English
1 June 2021

Ignacio Silva: ¨The consumer is the most important part of the chain¨

Olive oil can become a much bigger player in the global market through better promotional techniques, a bigger push to increase consumption, and finding new markets, more than 300 participants from 14 countries were told at a recent Expoliva colloquium. 

 

The event was one in a series of activities leading up the main event, Expoliva, the XX International Fair of Olive Oil and Related Industries, taking place from September 21 to 25.

Globally renowned strategic consultant Juan Vilar moderated discussions on issues ranging from remuneration in the value chain and productivity to price uncertainty, panel testing and self-regulation. Among participants were two experts on such subjects, both heavyweights in the sector, Antonio Luque, president of DCOOP, and Ignacio Silva, president of Deoleo.

Luque stressed in his address that recent years have witnessed significant increases in olive plantations and production increases, accompanied by rises in the number of countries both producing oil and consuming it.

“The increases in production make it necessary to keep striving to increase consumption worldwide, and to do this, we must work on quality to maximise the value of the product,” he said. “We have to look for ways to alleviate market highs and lows and maintain better balance.

“As producers,” he continued, “we have to achieve maximum efficiency with the best possible quality. In recent years, for different reasons, the sector has not been united. We have a task – to be leaders in the world, not only in production but also in marketing – and we have to improve the operating account of all the links in the production chain.

“We must defend the traditional olive grove, but we must also work to make this olive grove more efficient and see which groves can be transformed to become more competitive. It is true that growing in the mountains is complicated, but in these cases, it will be necessary to look for criteria of differentiation of the product oriented to the consumer, to differentiate them from the rest.”

Silva urged everyone to work towards the same objective. “The consumer is the most important part of this whole process,” he said. “We have to talk more about the consumers, about their needs. There are different varieties of oil and different types of consumers, and depending on the use, the consumer will pay more or less – it doesn’t have to have a single price. ¨

“The consumer is sovereign, and we cannot always set the price depending on the raw material. If we don’t start thinking the other way around, and think about the consumer, we will always be trapped in prices year after year.”