The olive oil sector is making a big change. The professionalization of the agents involved in the olive oil sector is becoming a reality that we will see over time.
Traditionally, the agricultural sector in general was an unprofessional sector, most of the olive oil was sold in bulk, the farmer did not know very well the price that the olive could have and why. Related to the above, the majority of companies in the sector did not have an optimized website, and sometimes even did not have one.
On the other hand, given the nature of the small plots in the olive grove, most of the private olive companies were owned by families, where all those who worked in the company were family members. It was a model where chemical analysis of olive oil was in most cases fair and mandatory.
In general, there was no training culture, nor was it considered in any case to take courses, for example, as an olive oil taster, or to attend classes related to olive oil.
Even the olive oil master millers in many cases received little training in olive oil production, whether they worked in cooperatives or in private mills.
Once we see that virgin olive oil is adopting an important role in society, mainly thanks to the Mediterranean diet and its cataloging of world heritage, we see that virgin olive oil is taking center stage and people are beginning to be interested in him to a greater extent, and above all because of its healthy benefits.
Packaging is beginning to be a good model for the sale of olive oil, and in this way the sector can begin to raise the price of the product a little more.
The interest aroused by healthy foods makes olive oil begin to be of great interest to distributors and importers, and this acts as a springboard for the olive sector that is beginning to become professional.
There are certain markets where the requirement for both chemical and sensory analytics are a priority, especially given their mandatory nature. These markets are the ones that are demanding professionalism and excellent work from both producers and cooperatives.
The market, the end consumer, as their culture increases, asks for more and more extra virgin and wants more and more quality. In fact, sometimes we see how a distributor or importer has been trained and professionalized, thus asking for product characteristics that the producer is unaware of.
The entry of virgin olive oils in the main agri-food fairs makes it of great importance to have qualified professionals in the olive oil sector.
Olive Oil Fair attendees. ESAO Image Bank
Let's take an example. When you go to a fair in Japan to sell your oil you need a high degree of professionalism:
- You have to do a previous market study and really see the suitability of the selected market.
- You have to know the Japanese culture, know what your future client will be like, their idiosyncrasies, their culture, their "rules".
- You must have a clear study of the prices of your product.
- You have to know the English language
- You must be accompanied by an interpreter who is fluent in Japanese, as many Japanese do not speak English.
- You must have a website in perfect condition, and at least in English.
- You have to face some travel expenses and subsistence.
- And so with a set of items without which nowadays the sale in Japan is not considered.
In the same way that we have talked about a specific export section, we can talk about the entire chain of the olive sector.
The importance of having qualified professionals is also necessary for the elaboration.
We have said that there is more and more culture in the end consumer, more and more are trained in olive oil tasting courses for example, there are more and more olive oil tasters or sommeliers, with which my product must try to be of the highest possible quality.
To achieve this quality that is increasingly demanded and we are more and more interested, especially if we want to increase prices, I will need to have a work team as qualified and as trained and professional as possible, since without this I will not be able to obtain high quality neither of the virgin olive oil that I produce nor in the type of sales that I carry out.
The more qualified professionals in the olive oil sector there are, the more value we can give to our product.
ESAO EVO Tasting students in training. ESAO Image Bank
The ideal olive oil mill or cooperative would be the one that could at least distinguish between:
- field work, in the olive grove
- work in the yard,
- the work in the body of the oil mill,
- work in the cellar
- work in marketing.
It is important to know that each of these sections has peculiarities and specific singularities where professionalization is unquestionable.
We have to bet at least that there is one responsible person in each of these sections, and only in this way, through training in each of these areas, can we optimally develop the olive sector and convert oil companies of olive oil into solid and professional companies, with qualified personnel.