Pablo Gálvez Jurado  

Oil mill master at the associated cooperative La Purísima de Herrera (Sevilla)

Although he has been working as an oil mill master for 13 years, his life is closely linked to this cooperative. In fact, he confesses that he was born in it, in the doorman’s house, his father.

Prior to working as a miller, he began his activity in the oil mill 27 years ago as an assistant in olives reception zone. Later he went on to work in the mill where he learned many secrets of olive juice extraction.

During the campaign, his function is based on always having the machinery ready. “An optimal maintenance of the machines is essential to avoid problems during the milling, centrifuging and decanting of the oil, which prevent achieving the best possible extra virgin olive oil or, worse still, cause defects in the juice”.

“Controlling the levels, the dough and the grinding time is essential, and for this, all the machinery must be in an optimal state” explains Pablo. After the campaign, it is time for cleaning and maintenance for optimal conservation of the industry, “so that when the next campaign begins everything is ready and we can obtain a high-quality extra virgin olive oil”.

To develop this job, he points out that he has needed “hours and hours of learning, training and dedication”, highlighting the value of the continuous training provided by Oleoestepa in its technical courses for oil miller masters.

In his opinion, the secret of a high-quality extra virgin olive oil lies in multiple factors, among which the maximum cleanliness of the fruit and machinery, early harvest and cold extraction. “Here all these steps are carried out in an estimated time of two hours. Time is also crucial for achieving a maximum quality juice”.

Pablo can’t help remembering his father when he walks through this cooperative. He remembers with great nostalgia the children’s games in the patio of the mill, while his father worked in the doorman’s mill. “I have the enormous satisfaction of knowing that my father would have been immensely proud to see me as a master oil mill in the same cooperative to which he dedicated so much time.”

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All the efforts and care dedicated to the forest of more than 7 million olive trees come to an end, with the cooperative Oleoestepa SCA beginning the period of early harvesting of olives for later cold extraction of olive oil in the associated oil mills.

Like last season, Oleoestepa celebrates it by launching an unfiltered, extra virgin olive oil in a limited edition, mostly of the hojiblanca variety, grown in the region of the Estepa Denomination of Origin, with a fruity olive aroma. green with light touches of ripe olives, with hints of leaf and grass, highlighting the intensity of its fruity, as well as its balanced bitterness and spiciness.

This unfiltered extra virgin olive oil is characterized by the rustic appearance provided by pieces of olive pulp, which give it a more natural appearance, recommending its consumption raw with a slice of bread or in salads.

This limited edition is available in a 1-liter glass bottle and soon also in a 5-liter plastic bottle. Its high quality is guaranteed by the Protected Designation of Origin Estepa, which gives it a high content of vitamin E. Its environmental sustainability certified with the Integrated Production seal.

You can buy now by clicking here.

Carlos Javier Ruíz 

Oil mill master at the associated cooperative Virgen de La Oliva in Mollina (Malaga)

Since 1989 he started working in the helper mill, but by chance in life he soon had to take over the reins of this oil mill.

Although he highly values ​​all that he could learn from previous teachers, his passion for this work made him interested in other ways of doing things. “In these 32 years, continuing training has been key throughout this period, visiting other oil mills, taking courses, reading studies, attending technical conferences … in this work I find you never stop learning”.

He also highlights the great importance of his knowledge of mechanics, that has allowed him to solve problems that at that time did not have a right answer from the industry.

Looking to the future, he regrets the loss of human resources both in the olive grove and in the oil mill, seeing as difficult an adequate generational change at this time. However, he hopes that the future is better for the field, necessarily having to go through its complete professionalization.

In his long career, he has seen a great evolution throughout these years, such as the shortening of the campaigns. “In the nineties he used to end in late March or early April, however, now they end in mid-February at the latest.”

The recent integration to the cooperative project of Oleoestepa has been a plus of demand. For this reason, the details have to be taken care of even more, reducing the milling hours, maintaining a maximum cleanliness of the facilities, carrying out a cold extraction and of course, counting on the collaboration of the associated farmer in the care of the olive grove and an adequate collection. of healthy olives at the right time.

Looking back, he remembers the great cultural change in the way of determining the quality of oils both in the mill and by the consumer. Before, ignorance made the consumer value “esparto mat oil” more than the current extra virgin oils. “Fortunately, the consumer is more informed, which means a greater appreciation of higher quality oils.”

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