The training was aimed at technicians of the Spanish Supermarket Chains Association
On Wednesday 7 February, the IOC welcomed representatives of the Spanish Supermarket Chains Association (ACES) for a refresher course on international standards applying to olive oil and an update of the current market situation and forecasts. The training was organised by the IOC’s Standardisation and Research Unit, headed by Mercedes Fernandez, in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA).
The course was aimed at technicians in charge of ACES member companies in the purchasing, commercial management, legal, quality control and food safety departments. It was presented by Jaime Lillo, IOC Executive Director, and Aurelio del Pino González, ACES President.
Lillo analysed the status of the olive oil market and its forecasts, enhancing attendees’ knowledge regarding supply conditions, such as traceability and controls, from a national and international perspective of production and marketing. Dr. Fernández Albaladejo provided an overview of the international regulations applicable to olive oil, particularly the IOC trade standard as the main reference for other international, supranational and national standards. She outlined the importance of the harmonisation of the different standards in order to improve product quality, facilitate international trade, prevent fraud and protect consumers.
MAPA representative María José Pro González dove into Spanish national regulations concerning olive oil, giving an outline of the labelling and marketing requirements to include in supply contracts, as well as the controls to be carried out at reception and sales points. Marta Garrido García, Technical Advisor, and Beatriz Baena Ríos, Head of Laboratories Service, General Sub-directorate of Food Quality Control and Agri-food Laboratories, explained the basics for establishing criteria and parameters for product control in accordance with Spanish national regulations, as well as the steps to be carried out in the field of supply contracting and product monitoring, with a view to guaranteeing the traceability and quality of olive oils put on sale.
The course ended with an olive oil tasting session that allowed the participants to enrich their knowledge and understanding of the sensory and organoleptic attributes of different olive oils.
ACES is a national employers’ organisation created in Spain in 2002 as a non-for-profit entity. It aims to represent, promote and defend common business and social interests of organised retail companies in the Spanish food sector operating under the self-service model, structured in chains, with nationwide presence.