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The olive oil sector is gradually evolving towards a professionalized sector and where more and more training is becoming a requirement without which we see that there is no future.
The most important data we have to observe the urgent need for training in olive oil production is that the most significant increase in the movement of the markets is towards the purchase of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), that is, the highest quality within all categories related to olive oil.
This data means that the consumer and the buyer of olive oil is cultivating and understanding more and more of the different categories, and is opting for quality.
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This fact is added to the fact that once the consumer understands and knows the extra virgin, he/she no longer falls in category, and his demand is growing or maintaining, but always within the category of extra virgin. In fact, for another year, operators continue to increase sales of bottled olive oil. With packaging we work both to increase quality and increase prices. Everything thus leads us to, in some way, having to become aware that the quality of virgin olive oil is a fact and not a utopia.
Traditionally, we know that the olive sector has been a sector where the olive oil production process in the olive oil mills has come from the figure of the Master Miller, where in most cases the Masters acquired their training through experience. In few cases, both private mills and cooperatives have seen training as an essential requirement or as an investment in their workers.
ESAO students at the Master Miller Course. ESAO Image Bank
Training has always been seen as an expense and not an investment. This situation therefore left the highest quality of extra virgin olive oil to the work of a few producers and a few cooperatives that were betting on this path. Given that we now know that quality is prevailing in the markets, we have become aware that training is one more element to take into account.
If we want to learn about production, we have to know, for example, the critical points of an oil mill for the production of quality, we have to know how to work the optimum harvest time to achieve the highest quality, we have to know the processes, we have to try to know how to increase quality, but without forgetting profitability, and this pairing is not easy.
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In the Master miller course inside the Master Olive Oil Consultant Certification we have prioritized that those responsible for training are masters of oil mills of recognized prestige, and that of course they have experience in production and tasting.
Training in the olive oil production process will help you to know among many other things:
- what parameters to take into account for the selection of the optimal harvesting moment
- what temperatures are ideal for obtaining the highest quality,
- what are the recommended times in each of the processes,
- which screens to use in the mill and when
- what the addition of water contributes to the process
- how to understand the dosage of talc
- how to understand olive washing
- how to understand the importance of cleaning in the oil mill
- how to optimize the oil mill before buying new machinery
- how important is communication between the whole team
Training is one more tool that every company, whatever the sector it is, has to have in its budget item. The professionalization of the sectors helps the sector acquire more and more value and in turn be more and more respected at the same time that it will develop in a more solid way.
The olive oil production process is under continuous study by professionals, by research groups, by universities, by private companies and by olive oil machinery companies. This means that it is a dynamic sector. All this research and all this dynamism are useless if we do not get the information to reach the master mills or the producers or cooperatives.
This transmission of knowledge does not have to go only from top to bottom, the master miller cannot be waiting for them to tell him the news regarding olive oil production, but companies are responsible that their workers are the ones who request and be trained according to their deficiencies or according to their needs.
Training in oil production will help you to have your processes as developed and optimized as possible. You will do a much more effective job and at the same time it will allow you to make decisions in a more reliable and solid way. As you acquire knowledge, you will be able to make evaluations more reliably and this will help you to make a consistent and informed decision.
Sometimes the management teams of companies ask us for a series of requirements or responsibilities that are not accompanied by the training we have, they ask us for results that are difficult because we cannot achieve them.
At this point it is important that the worker, the master miller, could demand from his company the need for investment in training, master miller courses, maintenance courses, tasting courses, and training that does not be something punctual and end as the course in particular finishes.
You have to see that training can help me a lot in the production of oil, and that this training must also be continuous, not punctual. As we have said, the training is developing, both the content and the tools, and that is why if we want to be competent and keep up with our competitors, we have to be up-to-date in training, we have to be "alive" within of the sector and know what is happening at the level of both new technologies and new procedures as well as new investigations.
If we stick with what we already know and do not opt for an open mind and are aware of the importance of continuous training, we run the risk of not recycling and getting stuck in knowledge that is too basic and sometimes obsolete.