Algerian olive oil producer wins international contest in Dubai

APS - 28 February 2021

ALGIERS- An Algerian olive oil producer has won the first Award for early harvest extra-virgin olive, at the Dubai Olive Oil Competition "DOOC".

Hakim Alileche, an olive oil producer from Ain Ouessara (the province of Djelfa) won the first award, among more than 360 participants from Spain, Greece, Italy and Tunisia.

The oils have been analyzed by a first jury composed of Dubai-based experts. Another analysis was carried out by a jury made up of Italian, Japanese, French and Brazilian experts. The winners are offered the opportunity to sell their product on the websites of the competition organizers and also on a network of luxury boutiques around the world.

In a statement to APS, the producer, who is born in Tizi Ouzou and whose orchards are located in the region of Benhar, in Ain Ouessara, said that his exploitation was exclusively run in biological culture.

He also applied for certification by international body based in Germany.

The olive grower of Ain Oussara owns an orchard of 40 hectares with 15,000 olive trees, which 9,000 are in production under drip irrigation system. In 2020, the orchard produced 20,000 litres in one year that the farmer considers "difficult" in terms of yield.

Alileche explained that to obtain the oil, the olives are grinded the same day they are picked in the orchard thanks to a mill purchased from Tuscany in Italy. The picking is done by hand, requiring seasonal workforce of about sixty people.

"The grinding the same day allows the olives not to oxidize. Peroxide levels are around 3% while the international olive growing body for extra virgin oil limits it to a maximum of 20%.

This distinction makes it possible to show once again that the Algerian product is as good as the products of other Mediterranean olive oil producing countries," said Alileche.