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In the agri-food sector, Consortia are aggregate legal forms, intended for cooperation between companies (usually small and medium-sized) that are part of it for the protection and promotion of high-quality products.
In Europe, especially in countries with a high enogastronomic vocation, such as Spain and Italy, consortia have a significant history and importance. In these two countries, olive oil consortia are also of considerable importance insofar as they enhance the peculiarities of specific territories that offer extra virgin olive oils with unique characteristics.
The Sierra Mágina Natural Park is a jewel of the province of Jaén. Its landscape characteristics, a unique ecosystem, such as flora and fauna, make this Park a special place that also offers special extra virgin olive oils, many of which are marked with the D.O.P. Sierra Mágina.
Manuel Jesús Sutil García tells us more about the Consortium and the Extra virgin olive oils, D.O.P. Sierra Magina, useful information for us consumers for a conscious and quality purchase choice.
When was the Foundation of the D.O.P. Sierra Magina founded and what objectives did it set itself at the time of its creation?
The Denomination of Origin Sierra Mágina was recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Junta de Andalucía by Order of November 29, 1995, although it was not until 1999 when the recognition was completed with the approval of the European Commission.
The objectives from its birth are the enhancement of the Extra virgin olive oils produced in the Sierra Mágina region, a territory of mountain olive groves and low productivity, but with a great potential for the quality of the oils it produces, such as the passage of time has been showing.
In this sense, by valuing the oil produced under the conditions of the Denomination of Origin, it is allowed to continue with the economic development of the municipalities that make up this region, and avoid depopulation, while achieving a fair price for the oil, that covers the effort and the higher costs of the olive grove that makes up this territory.
The Denomination of Origin seeks to meet these objectives through the control of origin and quality of certified oils, defense of the protected name (Sierra Mágina) for oils, and generic promotion of the Extra Virgin Oil produced.
What are the peculiar characteristics of the Extra virgin oils that belong to the Sierra Mágina PDO?
The Extra Virgin Olive Oils certified by our Designation of Origin are unique because they have to be made with olives from the olive groves of Sierra Mágina registered with the Regulatory Council, most of which are pending, and 99 % is traditional olive grove. They must be made with olives of the Picual and Manzanillo de Jaén varieties, and in accordance with the requirements of our Specifications.
They are very fruity oils, with aromas reminiscent of tomato, freshly cut grass, artichoke and olive leaf. On the palate, they are astringent and balanced, with a slight bitterness and spiciness typical of the oil produced in the territory.
In addition, they must necessarily be Extra virgin, which means that they have to pass the controls of the organoleptic analysis (tasting panel) as well as more demanding chemical characteristics than the quality standard, for example acidity <0.5º.
What are the characteristics of the D.O.P. Sierra Magina?
It is a mountain olive grove with an average slope of 20%, where approximately half of the territory is dry land and the rest irrigated. It has fifteen municipalities that surround the mountain range of Sierra Mágina, located in the central-southern part of the province of Jaén.
The Natural Park of Sierra Mágina is in the heart of Region and provides a value of sustainability and differentiation of the flora and fauna of our region.
The olive grove area occupies approximately 60,000 hectares, with some 13,000 olive growers registered in the censuses of the Regulatory Council. Almost all the municipalities are below 10,000 inhabitants, being agriculture and olive groves the main economic activity of the same.
What security does your certification offer to consumers?
The origin and quality control work carried out by the Regulatory Council allows consumers to obtain a guarantee of origin and quality of the oils labeled with the logo and the back label of the Denomination of Origin Sierra Mágina. The origin because these oils come from olive groves located in the region, and they must necessarily be elaborated and packaged within the territory. Of course quality, too, because they have to comply with chemical and organoleptic analytics, and these requirements are controlled and verified by the Regulatory Council, therefore it is a guarantee for the consumer, because it is not only a declaration of the packer, but an additional certification.
Believing in the value of spreading the culture of Extra virgin olive oil, your regulatory council How does it promote the D.O.P., even outside the territory?
The promotion of the oil Sierra Mágina is an essential task of the Regulatory Council, precisely because it is necessary to create and spread the culture of Extra virgin olive oil. The Regulatory Council does not sell oil as such, but is a differentiation tool for certified brands, which can thus demonstrate the quality of their product to consumers.
To make the quality of our oils generically known, we carry out different communication and marketing actions such as agri-food fairs; promotions in markets; tastings in hospitality schools and other events; advertising; sectorial and direct sales fairs; presence in social networks. A promotional work in accordance with our own resources and the promotion aids that we receive from other entities.
It should be noted that we also participate in promotional campaigns with other Denominations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications to publicize the European seals of these figures of Differentiated Quality in the national territory through the Association Origin Spain.