On Wednesday 28th June, Rector of the University of Jaén (UJA), Nicolás Ruiz Reyes, inaugurated the conference Models for Liquidation of olives/olive oils according to their quality“, organised by Caja Rural de Jaén José Luis García-Lomas Hernández Chair of Economics, Marketing and Olive Cooperativism of the UJA.

This conference was attended by more than 120 representatives of companies in the olive sector from Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Valencia and Catalonia, due to the widespread interest in bringing forward the harvest in order to obtain higher quality olive oils. In this sense, it is important that olive growers and cooperative members receive extra payment for bringing high quality olives to the mills, thus providing an incentive for early harvesting.

Nicolás Ruiz, has highlighted the strong commitment of the province of Jaén in obtaining quality oils and points out that “Knowing the physiognomy of our olive grove, fundamentally traditional, quality, is the best guarantee, the best attribute to conquer markets and, with it, to anchor population in our municipalities and to dynamize our territory“. He also referred to the contribution of the University of Jaén, through the team led by the Professor of Marketing and Market Research and member of the Marketing and Economics Unit at the University Institute of Research on Olive and Olive Oils (INUO) of the UJA, Manuel Parras Rosa, with its participation in a national task force coordinated by Union of Small Farmers, “in which we try to certify extra virgin olive oil from traditional olive groves, using the blockchain technique“. In fact, for some years now, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has commissioned this UJA team to carry out the analysis of the extra virgin olive oil value chain, pointing out that this is “another example of the prestige of our University in olive economy, a trust that Andalusian Regional Government has also placed in us by commissioning us to prepare a technical document within the framework of the Design of the First Andalusian Olive Strategy 2023-2027“.

Concluding his speech, Rector of the UJA, highlighted the fundamental role of the university in the olive sector, through training offered through the Master’s Degree in Olive and Olive Oil Production, the International Diploma of Expert in Virgin Olive Oil Tasting, the Doctoral Programmes and other courses; or in the field of research and transfer, through the University Institute of Research on Olive and Olive Oils (INUO) composed of different research units.

For his part, director of the Caja Rural de Jaén José Luis García-Lomas Hernández Chair of Economics, Marketing and Olive Cooperativism at the UJA, Manuel Parras, pointed out that the theme of this conference was a “key” issue for the olive sector, especially “because when we talk about the traditional sector we must focus on quality and, to do so, there must be incentives, and payment must be differentiated according to the quality of the olive that is delivered“. Also taking part in the opening ceremony were: acting president of Jaén Provincial Council, Francisco Reyes; sub-delegate of Government in the province of Jaén, Catalina Madueño; Government Delegate of Andalusian Regional Government, Jesús Estrella; and president of Caja Rural de Jaén, Barcelona and Madrid, Juan Núñez.

Continuing with the planned programme, after the opening ceremony, “Study of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Value Chain for the 2020-2021 Campaign” was presented by Professor Manuel Parras Rosa. This was followed by Round TableQuality-based settlement systems in first-grade cooperatives” moderated by Adoración Mozas Moral, Professor of Business Organisation at the University of Jaén, deputy director of the Caja Rural de Jaén José Luis García-Lomas Hernández Chair of Economics, Marketing and Olive Cooperativism and member of INUO in the Marketing and Economics Unit. Finally, the second round tableQuality-based settlement systems in second-tier cooperatives or business groups” was moderated by Francisco José Torres Ruiz, Deputy Director of INUO, Professor of Marketing and Market Research at the University of Jaén and Deputy Director of the Caja Rural de Jaén José Luis García-Lomas Hernández Chair of Economics, Marketing and Olive Cooperativism.

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