economic Affairs and Promotion Committee on the production, consumption and trade of olive oil and table olives. The Committee will examine producer prices and the final balance sheet for the 2020/21 crop year. The Executive Secretariat will present the conclusions of the working group for monitoring statistics, which met on 3 November at IOC headquarters, and will report on the study on consumer behaviour. The Committee will then be informed about the promotion activities planned in various countries, the progress made at the political level towards harmonising national standards with the IOC international standard and IOC grants to celebrate World Olive Day. The Executive Secretariat will also inform the Committee of the activities of the Observatory and Information Systems Department and its plans for 2023.
The Chemistry and Standardisation Committee will meet on the morning of Wednesday 23 November. The Executive Secretariat will report on its progress since the last meeting, in particular the results of the work of the expert groups, the Mario Solinas Quality Award, the plans to revise methods of analysis and the accreditation of analysis laboratories and tasting panels.
In the afternoon, the Technology and Environment Committee will discuss activities related to research and development and training, and will report on the development of the World Catalogue of the Main Olive Tree Varieties and on the scholarships for PhDs and specialisation courses the IOC grants to students from its member countries. The Committee will present a proposal to continue these activities and organise new ones in 2023.
The IOC will then travel to Andalusia, at the invitation of the Diputación de Jaén, for the meeting of the Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives on 28 November. The representatives of this Committee and the delegations of member and observer countries will take part in a technical visit to the Jaén region on Tuesday 29 November. The plenary session will take place on Wednesday 30 November. The chairs of each Committee – including the Advisory Committee – will present the results of the previous discussions.
This meeting will be followed by the prize-giving ceremony for the Mario Solinas Quality Award, the IOC’s international competition for the best quality extra virgin olive oils. The IOC’s events in Jaén will conclude on Thursday 1 December with World Olive Day celebrations, which include a technical conference on the role of olive growing in terms of sustainability, quality and health.
On Friday 2 December, the IOC will return to its headquarters in Madrid for a flag-raising ceremony for Uzbekistan (which deposited its instrument of accession to the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives 2015 at the United Nations in August 2021), followed by the inauguration of an olive garden of olive trees from all the IOC member countries in the forecourt of the Organisation’s headquarters, in collaboration with the The Garden of Peace. Guests will then be invited to taste Uzbek cuisine from 1pm.
Madrid, 2 November 2022