A photo outside the IOC headquarters, the IOC logo, and text about the seminar topic and date

The International Olive Council (IOC) welcomes everyone interested in olive oil to an online seminar focused on The Future of the Olive Oil Sector. This videoconference will take place on November 26, 2020, the first anniversary of the creation of World Olive Day by UNESCO, with simultaneous interpretation into Arabic, English, French, Italian, and Spanish.

At a virtual press conference on November 20, IOC Deputy Executive Director Jaime Lillo explained that the IOC aims to share information about olive oil with the general public, covering everything from its health benefits and history to quality standards. This all-day seminar will bring together “some of the best experts around the world,” according to Lillo, to share their knowledge.

As Lillo reported in response to a question from Greek Liquid Gold, the IOC generally celebrates World Olive Day at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain. However, this year, with “the pandemic affecting all of our lives,” the celebration will be virtual, like so many other events. One of the seminar speakers will discuss the way olive oil consumption and imports have been growing during the pandemic as more people cook at home, take time to enjoy olive oil, and focus on ways to stay healthy.

After introductions from IOC, UNESCO, and international dignitaries, including several countries’ ministers of agriculture, there will be a presentation of the IOC magazine issue focused on Egypt. The next talk will focus on a subject with great relevance today: olive oil and health. Subsequent speakers will discuss the history and quality standards of olive oil and the impact of COVID-19 on the consumption of olive oil in the United States.

As the IOC website indicates, organizers “have also added a special section to the program to celebrate women in olive oil. Three speakers will join us from Italy, Jordan, and the United States to talk about initiatives to highlight women’s role in the olive sector.”

The section “Women are the future of olive oil” includes leaders of Pandolea International from Italy, the Arabic International/Jordanian Olive Oil Women’s Network, and a group founded this year, Women in Olive Oil (which already has 1800 members from almost 50 countries).

Before an awards ceremony for the Mario Solinas Quality Awards, a vice president at the Culinary Institute of America will discuss another topic likely to interest many cooks and consumers: Olive oil and the plant-forward kitchen.

In this year of the pandemic, with people around the world cooking at home, enjoying the flavors they create, and doing their best to stay healthy, it seems especially appropriate to invite everyone to this day-long consideration of the world’s healthiest cooking and finishing oil.



Video conference, Madrid, November 26, 2020, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

organized by the International Olive Council on the first anniversary of the creation of World Olive Day by UNESCO

NOTE: all times are Madrid time: UTC+1. Remember to convert to your own time zone if necessary.

10:30 – Opening of the seminar
– Welcome address: Abdellatif Ghedira, Executive Director of the IOC
– George Svanidze, Chair of the IOC, Georgia
– Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Spain
– Akissa Bahri, Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Tunisia
– Al Sayed Elkosayer, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt
– Levan Davitashili, Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture, Georgia
– Miguel Clüsener-Godt, Director, Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, UNESCO

12:00 – Presentation of OLIVAE No 127: Egypt
Michele Bungaro, Observatory, IOC

12:10 – Olive oil and health
Prof. Miguel Angel Martinez-González, University of Navarra, Spain

12:30 – Break

1:30 – The history of olive oil
Prof. Jorge Enrique Pereira, International consultant

2:10 – What are the quality standards of olive oil?
Angelo Faberi, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Politics, Italy

2:30 – The impact of Covid-19 on the consumption of olive oil in the United States
Joseph R. Profaci, Executive Director of the North American Olive Oil Association, USA

2:50 – Women are the future of olive oil
– Loriana Abbruzzetti, President of Pandolea International, Italy
– Nehaya Al-Muhaisin, Arabic International/Jordanian Olive Oil Women’s Network, Jordan
– Jill Myers, Founder of Women in Olive Oil, USA

3:10 – Olive Oil and the Plant-Forward Kitchen
Greg Drescher, Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives and Industry Leadership at the Culinary Institute of America, USA

3:30 – Break

4:00 – Prize-giving for the Mario Solinas Quality Award

5:00 – Close

Thanks to the IOC for the images that appear with this article.

All businesses, organizations, and competitions involved with Greek olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and/or agrotourism or food tourism in Greece, as well as anyone else interested in supporting Greeks working in these sectors, are invited to consider the advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil website. The only wide-ranging English-language site featuring news and information from the Greek olive oil world, it has helped companies reach consumers in more than 200 countries around the globe.

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