Last Wednesday, September 14, the Secretary of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), Arianna Giuliodori, addressed the International Workshop on the Consumption of Olive Oil, a three-day event promoted by the Italian WFO Member Coldiretti within EVOOTREND – EvooExpo Rome Preview.

The WFO Secretary General brought the global farmers’ perspective into the debate on “Extra Virgin Olive Oil Seen from the World of Consumers”.

Opening her speech, the Secretary General remarked that farmers and consumers, the first and the last link of the food value chain, are people in the food systems and together can lead the transition towards sustainability.

A stronger relationship with consumers is vital for farmers anywhere in the world. Short and local supply chains are a crucial example of the importance of proximity between farmers and consumers and a winning system for both: fair prices for producers and quality products for consumers.

A significant challenge is bringing consumers closer to farmers when they live on opposite sides of the globe and when it comes to complex products, such as olive oil, that tell history and culture. In this context, agriculture storytelling comes into play.

For consumers to fully understand the farmers’ critical role in producing healthy and nutritious food for all the people and our planet, it is crucial to create the conditions for building a trustful relationship. To achieve that, the three pillars to focus on are:

  • education,
  • transparency and
  • innovation.

“Food education” has a crucial role in encouraging consumers to choose quality, flavoursome and healthy food, favouring fresh produce, endorsing traditional food, understanding where food comes from, how it was produced and by whom. That is why transparency in food labelling, based on science and the balanced diet’s benefit, is so important.

In this context, innovation and digitalisation of the supply chains are key levers to advance in the right direction.

Transparency includes and does not exclude. It does not close doors but opens new horizons and opportunities” stated Arianna Giuliodori closing her speech.