Industry leaders, experts and health advocates convene to celebrate olive oil’s health benefits, put their knowledge to the test and gain insights on the latest trends
The fourth annual Olive Oil Conference will be held in the Chicago area July 10-12, 2018, co-organized and hosted by the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), a non-profit group that promotes the health, versatility and authenticity of all types of olive oil for North American consumers, and International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes, a program intended to develop participants’ tasting skills, knowledge and experience through training courses and events.
The conference, which will be held at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois, will incorporate presentations by and robust discussion among olive oil marketers, experts in diet and nutrition, health advocates and culinary enthusiasts. In addition, Simon Field from Savantes will conduct an olive oil tasting refresher course and administer a tasting challenge. The goal of the conference is to share knowledge, celebrate olive oil’s proven health benefits and increase consumption of this wholesome and delicious product in North America.
“We’ve never had a better lineup for people who are in the olive oil business, are concerned about diet and nutrition or are just passionate about olive oil,” said Joseph R. Profaci, executive director of the NAOOA. “And beginners and experts alike will want to put their skills to the test in the tasting challenge.”
Topics at the conference will range from the state of the olive oil industry, consumer attitude and usage habits, strengthening quality controls, the challenges of selling a product with limited shelf life, and moderated discussions on olive oil’s health benefits.
There will also be a tribute to Oldways Preservation Trust, which partnered with the Harvard School of Public Health and World Health Organization to create the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid 25 years ago. It was developed as a healthier alternative to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s original food pyramid, and a quarter century later, we celebrate that the Mediterranean Diet is more popular than ever.
While the full program can be viewed here, key speakers include:
- Pierluigi Tosato, CEO of Deoleo, S.A., the largest olive oil producer in the world
- Joseph R. Profaci and Kimberly Houlding, respective leaders of the NAOOA and the American Olive Oil Producers Association
- Darren Seifer of The NPD Group, expert on the eating habits of American consumers
- Dan Flynn, executive director of the University of California-Davis Olive Center, a leader in olive study and innovation
- Leading academics from Harvard Medical School; Rutgers University; Rush University; the University of Padua, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities; and Monell Institute, which is dedicated to research on the sense of taste and smell
- Simon Poole, M.D., author of The Olive Oil Diet and advisory panel expert to the Olive Wellness Institute
- Linda Costa, from South Africa, founder of OlivesInFact and expert on polyphenols and their interactions with other compounds in foods
- Sara-Baer Sinnott, president of Oldways Preservation Trust