This year, there is a new way for olive oil producers and companies to attract the attention of Canadian consumers and buyers worldwide: the Canada International Olive Oil Competition (CIOOC). As organizer George Kouvelis says, “for those ready to expand globally, Canada may be an ideal country in which to start. The word ‘Canada’ is a global trademark.”
The Canada IOOC will also help shoppers learn about high quality extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs). As George Kouvelis points out, “if an olive oil producer or olive oil company wins a Canadian award in 2021, their product will be famous around the world.” Competition results will be published in newspapers and online and promoted via news releases and media announcements.
Ranked No2 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Countries ranking for 2020, No3 in the same publication’s Open for Business rankings, and #6 on the last Forbes Best Countries for Business list, Canada is a nation olive oil companies should keep in mind. According to the International Olive Council, imports of olive oil in Canada have increased substantially since 2005, with the greatest interest in virgin olive oils.
“More Canadian consumers than ever before are looking to purchase top quality extra virgin olive oils,” confirms Canada IOOC judge Karen Rapp of Toronto, Canada. She adds, “competitions like the CIOOC help bring consumer awareness and industry recognition to the oils that are entered and expand the Canadian market to more international producers.”
Another Canada IOOC judge from Toronto who is certified by ONAOO, Fil Bucchino, adds another useful point: “as more and more olive oil producers focus on quality, and production expands to new regions and countries, international competitions have provided an excellent awareness vehicle for producers and consumers alike. As a Canadian and an olive oil taster, it is an honor to continue to support this precious gift of nature alongside the CIOOC.” With judges from nine different countries, the Canada IOOC’s jury brings together an impressive group of well-qualified individuals. A third example is Ehud Soriano of Kibbutz Magal, Israel, a consultant, educator, international olive oil competition judge, and expert certified by the University of Jaén.
Another Canada IOOC judge from Victoria – Canada who is a level 2 olive oil sommelier, Emily Lycopolus, adds another useful point: “Finding quality olive oil in Canada is often challenging, the CIOOC brings credibility to brands, allows producers to stand out on a shelf and increases consumer confidence. This competition is a wonderful addition to the current international olive oil competition landscape.”
Canada International Olive Oil Competition (CIOOC 2021)
** International QUALITY Olive Oil Competition
The Canada IOOC welcomes the participation of any standardized high quality extra virgin olive oil in the world that is legally sold in retail stores, as long as it was made from olives harvested in the 2020-21 crop year. In a blind organoleptic tasting, the expert olive oil quality judges will use an evaluation form based on that of the International Olive Council’s Mario Solinas.
** International PACKAGING Olive Oil Competition
Graphic designers will be the judges for a packaging olive oil competition.
Canada IOOC 2021 registration is open until April 30, with samples due in Montreal by 5:00 p.m. on May 10. More information and the entry form are available here www.Canadaiooc.com