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The Battle For The Best EVOO Has Begun

The Battle For The Best EVOO Has Begun

Author Kostas Liris

February marks the start of international and local competitions in the EVOO world. In the next upcoming months, over 30 international and even larger number of local competitions will take place. Producers and big companies will stand against each other, face the impartial judgement of olive oil experts, and leave with either an award in their hands or unpleasant news.

During the last 10 years, the olive oil industry has started investing in competitions a lot. These events serve as a good marketing tool and not only - they are also a ticket to certain markets and probably the most practical way to convince the end consumer that the oil they buy is of the highest quality.

Cities like New York, Tokyo, Paris, Jerusalem and many others are hosting some of the most precious competitions like NYIOOC, JOOP, OLIO NUOVO DAYS, EVOIOOC, TERRA OLIVO, etc.

I have been a panel leader in many important competitions and an EVOO consultant to producers for years, and yet I am always wondering if the award is just a piece of paper that you hang on the wall, or if it represents the efforts of the producers.

The more I take part in competitions, the more I realize that the awarded extra virgin olive oil is not only good, but exceptional.

 An EVOO competition is like a battlefield - for the product and the judges. This is the place where people with different cultures and backgrounds come together to cooperate and announce the winner. Tension during the judging process is growing every minute. Sometimes it gets tough to reach a final decision. The responsibility of the judge is enormous - that's why we say that international and big competitions are only for true professionals and most of the time we meet the same names during the biggest competitions.

Each competition has an impact on the final product, the end consumer, and the industry. Each award serves as an assurance in front of the customer that the product they buy is good.

Believe me, when you purchase an award-winning product, you can be certain that you have spent your money well, and you are about to enjoy the taste of a premium extra virgin olive oil.

Who is Kostas Liris?

Kostas Liris is one of the most renowned olive oil experts worldwide, is an agronomist and certified taster. For almost a decade he has been one of the judges and head of tasting panels in the top world olive oil competitions – NYIOOC in New York, JOOP in Tokyo, ATHENA IOOC in the Greek capital, etc. He teaches Sensory Analysis, Production and Safety of Olive Oil in New York, London and San Francisco in collaboration with the Olive Oil Times Education Lab and partners with Olio Nuovo Days in Paris and other prestigious international organizations and companies, dedicated to olive oil. He is the founder of the IRIS-Agricultural Union of Messenia, a company providing consulting services relevant to the agricultural and agri-food industry. A key moment in his career came when he received a thank-you letter from the former Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou for his contribution to the development and promotion of quality Greek products worldwide. In November, Kostas met with the Bulgarian audience and hosted "The Unknown Extra Virgin Olive Oil" during the biggest wine forum - DiVino Taste.