The Andalusian regional government and Fundación Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero have signed an agreement to create the Olive Oil Reference Center in Mengíbar, Jaén.
The reference center with state-of-the-art technology is estimated to cost €7.3 million.
We have to develop a reference center that allows us not only to work on quality and traceability but also to analyze costs and the evolution of crops to know the situation of the sector.
The Andalusian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is keen to promote the reference center and create more opportunities in the olive sector through these types of public-private partnerships.
Carmen Crespo, the regional agriculture minister, said the center would help Andalusia position itself as a globally renowned benchmark in food safety, quality, traceability and production control.See Also:Researchers Introduce Fertigation to Andalusian Olive Groves
“We have to develop a reference center that allows us not only to work on quality and traceability but also to analyze costs and the evolution of crops to know the situation of the sector,” Crespo said.
By setting up the reference center, the regional government intends to make the Mengíbar facility a community and national point of reference for controlling olive oil quality.
Additionally, the center will provide the Andalusian olive sector with the knowledge and technology to investigate and analyze the quality of olive oils in the region and worldwide.
“Jaén has to be a reference in the olive oil field,” Crespo said. “If we talk about quality and oil, we have to talk unquestionably about Jaén.”
She also recalled that the province of Jaén is famous for producing extra virgin olive oils protected by three Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) and a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
“Our obligation that of the sector, of the Fundación Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero and of the Andalusian government is to contribute what we can to the sector and take more steps every day so that it has a promising future,” she said.
Rafael Sánchez de Puerta, the president of the Fundación Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero, said that Andalusia is an undisputed global leader in olive oil production and marketing, and the new research center would cement this.
“Now we have to work on the image and take the message to the whole world that talking about olive oil is talking about Spain, Andalusia and Jaén,” he concluded.