Daily Archives: April 5, 2014

  • From culture itinerary to olive groves in Cordoba

    If you enjoy combining cultural history, good food and good drink with a stroll through pretty old streets and some olive groves, then the province of Cordoba in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia offers the perfect itinerary. There is perhaps no region of Spain as rich in cultural history and diverse in geography as Andalusia, spread across a varied topography from the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts to dramatic mountain peaks and wide valleys of olive trees stretching as far as the eye can see.

    The city of Cordoba is less than two hours from Madrid aboard the high-speed “Ave” train, which offers a comfortable ride with excellent waiter service. Founded by the Romans, Cordoba sits strategically on the Guadalquivir river linking the port of Cadiz to the interior. It was the heart of the Moorish (Arab) empire that ruled Spain for 800 years until the “reconquest” by the Christian forces of King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella I in 1492. The cultural legacy of Moorish Spain is still much in evidence, even if the society around it today is emphatically Christian and westernised.

    Visits to the oil mills, as well as olive oil tastings, can be organised. The Al Masara Virgin del Carmen, owned by Manuel Montes Marin, has won a host of international awards for its oil. The most famous is Portico de la Villa, sold at gourmet stores across Europe, including Harrods in London. The age of the olive trees varies from 40 to 200. The 16,000 trees are spread over 170 hectares (420 acres) and carefully spaced to provide enough soil to nourish each one, creating a dotted patchwork over the hillsides.

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    If you enjoy combining cultural history, good food and good drink with a stroll through pretty old streets and some olive groves, then the province of Cordoba in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia offers the perfect itinerary. There is perhaps no region of Spain as rich... 
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  • Chilean olive oil showcased at SIAL agri-food fair in Montreal (April 2-4, 2014)

    Chilean products highlighted as an attractive alternative for Canadians. In 2013, Chilean agricultural exports to Canada totalled USD203 million, a 14% increase over 2012.

    Two Chilean companies, one producing olive oil and the other giant squid, were responsible for representing the South American country in this year’s edition of the SIAL agri-food fair in Montreal (April 2-4). Chile’s candidature won Canadians over with its products, which are renowned for their excellent quality and high food safety standards.

    The Canadian market promises to be an interesting destination for Chilean exports due to both its size and the purchasing power of its inhabitants. The Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) effective July 5, 1997, marked a milestone in the history of trade liberalization for Chile as its first treaty with a developed country and the first comprehensive agreement to cover areas of concern beyond goods and services.

    “The Canadian consumer can be characterized by a marked interest in healthy living and as favouring natural, organic products that are in line with respect for the environment and fair trade. There is great opportunity for Chilean products in such a context, since they meet high quality standards, making them attractive alternatives for Canadians,” states Oscar Arriagada, Trade and Investment Representative for Chile in Montreal.

    Chile’s high food quality standards were also endorsed by the recently released 2013 Global Food Security Index (developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit), which ranked the country as a Latin American leader. Over the last year, total food exports from Chile to the world reached USD15.234 million. In Canada alone, exports of agricultural products hit the USD203 million mark, an increase of 14% over 2012 figures when shipments climbed to USD179 million. Wine and seafood product exports boasted USD92 million and USD57 million in revenues, respectively.

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    Chilean products highlighted as an attractive alternative for Canadians. In 2013, Chilean agricultural exports to Canada totalled USD203 million, a 14% increase over 2012. Two Chilean companies, one producing olive oil and the other giant squid, were responsible for representing... 
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