THE OLIVE-GROVE AND OLIVE OIL CENTRE
Secondly, quality, the result
of the meticulous cultivation and production systems employed, together with
an abundant selection of varieties with their own labelling to distinguish
them and the presence of internationally recognised brand names. These brands
market mildly fruity oils, endorsed by the guarantee conferred by the Regulatory
Council of the certification "Denominación de Origen BAENA".
When considering the olive-grove and
Baena, innovation is an additional theme that may be mentioned. Innovation
may be seen both in the modernisation of the olive oil production processes,
and in the uses to which the so-called by-products are put, the outstanding
example being the 25 MW power station which is capable of providing for the
energy needs of a town with a population of 50,000 when supplied with olive
oil press waste.
Thus it has the means necessary to offer
the sector opportunities to improve production and to market its products,
be this through the provision of land for industrial use, the establishment
of new companies or the encouragement of advertising activities, to name but
a few recent initiatives.
With the humility of the tree that
distinguishes us, accompanied by the pride of having made it a true symbol
of our economy and of our culture, may we introduce Baena to you as the olive-grove
and olive oil centre that it genuinely is. And invite you to come and see
it for yourselves.
words are enough to attest to the epithet above. And it has been made a
slogan, used by Baena's council (the Ayuntamiento de Baena) and in other
instances throughout the city, in order to draw attention to this municipality
of Córdoba province's excellence regarding that which, without any doubt,
distinguishes it - olive-groves and olive oil.
Conscious of the socio-economic importance
of the olive-grove and oil within its territory, the Ayuntamiento de Baena,
without forgetting the need to diversify the economy in order to provide for
the well-being of its citizens in the future, sees making the olive industry
the basis of one of its strategic pillars for municipal development as its
personal development of operatives and professionals working in the sector
is another of the contributions that has been progressively consolidated.
In recent years, the Ayuntamiento de Baena has taken steps to build up a collaborative
relationship with the University of Córdoba in order to develop training programmes,
and, has organised activities of social or cultural interest. These include
holding the Baena Liquid Gold International Journalism Awards (Premio Periodístico
Internacional Oro Virgen de Baena), together with the Olive-grove and Olive
Oil Fair (Jornadas del Olivar y el Aceite), which have both been running for
five years (1998-l 2002). Journalists like Tico Medina, Carlos Herrera and
María Teresa Campos have received the prize in this time.
With the intention of consolidating
this municipal commitment, and making it permanent, the BAENA OLIVE-GROVE
AND OLIVE OIL MUSEUM (MUSEO DEL OLIVAR Y EL ACEITE DE BAENA) was inaugurated
in April 2003. It is promoted by the Ayuntamiento as an exhibition space designed
to facilitate contact between producers and between their products and the
consumer, making them all attentive and responsive to each other. Or put differently,
it is a place for leisure and cultural activities with the world of the olive
as focus. To complement this indoor space, the Baena town plan also raises
the idea of creating an outdoor area in the form of an Olive Theme-park.
Nor should the wider view be forgotten,
which is to say that the olive and its oil can be a means to consolidate very
important social and economic relations with countries of the Mediterranean
basin and of Latin America. That's why special relationships have been established
with municipalities and regions where the olive-grove is an ancient reality
or where it is becoming one.
Firstly, the volume of production.
Baena is perfectly equipped to guarantee the supply required by ever more
global markets. A town in whose municipal area almost one hundred million
kilos of olives were produced in the 2000-2001 crop, is, without doubt, to
be found among the world's highest-ranking olive-producing areas.
These initiatives of social interest
have a new exponent in the form of the Baena Association of Friends of the
Olive (Cofradía de Amigos del Olivo de Baena), which promotes friendly relations
between those involved in the olive industry. Among its honorary members are
renowned figures from the political, cultural, gastronomic or scientific worlds.