Extra virgin olive oil fair kicks off in Lleida region
The annual event in Borges Blanques takes place this weekend with this year's harvest expected to be smaller but of high quality
The 56th edition of the Borges Blanques Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fair in the western Catalan region of Lleida kicked off on Friday with a score of exhibitors looking forward to a bumper year in terms of sales and visitors.
Yet, it seems it will not be such a bumper year for olive oil producers, with the harvest expected to be smaller than usual due to the heavy rainfall in the autumn.
Enric Dalmau, head of the DOP (Protected Denomination of Origin) for olive oil produced in Les Garrigues county, said production will be 3.7 million kilos instead of the 4 million originally predicted.
However, Dalmau pointed out that while overall production will fall, the quality this year is "exceptional" and is expected to lead to a rise in sales of over two million kilos of bottled oil.
Oil producers large and small
That is good news for the Borges Blanques olive oil fair, which brings together both major cooperatives and smaller producers keen to show off their wares.
One such is the 'Raig d'Arbeca' firm, whose head, Montse Sòria, explained that it is the first time the company has attended the fair, with the goal of letting people try the "quality" of their oils.
All of their olive oil comes from olives grown and pressed on their own land. The resulting oil is sold in 5-liter containers, while their premium organic olive oil is sold in bottles.
The olive oil fair goes on until Sunday afternoon, with president Quim Torra due to visit on Saturday. The mayor of Borges Blanques, Enric Mir, highlighted the fair's strategy of promoting the local product through the "excellence" of top chefs and restaurants.