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Olive oil competitions, useful if there is seriousness and transparency

There are more and more but we knows less and less. In this context, the fundamental asset is credibility. The critical points of a bubble at risk

Contests are a noble instrument of healthy competition as well as an excellent marketing tool for the winners. In recent years, however, the proliferation of competitions and their lack of transparency is giving way to a series of events with little seriousness, both racimulare some money to the detriment of producers, or intended to obtain a little vulgar visibility for sponsors.

Elements that could soon lead to the outbreak of a bubble contests. Here are some of the critical points of the system.

Credibility
There are some few that are good (rather well) to the sector playing a role on promotion and communication and also by creating a healthy competition among producers for the improvement of the oil.

There are many others that promise fine medals and commendations to all, are helping to discredit the instrument of the competition.

In some competitions, so to speak, nearly all participants will receive some sort of titles (just need to commit to not receive it), paying the shareholding to get a piece of paper to show to importers and customers, but what's the real value of this award?

Who is in the jury?
There is no transparency in the competitions.
Have you ever tried to ask who judge your oil in a competition? If you have not done so, start asking.
I send an oil, pay, win or not, fully accept the verdict of the jury, but I have not perhaps the right to know who judged me?
In juries there are a lot talented tasters as well as many amateurs with little experience.
In I know, I can better assess whether the money paid for participation have been well spent. The organizers of the competition will thus have an incentive to pay more attention to the professionalism of those who put on the jury.

Preparation of assessors
The tasters participating in juries should have deep experience of the national cultivar (for competitions) and international (for competitions open to oil in the world) not to penalize characteristics that sometimes are mistaken for defects. They should also be able to compare oils from cultivars with different characteristics without being clouded by emotion under the tank of some forgotten fruits of the rest. In recent years, most of the prizes will be awarded to a handful of cultivars fruity seductive. I love these varieties are amazing and deserve all the fame of which are enjoying. But I think many tasters, especially during the selection of a tight contest, they can not compare this type of fruit with that of cultivars less explosive but with exceptional features, penalizing productions that often well-deserved place of honor in the final standings of competitions.

Ethics of the participants
There are honest producers (the majority) that send the competition in the oil and then sell their bottles, there are those who, with a bit of cunning, hyper-send the oil chosen on the season only a few liters of which they are stored.
Finally there are the dishonest ones who buy oil to form an ad hoc blend to send to competitions and gain visibility.

There is therefore a real risk bubble mills for competitions? Probably not yet but I think it should be time to start thinking about these issues.

by Duccio Morozzo della Rocca
04 april 2011, Technical Area > Olive & Oil

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