Show side menu

The IRTA will partner the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences in its research into improving the quality of olive oil in China

  • The agreement signed will lead to the creation of the International Centre for Olive Oil Quality Research in China.

  • In 2019, the ZAAS (Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences) in China will begin training the first olive oil tasting panel with the accreditation of the International Olive Council, receiving advice from the IRTA.


On 23 November, Eliecer López, the IRTA’s Director of International Relations, was a guest at the event to celebrate the 110 years of history of the ZAAS (Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences), based in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. A partnership agreement was signed there by the IRTA and the ZAAS for the creation of the ICOOQR (International Centre for Olive Oil Quality Research), together with the Government of New South Wales (Australia) and the Australian Olive Oil Association.

In 2019, the ZAAS intends to begin training the first tasting panel operating in China with the accreditation of the International Olive Council and, for this reason, it has requested the IRTA’s advice. In addition, analytical methods are also being implemented to complement the control of imports at borders. The Chinese authorities have prioritised establishing control and monitoring mechanisms for European imports of olive oils, particularly from Spain. In this regard, the ZAAS is currently the official centre for the inspection, control and testing of food quality and safety of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

Outside Europe, China is now the third largest olive oil market for Spain, after the United States and Japan, with Spain accounting for almost 80% of the total imports of this product, with 33,000 tonnes in 2016 alone.