La Junta se propone que Andalucía sea el líder oleícola mundial

The Minister of Agriculture and Fishing at the Government of Andalusia, Clara Aguilera, has today said that the regional Government will work to prevent, «insofar as is possible», the fragmentation of the olive oil industry, because that trend does not contribute to defending the income of the farmers.

Aguilera said this during her speech at the ceremony for the 14th Hojiblanca Quality Awards, which took place this afternoon at the head office of the company in Antequera (Malaga). Also attending was the Chairman of Hojiblanca, José Moreno, and its CEO, Antonio Luque.

The Minister of Agriculture and Fishing argued that the future of the industry is «in the hands» of the professionals themselves and the government, although it will not intervene in all cases.

«The President of the Regional Government has made one thing very clear: we will help those who help themselves; those who do not help themselves and want to continue with their small oil mill, in a town with seven or eight more, will not be helped, because that is a disaster», she stated.

For Aguilera, it is necessary for this concentration process to be completed «in very little time», so that Andalusia can become the leader of the industry at an international level.

«And those who do not agree with this policy should not hinder it because what the Government wants is for olives and olive oil to fetch a decent price, and to achieve that we have a clear strategy», she explained.

Among the key factors necessary to improve the strategic position of the olive oil industry, Aguilera has also cited the commitment to research and development, the search for quality and professionalization.

Speaking during the awards ceremony, the Chairman of Hojiblanca argued that support from the regional government is «necessary» for the olive sector to continue operating in the rural areas of Andalusia, especially in times that have been described as «difficult».

Moreno has highlighted that the olive oil group works «with their feet on the ground», aware that they have to fight and analyse any opportunities that may arise in the market.

Moreover, in statements to the media the CEO of Hojiblanca said that despite it being a difficult year, with low prices and quality problems, it has also been the group’s most productive year, with 183,000 tonnes of oil.

Luque stressed that sales have been «spectacular», especially abroad, with 800 million kilogrammes of oil sold by the entire industry.

The 14th edition of the Hojiblanca Quality Awards has recognised SCA Agropecuaria Nuestra Señora de los Remedios de Antequera – which obtained the award for best warehouse- and SCA Olivarera Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Humilladero, which won the award for best cellar.

The company has also awarded the Second Prize for Best Ecological Oil to the cooperative San Antonio Abad de Obejo, and the award for Best Oil with Designation of Origin Montoro-Adamuz sold by Hojiblanca, to SCA Agrícola Nuestra Madre del Sol de Adamuz.

Original source of the article: La opinión de Málaga.