The IOC committees play an essential role as a forum for discussion and lay the foundations for the Executive Secretariat’s (ES) proposals and four-year action plans, which are then submitted to the Council of Members for adoption. There are currently five committees: the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee, the Chemistry and Standardisation Committee, the Technology and Environment Committee, the Economic and Promotion Committee, and the Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives. These committees, with the exception of the Advisory Committee, are made up of one delegate from each member country, with alternates and advisers of their choice.
This year, the first part of the second annual session of the Council of Members will take place from 15 to 17 November by videoconference from Madrid, with the meetings of the first four committees. The IOC Advisory Committee will meet next week, on 22 November, ahead of the plenary session the following day which will involve the heads of delegations and observers.
The meeting of the Financial and Administrative Affairs Committee is scheduled for 15 and 17 November. This committee is responsible for the ES’s annual work programme for the operation of the Organisation, in particular with regard to the budget, the financial rules and the internal and statutory rules; monitoring the implementation of internal control standards; examining the IOC’s draft annual budget and any other measures concerning financial and administrative matters; examining applications for membership, as well as compliance with the principles concerning the recruitment of ES staff and other matters relating to administrative and organisational aspects.
On the afternoon of 15 November, the ES will brief the Economic and Promotion Committee on developments in the production, consumption and trade of olive oil and table olives. In particular, the members of the Committee will examine producer prices and the results of the last three crop years. The ES will present the conclusions of the working group responsible for monitoring statistics, which met on 6 and 7 November at IOC headquarters, and will report on the study of consumer behaviour. With regard to promotion, the Committee will be briefed on the activities planned in various countries, in particular Australia and Brazil, on the progress made at political level towards harmonising national standards with the IOC’s international standard, and on the subsidies granted by the IOC for the organisation of national programmes to promote the consumption of olive oil and table olives. The ES will also inform the Committee about the activities of the Observatory and Information Systems Department and its plans for 2024.
The Chemistry and Standardisation Committee will meet on the morning of Thursday 16 November. The Committee’s aim is to ensure the implementation of the objectives of the 2015 Agreement, in particular: to work towards the standardisation of national and international legislation relating to the physico-chemical and organoleptic characteristics of olive products; to carry out activities relating to physico-chemical and organoleptic analysis to improve knowledge of the compositional and quality characteristics of olive products; and to coordinate studies and research into the nutritional values and other intrinsic properties of olive oil and table olives. The ES will present a progress report on the activities carried out since the last meeting, in particular the results of the work of the groups of experts, the IOC’s Mario Solinas Quality Award, plans to revise methods of analysis and the question of the recognition of analysis laboratories and tasting panels.
In the afternoon, the ES will present the activities carried out in the fields of research, development and training to the Technology and Environment Committee. It will report on the development of the World Catalogue of Main Olive Tree Varieties, the network of world germplasm banks, and the IOC’s work on the contribution of olive groves to combating climate change. It will also review the grants awarded by the IOC to students from its member countries. This committee is responsible for promoting technical cooperation, research and development; carrying out activities aimed at identifying, conserving and using the genetic resources of the olive tree; studying the interaction between olive growing and the environment; encouraging technology transfer through training activities in fields related to the olive growing sector; promoting the protection of geographical indications; and encouraging the exchange of information and experiences in the phytosanitary field concerning olive growing.