Monthly Archives: July 2015

  • The secret to keeping skin looking young is Extra virgin olive

    I have a cousin in her 40s who has amazing skin. Her secret? Extra-virgin olive oil after she showers.

    I remember she told me she doesn’t have stretch marks after five kids, and she thinks it’s because of it, too. Since then my bathroom drawer always has a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil.

    When I got pregnant with my first son, I was scared I would get stretch marks since such was reportedly genetic and I actually got some deep ones on my thighs because of puberty. I never really fluctuated in weight so the fact that I have those, I was quite certain that as soon as I gave birth, my tummy would be striped.

    In fact I was already psyching up myself for these “battle scars” so I wouldn’t be very disappointed after. But I did try to prevent it with Clarins oil, Lirac cream and, yes, olive oil. Result? Not a single line after three pregnancies.

    Olive oil is a vitamin E-rich beauty powerhouse that helps skin look younger, hypo-allergenic and helps calm the skin. It can be a part of your daily routine.

    For dry spots, use olive oil on a cotton ball and dab directly on the skin. I have used it on my son when he got irritating sunspots from a beach trip.

    Olive oil has the same healthy fats as avocado, so it pumps the skin with vitamin E and vitamin A.

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    I have a cousin in her 40s who has amazing skin. Her secret? Extra-virgin olive oil after she showers. I remember she told me she doesn’t have stretch marks after five kids, and she thinks it’s because of it, too. Since then my bathroom drawer always has a bottle of extra-virgin... 
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  • Interview with Olive Oil Philanthrepreneur Stratis Camatsos, Founder of evoᶾ Olive Oil

    Stratis Camatsos a US-trained lawyer who decided to return to the island of his father’s birth to start producing some of the world’s finest olive oil. Camatsos gave up his life in the United States to return to rural Greece. We caught up with him in between daily duties of running a small business in Greece.

    1) Do you regret leaving the United States to return to Greece?
    I don’t live with regret in my life. Once you make a choice, you should stick to it and never look back. It just becomes another chapter in your life faced with different challenges. Of course there are certain things that I miss from the US as it is a part of me having been born and raised there, but there are things that Greece offers that the US does not have and it is the perfect place to be as a young entrepreneur in the olive oil business, as there are many opportunities that Greece offers, but which can be best harvested by similar minded business men as myself, who also have an international background and experience.

    2) What’s the toughest challenge to starting and operating your business in Greece?

    To have enough patience…

    I think that the toughest challenge to start a business in Greece is the lengthy time it takes to actually set it up due to the various bureaucratic/public sector/government obstacles placed on the procedure. In addition, the initial start up costs are very high. It’s like wanting to run with bricks tied to your ankles.

    As for operating my business, the biggest obstacles are due to the slower pace of life, which affects the pace of business as making decisions take a while, finding the right person to talk to is always a feat on its own, and meetings are drawn out. Generally, lot of patience is required.

    3) What kind of partnerships/collaborations are you looking for in the United States, Canada and elsewhere in the world?

    I still believe that if a business or person cannot find a way to collaborate with others to achieve their goal, then they will fall short somewhere along their path to realization. Thus, when I set out to export first our organic olive oil and now our other products, I knew that to enter each market as an SME, I would need to be smart and find partners with local know-how and to have a presence on the ground. Therefore, my first step was to find trustworthy people and companies who would represent and sell our olive oil and products to customers effectively and efficiently. The second stage of my collaborations is to now find partners to innovate either newer products and/or ideas either in the food sector or beyond. For example, a small team of mine is looking into the marketing aspect of smaller producers and companies to enhance in-store user experience through the use of augmented reality.

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    Stratis Camatsos a US-trained lawyer who decided to return to the island of his father’s birth to start producing some of the world’s finest olive oil. Camatsos gave up his life in the United States to return to rural Greece. We caught up with him in between daily duties... 
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  • From Silicon Valley into Olive Oil Business

    Walk down the beer aisle or into your local wine shop, and you’ll see endless drinking options from around the country and world, with a wide variety of flavors and prices. The olive oil section at your local grocery store likely looks nothing like that, with a few old brands and little differentiation. Gregg Kelley, CEO of California Olive Ranch, wants to change all that.

    A former tech executive during the first Dot Com bubble, Kelley has experience taking startups to IPO—as well as winding them down and laying off employees. Disillusioned by Silicon Valley, he traveled the world and did consulting work until he came across California Olive Ranch, a small producer of olive oil in Northern California.

    Since joining the company as CFO in 2006 and taking over as CEO in November 2007, Kelley has raised $120 million and used that money to grow from less than $2 million in revenue to a projected $80 million this year. California Olive Ranch, which sells at national retailers from Walmart to Whole Foods, is now the #4 brand of olive oil in the United States—although it remains a small player in an industry dominated by foreign giants.

    Kelley’s long term goal is to convince consumers of the benefits of higher quality (and higher-priced) olive oil, just like brewers and wineries have done. He spoke to Forbes recently about his experience in a conversation that has been condensed and edited.

    Brian Solomon: Of all the businesses out there, how did you end up in olive oil after leaving Silicon Valley?

    Gregg Kelley: It was purely chance. I toured California Olive Ranch in sleepy Chico, CA. At the time they had a single ranch, single mill operation. They were only six years old, kind of a hobby for the owners—a family office based in Barcelona. They were looking for a CFO, and I saw some potential. But I knew nothing about olive oil. I was the typical American with an old name-brand bottle at home. I took a 70% pay cut, wrapped up my six-employee consulting firm, and moved to Chico. But I was single, and didn’t have to make a lot of money.

    Solomon: What was different about the way California Olive Ranch did business?

    Kelley: It was almost a classic Peter Drucker business case. Harvesting costs are one of the biggest in olive oil, and here they were growing trees closer together in a hedgerow, like a winery. That allowed them to use a mechanical harvester, replacing hand pickers. Suddenly you can process the oil from the trees in just 6 hours. Even to this day, just a small percent of the world’s olive oil is mechanically harvested. There are millions of acres of olives farmed in Spain and the rest of Europe—most of it isn’t even irrigated. They need massive production infrastructure, and still can’t get the fruit off the tree effectively.

    Read full article here

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    Walk down the beer aisle or into your local wine shop, and you’ll see endless drinking options from around the country and world, with a wide variety of flavors and prices. The olive oil section at your local grocery store likely looks nothing like that, with a few old brands... 
    Read More →
  • The World Olive Oil Exhibition takes a step forward

    After a year where large part of the stored product is already available for purchase, the World Olive Oil Exhibition will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of March 2016 with the objective of bringing to the market the early olive oils of the harvest.

    Thus, the WOOE organizers have taken into account the concerns of a large part of the sector, which is increasingly demanding immediate sale availability of early and fruity olive oils.

    This is a far-reaching trade fair for buyers, producers and packers from the entire olive oil industry, where the most prestigious brands of EVOO will also be present. The demand of olive oil in some emerging countries is also a great opportunity for the packaging industry to find its market foothold through an international event of such importance as the WOOE.

    During its last edition, the World Olive Oil Exhibition gathered more than 100 oil mills and increased the number of visitors by 25%, coming from 38 different countries.

    The 2nd and 3rd of March 2016 at Madrid’s IFEMA

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
    Cristina Villar
    Miranda-­‐Communications manager
    press@oliveoilexhibition.com
    info@oliveoilexhibition.com
    +34 902090788
    www.oliveoilexhibition.com
    twitter.com/Worldoliveoil
    facebook.com/oliveoilexhibition

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    After a year where large part of the stored product is already available for purchase, the World Olive Oil Exhibition will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of March 2016 with the objective of bringing to the market the early olive oils of the harvest. Thus, the WOOE organizers have... 
    Read More →
  • The price of Spanish olive oil reached its highest point since 2006

    Spanish olive oil prices surged to near an all-time high on slumping output and after disease hit trees in top consumer Italy.

    Stockpiles in Spain, the world’s largest producer, have fallen to “critically low levels,” Hamburg-based industry researcher Oil World said. Hot, dry weather cut the Spanish harvest, while exports to Italy haven’t slowed enough to make up for reduced supplies and shipments to Asia remained strong, the researcher said.

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    Spanish olive oil prices surged to near an all-time high on slumping output and after disease hit trees in top consumer Italy. Stockpiles in Spain, the world’s largest producer, have fallen to “critically low levels,” Hamburg-based industry researcher Oil World said. Hot,... 
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  • Olive oil wholesale prices on 24 July 2015

    Substantial pricing increases affecting all origins and types. Very rapidly expands the market for lampante and the refined oil. It assumes a further increase in the coming weeks.
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    Olive oil wholesale prices in Europe on 24 july 2015 source

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    Substantial pricing increases affecting all origins and types. Very rapidly expands the market for lampante and the refined oil. It assumes a further increase in the coming weeks.Olive oil wholesale prices in Europe on 24 july 2015 source VN:F [1.9.22_1171]please wait...Rating:... 
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  • RECIPE: Stuffed jalapeno cheddar burgers with Olive Oil

    This recipe is a delicious twist on a classic American food. And what’s better than biting into a burger stuffed with savory fillings?

    You’ll need:

    -28 oz lean turkey or beef (not extra lean)
    -2 tablespoons finely minced onion
    -salt & pepper to taste
    -4 tablespoons cream cheese
    -2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
    -¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    -1 fresh jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed if you prefer less spice)
    -1 tablespoon olive oil
    -Rolls & Toppings as desired

    Directions:
    •Preheat grill to medium or oven to broil on high.
    •In a small bowl combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder and diced jalapeno.
    •Combine meat, salt & pepper and minced onion. Divide meat into 4 even pieces (7oz each). Take ¼ of the cream cheese mixture and flatten it into a pancake shape. Wrap beef or turkey around the cheese ensuring the cheese mixture is completely covered. Brush each burger with a little bit of olive oil.

    To Grill

    Grill burgers over medium heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until completely cooked. (Turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees and beef should reach 160 degrees.)

    To Broil

    Place burgers on a foil covered pan approximately 6″ from the broiler. Broil 5-6 minutes on each side or until completely cooked. (Turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees and beef should reach 160 degrees.)

    Source: Spend With Pennies

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    This recipe is a delicious twist on a classic American food. And what’s better than biting into a burger stuffed with savory fillings? You’ll need: -28 oz lean turkey or beef (not extra lean) -2 tablespoons finely minced onion -salt & pepper to taste -4 tablespoons... 
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  • Hispack Packaging Trends

    There is a major optimism and positive expectations from companies in the value chain of the packaging sector regarding to their business results in 2015: 7 out of 10 are expecting a higher turnover compared to last year and almost a quarter of companies are forecasting growth of over 10%. This is reflected in the sector barometer, Hispack Packaging Trends, which gathered the views of almost 1,500 company representatives, experts and organizations involved in the packaging world.

    Participants in this study promoted by the Hispack of Fira de Barcelona Hall include end product manufacturers, machinery manufacturers, raw material suppliers, designers, representatives of the distribution and commerce, printers, engineers and consultants branding and packaging, and technology centers and logistics operators. Optimal business prospects for 2015 are common in all sectors and only 3% of companies handle lower turnover than in 2014.

    The development of demand is the aspect with most impact on the running of the business to 52.3% of companies, followed by innovation and investment in R & D (33.7%); knowledge of trends in end consumer (31.7%); or the application of new technologies (24.5%). Also, contrary to what happened in recent years, funding difficulties or treasury are no longer a major concern, as evidenced by the fact that only 17.9% of the respondents consider a critical point business climate, compared to nearly 40% which showed the same Hispack Barometer three years ago.

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    There is a major optimism and positive expectations from companies in the value chain of the packaging sector regarding to their business results in 2015: 7 out of 10 are expecting a higher turnover compared to last year and almost a quarter of companies are forecasting growth... 
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  • Olive oil prices surge due to drought and disease in Spain and Italy

    Salads have rarely been so expensively dressed after a combination of drought and disease pushed the price of olive oil up 10% so far this year, amid warnings from suppliers that harvests are the worst they have seen.

    The Italian government has declared a “state of calamity” in the provinces of Lecce and Brindisi on the heel of the country, where olive groves are being attacked by a bacterial disease nicknamed “olive ebola” . Up to 1m centuries-old olive trees could be felled in one of the most picturesque tourist spots of Italy in an attempt to contain the problem.

    Price of olive oil soaring after worst harvest in over a decade

    The cost of the raw material has been increasing for two years as crops have been hit by drought in Spain, the world’s biggest producer of the oil, and the bacterial disease Xylella fastidiosa, which is destroying trees in Italy.

    Analysts are expecting prices to remain high in coming months as demand is increasing. Retailers and distributors wanted to buy 12% more olive oil than exporters were able to deliver last month, according to industry insiders. Buyers in Latin America have turned to Europe in the wake of poor harvests over the Atlantic, while eastern Europeans have also been using increasing amounts of olive oil.

    The next harvest from southern Europe is not expected until September, but fears of a third poor harvest in a row in Spain and Italy continue to push up wholesale prices of remaining stocks over the summer. The other two large olive oil producers, Greece and Tunisia, had good yield and production, but not enough to compensate for Spain and Italy.

    In the UK, heavy price competition between retailers, led by the rise of discounters Aldi and Lidl, has helped keep prices relatively low for shoppers. But this year, retailers and processors have been forced to pass on increases as the cost of the raw material from Italy has hit a 10-year high. The average retail price of a litre of extra virgin olive oil has risen from £6.32 in December to £6.95 this month, according to data from trade journal the Grocer.

    One olive oil supplier told the Guardian: “Retailers and suppliers hold a lot of stock and contracts are signed for six months or a year, so volatility in the market can take a while to feed through to supermarket shelves. Retailers absorbed price rises earlier in the year because they were pegged by discounters but there has been absolutely no letup and we’re now in a crisis situation.
    2015-07-27_1016
    “Until this year I would have said this was just the vagaries of the olive oil market. But nobody has seen it this bad. I don’t know that I would go as far as to blame global warming but clearly three years of bad harvest would be almost unknown.”

    The EU’s health and food safety commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, visiting southern Italy this week amid concern about the disease, which is also a threat to citrus and grape crops, said it was an emergency situation: “Every day matters. Because every day is a day in which we are putting the healthy olive trees of Puglia at risk.” The EU has warned that there would be serious consequences for supply chains if the disease spreads.

    Olive harvests work on a cycle in which trees generally produce a strong harvest one year and then weaker results the following year as the trees take a bit of rest. Last year should have been a strong season in Spain, but fierce hot and dry weather meant yields were lower than hoped for. This year again, the country suffered from a dry and fiercely hot spring, when the olives flower, raising fears of another poor crop.

    Lourdes Negrillo, from Vallejo, a producer from the Jaén province in southern Spain, said: “It didn’t rain as much as it should’ve done in the spring and that doesn’t help with the feeling about this next crop. I think that the new crop won’t be as bad as last year but probably the olives will be smaller and have less quantities of oil. If it rains in September and October then we will get a bit more. It will be a different picture.”

    Vito Martielli, an analyst at Rabobank, said good weather conditions during the next few months would be crucial for Spain: “In the coming months, prices are expected to be sustained and in particular the premium extranvirgin olive oil which is experiencing even stronger price increase in Italy.”

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    Salads have rarely been so expensively dressed after a combination of drought and disease pushed the price of olive oil up 10% so far this year, amid warnings from suppliers that harvests are the worst they have seen. The Italian government has declared a “state of calamity”... 
    Read More →
  • Clever alternative uses for olive oil

    It’s an integral part of many cuisines – but here are some clever uses for olive oil outside of the kitchen.

    To nourish and shine your wooden furniture, pour olive oil onto a piece of cloth and gently rub the surface. Use a dry cloth to remove excess oil. Similarly, if you have old leather shoes that have lost their shine, treat them with an olive oil rub to make them look as good as new.‬

    To eliminate odours from your kitchen sink, pour a few drops of olive-oil mixed with an aromatic oil of your choice into the drain. Bad smells will be absorbed immediately. ‬

    If you have glue residue on plastic or leather, you can easily remove by using a cloth dipped in olive oil. Rub onto the area and then gently remove any excess with tissue paper.‬

    And if your houseplants have lost their shine, pour a few drops of olive oil onto a piece of cloth and gently rub each leaf separately. They’ll be looking verdant again in no time. Also, when watering the plants, add a few drops of olive oil to the water to provide added nourishment.

    Article source

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    It’s an integral part of many cuisines – but here are some clever uses for olive oil outside of the kitchen. To nourish and shine your wooden furniture, pour olive oil onto a piece of cloth and gently rub the surface. Use a dry cloth to remove excess oil. Similarly, if you... 
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  • Olive killer bacteria found on the French Mediterranean island

    Officials on Corsica took emergency measures on Thursday after the discovery of a bacteria that could ravage fruit and olive oil production on the French Mediterranean island. Xylella fastidiosa has already killed thousands of olive trees in the Italian region of Puglia and is considered a threat to olive production around the Mediterranean.

    The first-ever infection by Xylella fastidiosa on Corsica was found on an ornamental tree outside a shopping mall in the southern Corsican town of Propriano.

    The bacteria attacks trees bearing olives, citrus fruits, walnuts and almonds, as well as oaks and other plants and there is no known antidote.

    Since the 1980s the production of good quality olive oil and wine have been an important supplement to Corsica’s income from tourism, so the spread of the bacteria could do serious harm to the local economy.

    It could even spread to mainland France, where a case was identified at Paris’s Rungis wholesale market in April and isolated, and cause serious problems for farmers in the south.

    Corsican officials sprung into action, ripping up the plant and those around it and disinfesting the area.

    They are worried that the infected plant was apparently planted in 2010.

    That raises two worrying questions – was it already infected, in which case has the bacteria spread elsewhere, or, even more worrying, was it infected by another plant that has not been identified?

    Article source

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    Officials on Corsica took emergency measures on Thursday after the discovery of a bacteria that could ravage fruit and olive oil production on the French Mediterranean island. Xylella fastidiosa has already killed thousands of olive trees in the Italian region of Puglia and is... 
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  • Olive oil market In Greece is experiencing an unprecedented and absolutely unique situation.

    Due to the imposed capital controls, bank transactions are not only difficult but extremelly restricted, respectively affecting any kind of commercial transaction in a variety of services and goods, including olive oil.

    For over 3000 years now, olive cultivation and olive oil in Greece is a valuable asset: Olive oil is considered as one of the main nutritional products in the well-known Mediterranean diet, it is one of the main sources of income for thousands of people all over Greece (not only for producers, but also for packagers and many other different professions), but it can also be used as an energy source.

    Nowadays, more than ever, we can see from a clearer view, why many consider olive oil as “ liquid gold”.

    Back in 15 Century B.C, the population of Phaistos, in Crete, Greece, preserved olive oil in big vessels (called pitharia) because they could safeguard this preciously nutritional (and not only) product for a long period without any special precaution.

    Later on in our history, we went through financial crises, bankruptcies, as well as foreign conquerors. Under these special circumstances, olive oil became a real financial asset, as it was used almost as real gold. During German occupation, (19440-44) especially in Athens and in many others big cities of Greece, people faced serious problems with famine causing thousands of lives. Those who had the privilege to own some olive oil in could actually sell its value in gold. According to sayings; one could even buy a small apartment in order to have a 14lt tin of olive oil.

    As you may understand, these memories are well imprinted in our collective memory and nowadays, facing financial struggle and extortion threats, it is no wonder why most are reluctant on selling any quantity. However, we should bear in mind that we are at the end of marketing year 2014-2015 and quantities in stock are in any case, limited.

    As far as the Greek packaging industries, their greatest difficulty and threat is not being able to be supplied with all necessary packaging items (bottles, caps, etc.) which are imported from abroad. Moreover, other professions such as those who work in chemical laboratories are influenced as most valuables are also imported.

    At wholesales’ level, there are two different sources of liquidity for any kind of transaction:

    – One comes from retailers, who wish to invest their everyday income but are reluctant on depositing their money in banks under the threat of a possible “haircut”
    – Other comes from Italian buyers, who traditionally buy significant quantities of Greek olive oil in bulk and have their way through certain channels to Greek sellers.

    To sum up, we can assume that sales and any other transaction in Greece, take place at price levels which are not representative. Normalization of the market will also bring higher prices, at least for a short period until the new olive oil production of 2015-2016 will enter the market.

    Note, finally, that that the relatively low stocks in Spain (under 500.000 tons) gradually push prices upwards and we now can see virgin olive oil at 3.70/kilo (barrel price, ex-factory)

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    Due to the imposed capital controls, bank transactions are not only difficult but extremelly restricted, respectively affecting any kind of commercial transaction in a variety of services and goods, including olive oil. For over 3000 years now, olive cultivation and olive oil... 
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  • EU to Increase Tunisia annual olive oil export quota

    The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini announced a series of measures in favor of Tunisia at a joint press conference held Monday with Prime Minister Habib Essid.

    The EU will exceptionally bring Tunisia’s annual olive oil export quota to the tune of 25,000 tonnes.

    Tunisia, the European bloc’s first Arab partner, will also join the Horizon 2020 research programme.

    The EU will likewise support security reform in Tunisia through a programme which will be launched in the coming months.

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    The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini announced a series of measures in favor of Tunisia at a joint press conference held Monday with Prime Minister Habib Essid. The EU will exceptionally bring Tunisia’s annual olive... 
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  • Olive 3D - virtual exhibition dedicated to olive oil

    As if it were a video game, visitors to Olive3D (to be held from 10 to 12 November) can move its avatars through this virtual exhibition dedicated to olive oil, table olives and oleotourism; go to stands and make business contacts without leaving their office.

    The only things you need are a computer with internet connection and a webcam.
    olive_3dIn a sector very used to direct contact with the consumer, the advantages of a virtual exhibition are trying to fill a missing gap. “The sector is slowly getting used to this type of event,” explained to Mercacei Ricardo Rodríguez, director of In-Cloud Promoción Exterior, organizer of Olive3D.

    The benefits of this show compared to the traditional face-to-face fair are many, allowing people all around the world to gather in the same place, which makes it “a cheap and easy way to contact professionals everywhere,” says Rodríguez. It also allows to internationalize an event “in a sector in which olive oil fairs are very local, many of them with exhibitors and visitors of the same region.”

    So it is not surprising that the participation of exhibitors is already positioned around 70, although organizers hope that many more companies will be encouraged in the last days of the registration period which ends on October 15th. Anyway, visitors can register the same day of the initial launch, “another benefit of a non-presential event!.”

    2015-07-21_1232 Modalities of participation
    As the organization has detailed, although Olive3D is aimed at professionals, anyone can register as a visitor. As for the exhibitors, the organization expects to bring together producers, packers and marketers of olive oil, table olives and olive oil tourism. There 2015-07-21_1234will also be a pavilion specialized in olive technology.

    Companies interested in attending the fair as exhibitors can choose from three modes: silver, gold and platinum stands. Prices for each are 1,300, 1,750 and 3,050 euros respectively. However, as Ricardo Rodríguez says, there are significant discounts to encourage exhibitors. Moreover, “we do not want any exhibitor left out of the project by an economic issue, we will surely reach a deal,” he says.

    More information:
    +34 955 478 924/25/26
    olive3d@in-cloud.es

    Article source

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    As if it were a video game, visitors to Olive3D (to be held from 10 to 12 November) can move its avatars through this virtual exhibition dedicated to olive oil, table olives and oleotourism; go to stands and make business contacts without leaving their office. The only things... 
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  • Close-up of world balances for 2014/15

    The IOC Council of Members recently held their 24th extraordinary session from 16 to 19 June 2015. During the session, the Economic Committee discussed an agenda including the updated data supplied by the member countries for the 2013/14 and 2014/15 crop years.

    In this issue of the newsletter we present the provisional data for 2014/15 although they are likely to change between now and November 2015 when they will be definitively
    approved by member countries.

    According to the figures available at present, the 2014/15 season opened with 796 000 t in starting stocks. World production is 29 pc down on 2013/14, chiefly because of a 42 pc drop in production in EU countries largely caused by adverse weather conditions. Greece and Cyprus are the only exceptions.

    Spain has recorded the biggest drop in output versus 2013/14 (−946 500 t or −53 pc) with Italy in next position (−239 200 t or −52 pc) and then Portugal (−30 000 t or −27 pc), France (−3 400 t or −69 pc) and Croatia (−1 800 t or −36 pc). Conversely, production has been higher in Greece (+168 000 t = +127 pc) and Cyprus (+1 000 t = +17 pc).

    Elsewhere among the IOC membership, production is 16 pc higher in aggregate. The biggest volume increases have been located in Tunisia where production has hit an all-time high of 280 000 t for the second time (the first was in 2003/04) and is 210 000 t higher (+300 pc) than in 2013/14, and in Turkey where it has risen by 25 000 t (+19 pc).

    The sharpest decreases have been observed in Syria where production has fallen by −115 000t (−70 pc), and Morocco (−10 000 t or −8 pc). The production figure for Argentina for the 2014 calendar year, which is entered in the world balance for the 2014/15 season, is 24 000 t lower (−80 pc). In 2014/15, the member countries of the IOC have produced 97 pc of the world’s olive oil.

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    The IOC Council of Members recently held their 24th extraordinary session from 16 to 19 June 2015. During the session, the Economic Committee discussed an agenda including the updated data supplied by the member countries for the 2013/14 and 2014/15 crop years. In this issue... 
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  • 'Greekment' After Marathon Talks In Brussels

    The euro jumped to $1.1170 against the dollar this morning after a deal had been reached between Greece and its creditors which will allow it to be bailed out for a third time..

    Earlier, reports also suggested it had been a night of “high tension”, with Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s Prime Minister, capitulating on many of the ultimatums presented to him during the negotiations, but still sticking on two points – firstly, the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a deal, and secondly, a proposal under which Greece would put €50bn (£36bn) of assets into a fund in Luxembourg.

    A Greek official told the Associated Press that as of now, there are two very large sticking points — the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the proposed bailout program and the creditors’ demand that Greece set aside 50 billion euros ($56 billion) worth of state-owned assets in a Luxembourg fund for eventual privatization.

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    The euro jumped to $1.1170 against the dollar this morning after a deal had been reached between Greece and its creditors which will allow it to be bailed out for a third time.. Earlier, reports also suggested it had been a night of “high tension”, with Alexis Tsipras,... 
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  • Greece and Creditors Seek Agreement

    Late last night the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submitted a new plan that many consider quite similar to the proposal rejected last weekend. At press time, we are awaiting the outcome of today’s Greek parliamentary vote on that proposal, as well as the response of Greece’s creditors. Meetings planned for this weekend could determine whether Greece will remain in the eurozone.

    In spite of a lack of clarity about the implications of a No vote — which some argued meant no more austerity and others claimed meant an end to eurozone membership — an unexpectedly large percentage of voters acceded to the prime minister’s request for a No to creditors last weekend, to the dismay of many European leaders.

    Although Oxford-educated Euclid Tsakalotos replaced the unconventional, controversial Yanis Varoufakis as Greece’s finance minister on Monday in a concession to some negotiators’ preferences, Tuesday’s meetings of eurozone leaders led to an ultimatum instead of productive results: Greece must produce an acceptable, detailed proposal leading to an agreement with lenders by Sunday, or European leaders will focus on how to deal with a Grexit — the Greek exit from the eurozone that has seemed more likely this week than ever before — rather than on providing Greece with additional loans.

    Last night, Greece offered to increase various taxes, including sales taxes (even on islands where shipping costs increase prices), cut spending (for example on pensions and military expenditures), reform the pension system (raising the retirement age to 67 by 2022), improve public administration, introduce labor and product market regulations, continue with the privatization of state-owned assets, and fight corruption, smuggling, and tax evasion. Farmers would lose subsidies for the excise on diesel oil as well as preferential tax treatment (the latter by 2017).

    These changes are expected to produce €13 billion. In return for these austerity measures, Greece is asking for a new loan of €53.5 billion from the eurozone’s bailout fund, a reconsideration of primary surplus targets, and debt relief. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, joined the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde and American Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in calling for attention to Greece’s debt sustainability.

    A number of radical members of SYRIZA are expected to oppose this proposal in today’s Greek parliamentary vote, but many members of the opposition are likely to support it. The country’s main creditors’ are also conducting an initial assessment of the plan today.

    Today, eurozone finance ministers will meet to discuss the Greek proposal as well as Greece’s need for debt relief. On Sunday, an emergency meeting of all 28 European Union leaders will determine whether Greece and its lenders can come to the agreement needed to keep the currency union together, unless finance ministers work out a plan on Saturday that makes another meeting unnecessary.

    This week, as talk of plans to deal with a potential Grexit has become more widespread, there has also been more discussion of Greece’s crucial geopolitical position on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, as a bridge between the East and the West, a NATO member and a European Union member sometimes pulled toward Russia and China, sometimes wedged between the rest of Europe and thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing trouble spots such as Syria. Concern about the possible breakdown of a valuable ally has prompted countries such as France and the USA to push for a solution that could keep Greece in the eurozone and the European Union.

    Meanwhile, businesses impacted by capital controls are looking for ways to keep going. While certain American and Canadian businesses dependent on imports from Greece have not received some expected deliveries, leading them to fear shortages or price increases for such products as olive oil and feta cheese, according to CNBC, others have been receiving goods without a viable way to pay for them while Greek banks are closed. Some Greek companies are requesting that payments be wired to accounts they have established outside of Greece.

    Reuters indicates that Greek olive farmers are requesting cash payments so they can purchase necessary supplies and feel secure about their savings, but producers do not have the cash to pay them. Many Greeks are afraid that money in the bank is not safe, especially now that Greece is tottering closer to a possible exit from the eurozone, keeping in mind that Cypriots’ bank accounts were “bailed in” two years ago, with a percentage of wealthy depositors’ savings confiscated and converted into bank equity.

    However, olive oil producers do not have enough cash to pay suppliers who provide €100,000 worth of oil, as Gaea C.E.O. Aris Kefalogiannis told Reuters. Paying suppliers and transporters via online banking and checks that can be cashed later, Gaea has enough supplies to last through the middle of next month. On the other hand, about half of Greek olive farms are small-scale enterprises run by families with limited means, rather than well-prepared large businesses with ample resources.

    Both in Greece and North America, larger companies have been stocking up on supplies, so that some importers have plenty for now, and Greek olive oil exporters such as Terra Creta can continue supplying customers in Europe and the United States with no problem for the next two or three months. In fact, marketing manager Emmanouil Karpadakis told Olive Oil Times that Terra Creta just received an order from a new European customer this week. Aware that some other companies have trouble obtaining raw materials and arranging for transportation by truckers who do not wish to make one-way export trips and return empty due to a lack of money for imports, Karpadakis points out that the situation is very fluid now, with many changes possible over the weekend as leaders meet to decide Greece’s fate.

    There have been rumors of empty supermarket shelves somewhere in Athens, but the shelves in Chania, Crete, are full. Here, olives, grapes, and figs are growing in sun that brings out the sweetness of the oleander, and there is still such abundance that lemons are literally falling off the trees. On Tuesday, The Guardian published an article titled “Want to help Greece? Go there on holiday.” Many tourists who are here right now agree that that’s an excellent idea. With good prices, a clear blue sea and sky, attractions and relaxation, visitors are having a wonderful time. This weekend will show what the future holds for Greeks.

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    Late last night the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submitted a new plan that many consider quite similar to the proposal rejected last weekend. At press time, we are awaiting the outcome of today’s Greek parliamentary vote on that proposal, as well as the response... 
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