Monthly Archives: November 2014

  • New era for the Greek extra virgin olive oil

    The forthcoming final agreement between Sitia Union (of Agricultural Cooperatives) and Gaea SA and the financial support of Piraeus Bank marks a new era for the Greek extra virgin olive oil.

    It took more than a year of negotiations to resolve numerous details in order to reach the current point of mutual understanding between the three parties involved.

    Manolis Vakontios, (President of Sitia Union) and Aris Kefalogiannis (Founder and CEO of Gaea SA) are just two of the most important people in this forthcoming final agreement.

    We are talking about a mutually beneficial cooperation agreement:

    Sitia Union (Eastern Crete, Greece) will provide its unique EVOO, one of the most awarded in the world (among others: two in a row “Mario Solinas Quality Awards” 1st prize),a certified PDO product of integrated cultivation

    Gaea SA will try to give to this product of special quality, the added value it deserves and will be responsible for the marketing promotion of it as a branded product in international and national markets

    Piraeus Bank will provide the necessary cash flow for any future productive and commercial activity.

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    The forthcoming final agreement between Sitia Union (of Agricultural Cooperatives) and Gaea SA and the financial support of Piraeus Bank marks a new era for the Greek extra virgin olive oil. It took more than a year of negotiations to resolve numerous details in order to reach... 
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  • Olive Oil production in Spain stands at 29,100 tons

    The Spanish production of olive oil in the first month of the campaign stood at 29,100 tons, representing an increase of 231% over the data obtained in the same month during the previous season and a 189% higher than the average of the last four, according to the latest data of the AICA (Agency of Food Control and Information from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture).

    Milled olive has been 186,072 tones with an average yield of 15.47%, which is 2.3 points higher than last season performance.

    Exports, still provisional for the month of October, quantified at 90,000 tons, which meant an increase of 15% over the previous year and 16% compared to the average of the last four seasons. Meanwhile, imports, with provisional data for September, are estimated at 5,500 tons.

    On the other hand, the apparent domestic market reached a total of 32,100 tons, which fell by 29% over the figure of last season and 24% compared to the average of the four preceding.

    Also, mass marketing (apparent domestic market + exports) reached 120,300 tons, representing a slight decrease of 1% compared to the previous year and an increase of 3% compared to the average of the last four.

    As for stocks, the total volume was 412,800 tons, increasing 11% compared to the average of the last four seasons. Mills stored 262,900 tons, increasing 10% compared to the average of the four preceding seasons. Meanwhile, in the packing plants, refineries and other operators 149,900 tons were located, 12% above average.

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    The Spanish production of olive oil in the first month of the campaign stood at 29,100 tons, representing an increase of 231% over the data obtained in the same month during the previous season and a 189% higher than the average of the last four, according to the latest data... 
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  • Zurich International Olive Oil Award "OLIO 2015"

    The aim of the Zurich International Olive Oil Award and OLIO 2015 is to strengthen the confidence of the consumers into the product “Virgin Olive Oil” and to promote transparency on the olive oil market.

    Both events offer a representative overview of the quality of the current olive oil on the market of Switzerland and European Union.

    On the occasion of the Zurich International Olive Oil Award the participating olive oils will be tasted and evaluated by the Swiss Olive Oil Panel (SOP) of the ZHAW that is accredited according to ISO 17025 and recognized by the International Olive Council (IOC). Producers, importers and retailers use the results as technical-scientific evidence for the quality of Virgin Olive Oil in the current year as well as for medium-term optimisation.

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    The aim of the Zurich International Olive Oil Award and OLIO 2015 is to strengthen the confidence of the consumers into the product “Virgin Olive Oil” and to promote transparency on the olive oil market. Both events offer a representative overview of the quality of the current... 
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  • Olatile compounds are responsible for the Aroma and Quality virgin olive oil

    The high number and different nature of volatile compounds drive to the need of a reliable analytical method that allows their proper quantification to explain the standard method of panel test. 

    Although there are some analytical solutions available, they have not been validated and the regulatory bodies are reluctant to adopt them since they can be subjected to unknown errors.

    In this regards, the European Union has encouraged the validation of these analytical tools through the research program Horizon2020, which involves gaining knowledge from the analytical properties of the chemical methods for sensory assessment. 

    This work is focused on the analytical validation of the methodology used to determine the actual concentration of volatiles in virgin olive oils when applying SPME-GCMS.

    The validation process includes the calibration curves for 29 volatile compounds responsible for the most common sensory perceptions in virgin olive oils, the determination of their working ranges with linear response, the detection and quantification limits, the sensitivity, the accuracy estimated as trueness and precision and the selectivity. 

    Sixty-seven percent of the compounds presented a relative standard deviation in repeatability lower than 10%, and this percentage rises to 95% in lampante virgin olive oils.

    The accuracy was established in 97% of the studied volatile compounds. 

    Finally, an empirical example of the ability of the method to discriminate virgin olive oils of different categories (extra virgin, virgin, ordinary and lampante) by the quantification of their volatiles is provided.

    Article source

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    The high number and different nature of volatile compounds drive to the need of a reliable analytical method that allows their proper quantification to explain the standard method of panel test.  Although there are some analytical solutions available, they have not been validated... 
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  • Inspiration from Greece

    TRAVELLING in Greece as a young woman piqued Annetta Paterson’s first interest in growing olive trees.
    The young woman from the Alpine high country of East Gippsland, whose family has grazed cattle on the Nunniong high plains, was spreading her wings and seeking new experiences.
    “When I first travelled overseas, I went to Greece and immediately noticed how similar the country was to Mt Stawell – hot, dry, hungry country,” Mrs Paterson said.

    She noted the extensive olive groves and her love affair with the oil began.
    In 1998, when her father was looking to retire, Mrs Paterson jumped at the opportunity to buy part of the property on Mt Stawell, in the old Tongio settlement.

    “My family asked why I wanted to buy the farm. I said I wanted to grow olives,” Mrs Paterson said.
    She remembers their disbelief “because a lot of the block is unusable because it’s sheer” and earmarked the remaining 35 per cent for her pioneer venture.

    The olive oil industry was still in its infancy and Mrs Paterson “did lots of reading and research, joined the Australian Olive Association where we all helped each other and learnt by doing.”
    With a Spring pumping licence from the nearby Tambo River to provide off-river water storage nine months of the year and the similarity in soil type and climate “except the winters aren’t as cold as Tuscany,” she began planning and planting her olive grove.

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    TRAVELLING in Greece as a young woman piqued Annetta Paterson’s first interest in growing olive trees. The young woman from the Alpine high country of East Gippsland, whose family has grazed cattle on the Nunniong high plains, was spreading her wings and seeking new experiences. “When... 
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  • The first olive oil festival to unite Greek & Turkish Cypriot producers

    Olive oil Festival- LtoR Crop Husbandry director Christian Harel, ZEYBIR’s chairman Irfan Celik and SEKEP’s chairman Philippos Kameris

    THE first bi-communal olive oil festival will mark the beginning of a cooperation that will benefit producers on both sides of the divide, Greek and Turkish Cypriot olive oil producers’ associations SEKEP and ZEYBIR announced yesterday.

    The festival, called ‘Let’s grow together’ is taking place at the weekend at the Ledra Palace checkpoint area and is supported by the EU-funded ‘Crop Husbandry’ project that has been providing technical support to Turkish Cypriot farmers for the last six years.

    “We hope that this meeting will be the beginning of a new cooperation between the two organisations that will contribute to the support of the Cypriot olive producers,” SEKEP chairman Philippos Kameris said.

    He said that SEKEP’s goal is to support Cypriot olive oil producers to find new markets, grow new olive varieties and fight the olive fruit fly (Dacus).
    “As Cypriot olive producers we were working together in many mixed villages before 1974 and now we decided to get together under the umbrella of the European Union with this weekend’s event,” Kameris said.

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    Olive oil Festival- LtoR Crop Husbandry director Christian Harel, ZEYBIR’s chairman Irfan Celik and SEKEP’s chairman Philippos Kameris THE first bi-communal olive oil festival will mark the beginning of a cooperation that will benefit producers on both sides of the... 
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  • Inspectors Struggle To Keep Up With Imported Food Products

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is partnered with the FDA to anticipate potential threats to an issue of national security: the food supply.

    According to federal statistics, 15 percent of the nation’s food supply is imported from overseas.
    In fact, a recent study at UC Davis found that 70 percent of olive oils aren’t what the label says they are.

    “Sometimes, it’s mixed with nut oils and then there’s allergens involved,” said Patrick Vardaro, an olive oil seller.
    As CBS2’s Lisa Sigell reports, olive oil is a target because it’s expensive.

    “There’s a lot of fraud in the industry, and it’s obviously for monetary gain,” Vardaro said. Amy Kircher is with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, which is a University of Minnesota lab set up to protect the nation’s food supply.

    “Anything made in bulk or produced or shipped in bulk is something that we’re always very careful with,” Kircher said.

    But here and elsewhere, food watchdogs are doing their best to protect the food supply and say the greatest risk of food fraud arises when purchasing from a vendor consumers don’t know well.
    They say the labels and products consumers purchase should look familiar.
    For more information on food safety, visit the FDA’s website.

    Article source

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    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is partnered with the FDA to anticipate potential threats to an issue of national security: the food supply. According to federal statistics, 15 percent of the nation’s food supply is imported from overseas. In fact, a recent study at... 
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  • Opening seen for olive maker in Europe's woes

    New Zealand’s largest olive oil producer will look to capitalise on Europe’s disastrous olive harvest.

    South European olive production has been hit by an olive fly and unfavourable weather which in some instances have seen tonnages plunge by more than 50 per cent.

    Southern European nations produce 70 per cent of the world’s olive oil, bringing in $2.8 billion of export revenue.

    However, the full impact of the shortfall will not be known until the middle of next year, when the olive oil from this year’s European vintage hits the shelves.

    Hawke’s Bay-based Village Press produces 280 tonnes of olive oil a year from 35,000 of its own trees, and 12,000 contractors’ trees.

    Chief executive Wayne Startup said his company exported to the United States and Canada, but was more and more focused on Asia.

    “It [the disastrous harvest] might make the market look a bit more sensible from the New Zealand producer point of view.

    “At present we are significantly more expensive than the Europeans, but this means we have an opportunity,” Startup said.

    He said Village Press would not divert oil away from the New Zealand market, which was “still No 1”.
    Article source

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    New Zealand’s largest olive oil producer will look to capitalise on Europe’s disastrous olive harvest. South European olive production has been hit by an olive fly and unfavourable weather which in some instances have seen tonnages plunge by more than 50 per cent. Southern... 
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  • Europe suffers olive oil disaster: How you can survive it

    If you’re a fan of great olive oil — particularly of oils from Tuscany and Umbria — you’d better get ready to start dipping into your wallet. That stuff’s going to get expensive..
    As a result of what the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is calling “The Black Year of Italian Olive Oil,” the olive harvest through much of Italy has been devastated — down 35% from last year.
    And though the rest of Europe hasn’t been hit quite that hard, production in most countries is forecast to be far below last year’s.
    One group projects Spain’s output to be half of last year’s record harvest, and the overall world output may fall 20%, according to industry researcher Oil World.
    Even in California, the rapidly growing olive oil industry has been slowed by drought.

    As a result, shoppers are going to have to pay more for good olive oil than they have in the past — when they can find it. And they’re going to have to be even more careful than usual about reading labels to be sure they’re getting the real thing.
    There are multiple causes for the disastrous fall.

    In Italy, the weather was horrible — and at all the most crucial points. When the trees were turning flowers to fruit in the spring, freezing weather suddenly turned scorching, causing the trees to drop olives. Summer was hot and humid, leading to all sorts of problems. Then in mid-September, there there was a major hail storm, knocking much of the fruit that remained onto the ground.

    Compounding the problems with the weather was a troublesome infestation of a fruit fly spreading a disease known as “olive tree leprosy.”

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    If you’re a fan of great olive oil — particularly of oils from Tuscany and Umbria — you’d better get ready to start dipping into your wallet. That stuff’s going to get expensive.. As a result of what the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is calling “The Black Year of... 
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  • Notification from Savantes Olive Oil Tasting Programme 2015, New York

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes has finalised the arrangements for the next Savantes programme in New York. It will be held at the same venue as in the past, Tryp Times Square South Hotel, on 25, 26, and 27 February 2015.

    Discounted accommodation is available at the venue for around $220 (taxes included) a night. We will send you details of accommodation after receiving your registration.

    The programme, registration and other details are available at www.savantes.com/newyork. We have already started receiving registrations and as the early discount will only be available for a limited time we suggest you register at your earliest convenience.

    Please forward this notification to anyone else who may be interested in participating in Savantes New York.

    We look forward to welcoming you to Savantes New York.

    Best wishes,

    Simon Field
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes

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    Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes has finalised the arrangements for the next Savantes programme in New York. It will be held at the same venue as in the past, Tryp Times Square South Hotel, on 25, 26, and 27 February 2015. Discounted accommodation is available at the venue for... 
    Read More →
  • Thanksgiving Recipe with Olive Oil

    Along with all the pumpkin pie making next week comes an added bonus: leftover pumpkin puree. Actually, I usually end up with leftover butternut squash puree since that’s what I like to use in my pies. Whichever you have (even if it’s from a can), consider using it to make muffins, either to serve at Thanksgiving dinner or for breakfast later that weekend. These have a cinnamon-laced nut streusel on top and maple syrup within, and I will be whipping them up as soon as the last bite of pie is gone.

    INGREDIENDS:

    Butternut Squash Streusel Muffins
    Makes 12 muffins

    For the streusel topping:
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup rolled oats
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    For the muffins:
    1 1/4 cups butternut squash or pumpkin puree
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup olive oil and preferably G.E.T. olive oil brand
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners (or grease the pan). To make the streusel: in a bowl, combine all the ingredients and work the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until everything clumps together. (It can be crumbly.)
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butternut squash or pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, sugar and maple syrup. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Spoon batter into the muffin pan and sprinkle streusel evenly on top, gently pressing it into the batter. Bake until the muffin tops spring back when gently pressed with a finger and a cake tester comes out dry (a few crumbs sticking to it is O.K. as long as it’s not wet), about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

    Recipe source

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    Along with all the pumpkin pie making next week comes an added bonus: leftover pumpkin puree. Actually, I usually end up with leftover butternut squash puree since that’s what I like to use in my pies. Whichever you have (even if it’s from a can), consider using it to make... 
    Read More →
  • Slim pickings for olive crop in Cyprus

    Unfavorable weather conditions that have taken a toll on most of the Mediterranean region’s olive oil making have not left Cyprus unscathed with production this year expected to be at least 30% lower than last year.

    Speaking to The Cyprus Weekly, general manager of Olive Product Producers Organisation SEKEP Maria Demetriadou said final production levels for this year had yet to be formulated “but it is expected to be reduced by as much as last year’s 30% reduction and maybe even more”.

    Demetriadou noted the 30% drop in production in 2013 compared to 2012 had followed a 12% reduction in production between that year and 2011.

    She said figures were this year expected to be low enough to all but guarantee Cyprus would be lucky to cover its own olive oil needs and that it was unlikely enough of the product would be produced for export.

    While other countries in the Mediterranean have been affected by calamitous blights of the olive fly and olive moth, Demetriadou said the fall in production in Cyprus had been purely due to the weather – a lack of rain.

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    Unfavorable weather conditions that have taken a toll on most of the Mediterranean region’s olive oil making have not left Cyprus unscathed with production this year expected to be at least 30% lower than last year. Speaking to The Cyprus Weekly, general manager of Olive Product... 
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  • Disfruta España, a digital platform to promote the Spanish culture and cuisine

    Pedro Larumbe restaurant in Madrid hosted yesterday the presentation of Distruta España (Enjoy Spain), a promotional digital platform (www.disfrutaespana.org) which includes for the first more than 3,000 pages, with social networks in six languages and video channels in which are registered over 20,000 establishments.

    Another distinctive feature of this platform is the updated inventory gathered during an investigation by industry experts, followed by a process of enhancement, which lasted three years, as reported by Zuloaga Foundation and the Spanish National Hostelry Federation (FEHR), drivers of this initiative.

    This website includes pages about 668 historic sites, 209 natural sites, 147 traditional festivials, current and traditional local cuisine of 650 towns, all of the wines and foods with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in Spain, an inventory of (15 disciplines), sports of nature, and a selection of local stories and legends.

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    Pedro Larumbe restaurant in Madrid hosted yesterday the presentation of Distruta España (Enjoy Spain), a promotional digital platform (www.disfrutaespana.org) which includes for the first more than 3,000 pages, with social networks in six languages and video channels in which... 
    Read More →
  • The ups and downs of olive oil prices in Greece

    Last week the olive oil price, went up touching the threshold of 4 euros/ kilo. More specifically, the Athinoelia variety, popular in the Italian industry, was sold for 3,9756 euros/ kilo, at auction held at the Agios Dimitrios- Talanta Monemvasia cooperative (South Laconia, Peloponnese).

    In the meantime, different areas in Greece have seen fresh olive oil from Koroneiki variety of olives climbing as far as 3,5 euros/ kilo (3,65 delivery to Italy by adding transport costs)

    This week brings falling prices and steep reductions in demand and buying concern by the part of the Italian industry and commerce. As a result, Koroneiki olive oil prices went from 3,65 to 3,30 euros/ kilo (always for delivery to Italy, which means 0,15 for the miller and even lower for the producer).

    In Crete, where the harvest and milling has just started, prices seem to move to slightly lower rates.

    At the same time, the first olive oil sales in Tunisia are shipped to Italy at 2,93 euros/ kilo, a price which is considered high by the bottling industry.

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    Last week the olive oil price, went up touching the threshold of 4 euros/ kilo. More specifically, the Athinoelia variety, popular in the Italian industry, was sold for 3,9756 euros/ kilo, at auction held at the Agios Dimitrios- Talanta Monemvasia cooperative (South Laconia,... 
    Read More →
  • Calorie-restricting diet with olive oil could slow aging process

    A diet rich in fruit, vegetables and olive oil is helpful in slowing mental decline and the aging process.

    A new study has indicated that fewer calories from carbohydrates could inhibit some aspects of aging as well as chronic diseases in humans.
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    An animal study carried out by neuroscientists at New York University’s Langone Medical Center revealed that calorie restricting diet could halt the normal activity of over 900 different genes related to aging and memory formation in the brain.

    The results were achieved after experiments with female mice, which like people are more prone to dementia than males.

    The animals were fed food pellets that represented a 30% reduction in calories by comparison with their regular diet.

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    A diet rich in fruit, vegetables and olive oil is helpful in slowing mental decline and the aging process. A new study has indicated that fewer calories from carbohydrates could inhibit some aspects of aging as well as chronic diseases in humans.An animal study carried out... 
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  • Germany’s gourmet magazine prepares to pick the best world EVOOs

    Der Feinschmecker, Germany’s leading gourmet magazine, plans an extensive coverage of olive oil in the June issue 2015. For the 13th time we will organize a thorough tasting and examination by an international jury. This magazine will describe the best olive oils of the new harvest at length in the June issue.

    Many olive oil fans visit this website www.olivenoeltest.de since it is the olive oil platform on the internet. New content, features and search functions are being added all the time.

    The Feinschmecker olive oil tasting has been established since 2003 and is considered one of the most renowned olive oil tests worldwide. During the last tasting in March 2014 they have tested about 700 oils from 20 countries.

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    Der Feinschmecker, Germany’s leading gourmet magazine, plans an extensive coverage of olive oil in the June issue 2015. For the 13th time we will organize a thorough tasting and examination by an international jury. This magazine will describe the best olive oils of the new... 
    Read More →
  • Olivatessen - the publication that promotes Extra Virgin Olive Oil around the world

    Spanish publishing group Mercacei-Edimarket Editores launches Olivatessen for the Winter Fancy Food Show, the publication that takes every Extra Virgin Olive Oil brand to the American market… and the rest of the world.

    In a timely manner, Mercacei launches special supplemental issues, produced on the occasion of major events, often directed to the gourmet and delicatessen segment. There is no defined periodicity to these publications, which stand out for the quality of their presentation and content, and constitute a valuable and powerful tool for deeper understanding and insight into the world of Premium or high end EVOOs.

    Therefore, with a circulation of 15,000 copies, in December Mercacei will launch Olivatessen by Mercacei, an issue that will reach global spread, with direct distribution all over the world, mainly from the physical space available in Mercacei’s booth in the Winter Fancy Food (San Francisco, US), as well as specific points of information in other high profile events for the promotion of olive oil: Olio Officina Food Festival (Milan, Italy); Madrid Fusion (Madrid, Spain); and Salón de Gourmets (Madrid, Spain).

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    Spanish publishing group Mercacei-Edimarket Editores launches Olivatessen for the Winter Fancy Food Show, the publication that takes every Extra Virgin Olive Oil brand to the American market… and the rest of the world. In a timely manner, Mercacei launches special supplemental... 
    Read More →