The AOVE (Initials for ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil’ in Spanish, EVOO in English) Premium can boast excellence, reaping success in competitions held in different parts of the world, which every year receive hundreds of samples from the countries of production, with awards for quality and packaging.
The Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition
This competition, originating in 2000, is divided into two parts: Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. The candidates should send in three bottles of the oil to enter the contest, which will undergo a ‘blind tasting’ process and be classified according to the country of origin.
There are two categories: national and international, following criteria established by the Protected Designations of Origin, and will be judged as ‘Delicate’ (Light Fruitiness Intensity), Medium (Medium Fruitiness Intensity) or Robust (Intense Fruitiness).
Created in 1996, and organized by The Bari Chamber of Commerce, this competition takes place every year in Andria (Bari), with more than 400 Organic extra virgin olive oils participating, coming from some twenty countries.
All individual or cooperative producers using organic agricultural methods for their production may participate. Both winners and finalists that come through the initial selection process will be included in the BIOL Prize Official Catalogue, published annually.
China International Olive Oil Competition
These awards, which are a part of the Oil China program since 2006, are considered to be the most prestigious in the Asian market, supported by the Chinese Government and the importation companies of this continent.
One of their main objectives is to promote extra virgin olive oil in China and Asia, and to divulge its properties amongst Chinese consumers, importers and retailers, as well as promoting the transparency in this market. Oil China acknowledges the best olive oils in four categories (Intense, Medium, Delicate and Organic).
International “Armonia” Contest
This contest, which has been taking place since 2007, is aimed at international producers of high quality extra virgin olive oil. This contest judges a maximum of three extra virgin olive oils per producer, who must confirm a minimum batch of 1,000 kilos per oil presented. The samples should be entered in six glass bottles, each containing a minimum capacity of 0.5liters
BioFach Olive Oil Awards
From 2008 onwards, BioFach – the most important global ecological product fair – awards prizes for Best Organic Olive Oil.
The competition selects the best 30 oils coming from different countries amongst the Organic EVOO’s present at the Olive Oil Bar.
The peculiarity of this prize resides in the fact that it is the professional visitors to the Salon who choose the winners during a ‘blind’ tasting process, which garantees an objective evaluation of the different oils in competition.
Copenhagen International Olive Oil Awards
This is a new competition that confers recognition to the best EVOOs around the world aiming to promote this product among consumers and restaurateurs in northern Europe. This awards will also enhance the benefits and excellence of this key food of the Mediterranean diet and its uses in gastronomy.
The contest is open to Conventional and Ecological extra virgin olive oils produced each season and samples submitted must be from a homogeneous batch of at least 1,000 kg.
The International Olive Oil Competition “Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Awards” takes place each year within the ‘International Encuentro Olivícola Argoliva’, in the Argentinian city of San Juan.
The objective of these awards is to prize the best extra virgin olive oil in its different categories: Green Bitter/Fruity/Intensely Hot, Green Bitter Fruity/Medium Hot and Mature Fruity/ Sweet.
Acting as the jury is the University Oil Tasting Panel from the Catholic University of Cuyo and other international experts, who are authorized by the International Oleic Council COI (initials in Spanish for Consejo Oleícola Internacional).
Premio Coq d’Or
The French publication Le Guide des Gourmands publishes an annual relation of the best European artisan gastronomical products, awarding, since 1988, the Coq D’Or prizes for the most outstanding quality artisan products on the market, from the more traditional to the most creative. It includes a category called “Great European Products”, which, in 2006, awarded the prize to a Spanish olive oil – Castillo de Canena – for the first and only time.
The Argentinian ‘Cámara Olivícola de Mendoza’, together with other national entities, organize the Cuyoliva International extra virgin olive oil competition, whose objective is to evaluate the quality of the extra virgin olive oils that are being produced in different countries of the globe, to promote consumption and divuge its beneficial properties.
Those winning oils that are awarded more than 95 points in each of the categories will be acknowledged with the “Olivo de Oro” (Golden Olive) Diploma, whilst those that are awarded over 75 points will receive the “Olivo de Plata” (Silver Olive) Diploma.
The Great Taste Awards
These awards, considered the “Oscars” of the foodstuffs world, are a reference point in the Haute Cuisine sector. They are awarded by the Guild of Fine Food, an association aimed at establishing links between suppliers and distributors in the more exclusive food sector.
The competition is open to food and drink suppliers, importers and distributors. All products – that should be available commercially when the competition takes place – undergo a ‘blind tasting’ process, and are exhibited each year at the London Speciality & Fine Food Fair.
The acknowledgements, that underline the trajectory and quality of the worlds 20 most oustanding oils, are awarded since 2010 by the Flos Olei publication, a sequel of L’Extravergine, the first global guide dedicated to the selection and qualification of extra virgin olive oils, published by Marco Oreggia, a journalist, wine and food critic and one of the major international experts on this type of product.
To be included in the Italian guide, two 0.5 liter samples of each one of the different types of extra virgin olive oil produced must be entered in the competition. Other formats are accepted only if the total volume is 1 liter, but samples lacking commercial labelling are not accepted.
With the objective of promoting the consumption of olive oil in Brazil, divulging the quality of local oils and incentivating its production, the International Fair ExpoAzeite-Feria of Olive Oil, Olives and Conserves, has, since 2010, convened a competition for extra virgin olive oil that targets Brazilian and international producers, importers and packers.
The Montiferru Prize, introduced in 1994 to promote high quality extra virgin olive oil being produced in Italy, includes an International Section in which olive oils from other producer countries, such as Turkey, Israel, Greece or Spain. Those taking part should send in eight oils packaged commercially in 50cl bottles.
This competition, introduced for the first time in 2010, is the only one that is exclusively dedicated to the worlds best extra virgin olive oils produced from monovarietals and the first one to submit quality oil to be judged directly by consumers with no technical knowledge. Each variety of oil should be sent in three 500ml bottles, and is evaluated by a Tasting Panel composed of 8 to 12 experts.
Internacional Leone d’Oro dei Mastri Oleari Award
This international competition awards prizes to the world’s best extra virgin olive oils since 1987 – although it was not convened from 1989 to 1993. The competition is open to producers from all origins and each sample must be entered in competition contained in three 500ml bottles, with its original labeling. These awards are sub-divided into three categories: Delicate Fruitiness, Medium Fruitiness and Intense Fruitiness.
II Magnifico Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards
The Magnifico Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards is a competition that takes place in Florence (Italy), organized by the Associazione Premio II Magnifco, as a homage to two outstanding figures in the extra virgin olive oil sector in Tuscany: Massimo Pasquini and Marco Mugelli. The aim is to distinguish the best oils in four different categories (II Magnifico Award for the Oil of the Year, Massimo Pasquini Award for restaurants, Marco Mugelli Prize for Innovation and World’s Best International Prize).
The “Mario Salinas” Award for Quality
The “Mario Salinas” Award for Quality was introduced in 1993 by the International Oleic Council (COI – initials in Spanish), although it wasn’t until the campaign for 2000-2001 that this organism convened the first edition of this prestigious distinction.
This competition can be entered by all individual producers, producers associations and packaging companies from all over the world. Only one extra virgin olive oil can be presented in competition.
Oils that have been produced during the ongoing campaign, that come from a homogeneous batch of at least 3,000 liters, having been stored in the same oil deposit, and should be presented in five 500ml samples and two 100ml samples, contained in colored glass recipients.
NASFT Sofi (Speciality Outstanding Food Innovation) Awards
The Sofi awards of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Fancy Foods Show have been acknowledging the most outstanding speciality foods and beverages in 30 categories since 1972, oils fall into one of these categories.
This competition only accepts as candidates producers who are members of this association. Every Springtime the finalists in each category are chosen by a panel of experts in speciality foods, to go on to be analyzed by buyers from this sector in the Summer Fancy Food Show that takes place in New York.
Les Étoiles de Mougins Prize
Les Étoiles de Mougins is a gastronomical competition that has been taking place since 2006, in the village of Mougin on the French Riviera, birthplace of the “Cuisine du Soleil”. More than one hundred world class chefs are present. This event includes a competition that gives prizes to the best olive oil producers with a selection of the most outstanding extra virgin olive oils produced in the south of France, Italy and Spain.
This competition takes place anually since 2002 within the framework of the ‘Feria BioCórdoba’ fair, comprising the largest annual concentration of organic oils produced in Spain. Organic oils from countries such as Portugal, Greece and Italy have been entering this contest since 2009.
Only oil mills, packers and retailers that are registered in Organic Agricuture Control Organizations listings can participate and the oils entering the contest must be produced from certified organically produced olives.
The Olive Oil Sommelier Association of Japan (OSAJ) convoca anualmente el Concurso Internacional de AOVE Olive Japan. El certamen -cuyo jurado está formado por expertos de reconocido prestigio procedentes de diez países- entrega un primer premio al mejor AOVE de la competición, una medalla de oro y una de plata (en las categorías Medio, Robusto y Ligero) y varios premios especiales. Además, con el concurso da comienzo una semana de actividades dedicadas al aceite de oliva en la capital nipona.
Der Feinschmecker Olio Awards
Since 2003, the German gastronomical magazine Der Feinschmecker has organized an annual international competition, whose objective is to discover the world’s best extra virgin olive oils. Each month of November, this German publication extends an invitation to the more than 2,000 producers of extra virgin olive oil that are registered in their database.
Der Feinschmecker evaluates more than 500 high quality olive oils from around the globe, and produces a ranking of the best oils on the planet, selecting the 50 best ones, from which the winners of the Olio Awards are chosen. The results of the contest are published every year in a special supplement to the June edition of this gastronomical magazine.
The objective of the French competition Les Olivalies is organized by the L’Union des OEnologues of France is to bring to mind the complementarity that exists between the culture of the vine and the olive tree, and to acknowledge those high quality olive oils that have reached an optimal expression of taste in their category.
This competition, despite being one of the most recently created on an international level, is being very positively accepted and receives numerous samples of EVOO from different producer countries. These samples are evaluated by a jury whose members, on this occasion, are five experts on the sensorial analysis of olive oil.
Paris Gourmet – World Edible Oils International Contest
The “Paris Gourmet – World Edible Oils” competition takes place once a year, since 2005, convened by AVPA (Agency for the Valorization of Agricultural Products), a non profit non governmental organization that gathers together producers from all around the globe with the aim to contribute to the valorization of high quality agricultural products.
The objective of this contest is to distinguish the best olive oils in different categories, in search of excellence and originality in olive oil production. Every year olive oils from countries such as Spain, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria, Croatia, Greece, Egypt, Portugal, Argentina or Chile enter the competition, and are evaluated by a tasting panel composed of professionals in the industry, chefs and food critics.
Sol d’Oro Hemisferio Norte
The Sol d’Oro competition takes place every year in the Italian city of Verona and has become a worldwide reference point for importers and distributors. Here they can taste extra virgin olive oils that have been awarded prizes during the SOL&Agrifood Fair.
The objective of this contest is to highlight oleic production, make it visible to consumers and operators, make a public presentation of the variety to be found in typical extra virgin olive oils and stimulate the efforts made by enterprises to continually improve their product.
The Olive d’Or competition takes place within the framework of SIAL Canada, the largest food industry fair in this country on the North American continent. The olive oils entering the contest should come from a homogenous batch of at least 1,000 liters, and not be distributed under a generic brand. Each participant can register various products, but only two per category.
During the fair all the olive oils entering the contest are displayed at the Olive d’Or space, which is especially designed to highlight the qualities of each of the oils (origin, information on the producer and distributor, classification), and these can be sampled by the visitors at the event.
Product of the Year
The tasting competition “Product of the Year” is an event organized by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture’s Tasting Commission, and traditionally takes place within the World Food Moscow Fair. The objective is to promote the Russian high quality foods sector.
This contest includes 10 categories, amongst which is one especially dedicated to oils and fats. The winning companies are awarded the Grand Prix prize, as well as the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals with their respective certificates, according to the verdict delivered by a tasting commission.
Olio Capitale Competition
This prize, promoted and organized since 2007 by Fiera Trieste in collaboration with the digital publication Olio Officina, only accepts extra virgin olive oils produced in countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
Thus, olive tree farmers and autonomous oil producers, oil mills, cooperatives and producers organizations, as well as packers who come from this region, can participate. The oils are judged by three juries whose members are consumers, professionals from the Horeca (HOspitality, REstaurants, CAtering) sector as well as experts and technicians from the oleic sector.
This competition was convened for the first time in 2007, within the framework of the “Vino, Nutición y Salud” fair (“Wine, Nutrition and Health”), and takes place in the Argentinian province of Mendoza.
It is open to all olive oils that adjust to the wide range of categories and sub-categories included in the contest. Specifically, for each registration, participants should send in two 0.75liter bottles or containers, three 0.50liter bottles or containers, or four bottles or containers, containing less than 0.50liters.
SOL d’Oro Hemisferio Sur
The Southern Hemisphere SOL d’ORO competition was organized for the first time by Fiere di Verona in 2014, to satisfy the needs of producer countries in this part of the world. Thus, this event that started in Chile will continue it’s yearly journey through other countries that have a significant production of extra virgin olive oil, such as New Zealand or Argentina.
International Olive Oil Award Zurich
The history of the International Oil Award dates back to 2001, when a group of tasters from the Food and Beverages Institute (ILGI), from the University of Applied Science in Zurich (ZHAW), offered to evaluate the extra virgin oils presnted to a competition convened within the Zurich Gourmesse Fair.
At the same time, all oils that are competing can participate in a second contest called Olio, whose jury are the consumers whom, when visiting the Gourmesse Zurich Fair, have had the opportunity to taste and vote for the oils that they consider have the highest quality.
All producers, importers and distibutors of extra virgin olive oil that comply with prevailing Swiss or European regulations, can participate, as long as they gauarantee availability of at least 1,000 liters of the oil presented in competition.
The International Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olive Landscape Competition took place for the first time in 2012. The objective is to acklowledge, esteem and appreciate the value of the landscapes and culture related to this cultivar, the links to the territory and the touristic potential.
With this initiative the organoleptic qualities of the extra virgin olive oils coming from different latitudes are appraised and, at the same time, the terrain is evaluated. Thus, for the first time, the characteristics of the area that is dedicated to the cultivation of olives is awarded a prize.
Superior Taste Award
The Superior Taste Award is a prize that is given annually since 2005, by the Taste & Quality Institute (ITQI) in Brussels, which certifies premium quality in foods and beverages.
To enter the contest, all products with brands and processed foods on sale by online food companies must have previously registered themselves on the ITQI Web page.
Each product is classified into one of the 270 categories, some of which include extra virgin olive oil.It is then evaluated in a ‘blind’ tasting process, by at least 15 judges, after a sensorial-organoleptic analysis. All products that are given a punctuation of at least 70% will be awarded one, two or three stars.
The objective of theTerraolivo Extra Virgin Olive Oil International Competition, that celebrated its first edition in 2010, is to award prizes to the best EVOO’s in the world, to promote its beneficial nutritional qualities and to promote its international trade and consumption.
Producers who are interested in entering the competition should fill out the registration file that appears on the Terraolivo Web page. Israeli and international judges form the three tasting panels that qualify the extra virgin olive oil samples that have been presented, by ways of a punctuation system of 0 – 100 points.
The German gourmet magazine Selection- Das Forum für Genießer has been organizing this contest/tasting since 2010, to choose the TOP 10 (ten best extra virgin olive oils) in the European Union (EU).
In this contest oils from any of the countries or regions in the Union can participate, with the particularity being that it is the actual organizers who contact the oil mills to obtain samples, which are then submitted to the verdict of a professional jury. The final resuts of the contest are published in the September edition of the magazine, informing of the ten winning oils to its more than 100,000 readers.
This competition has been organized by the gastronomical society Enohobby Club dei Colli Malatestiani since 1999, selecting the best extra virgin oils that enter the contest, with a criteria based on chemical and sensorial parameters.
To participate in the contest, each company must send in, with each sample presented, a declaration including the data, production area of the oil, type of cultivation, trade name of the product and a certified copy of the analysis that indicates the level of acidity of the sample.
As well, the participants must send three 500cl recipients of each sample to enter the contest, as well as three labels.