Pedro León Candelaria

Oil mill master at the cooperative associated Olivarera San Plácido in Badolatosa, Seville.

Pedro León Candelaria, oil master miller associated with Olivarera San Plácido in Badolatosa, Seville.

Six years ago he started working in the mill, performing all the tasks in the process of olive juice production as an assistant to the master, before achieving the position of oil master miller two campaigns ago. The experience gained as an assistant has been fundamental in his learning process, but even more so the technical training. “Luckily, during this period I have been able to count on Oleoestepa’s continuous training by taking different courses ranging from technical and mechanical issues to learning how to taste extra virgin olive oils, something fundamental for this job,” Pedro points out.

During the campaign, his work does not end until he has milled all the olives harvested that same day. Pedro considers the emotional component to be key in this job, with which he can overcome the pressure of the day to day, pointing out that “in the campaign there are no timetables, sometimes it ends at midnight, sometimes at 4 in the morning, but to get a high quality juice you can’t leave anything for tomorrow, time is essence”.

The fact that the San Placido cooperative is the smallest entity associated with Oleoestepa, serves as a spur to the whole team that composes it to give the best of each one in order to compete with larger mills with more technical and human resources. In this line Pedro considers that “I make a good team with the manager of the cooperative, we are young and we understand each other very well, we go to one and that shows in the final result, in the high quality of the olive juices that we achieve”.

His task as master does not end with the end of the campaign, then begins the maintenance and tuning to make it ready for the next campaign. Cleanliness and “fine” machinery are his pillars to achieve extra virgin olive oil extraction with the best organoleptic qualities, for this, time is his main challenge.  “Quality lies in achieving a milling in the shortest possible time but always in cold; it is easy to say, but very difficult to achieve”.

Pedro recalls how his situation in the cooperative changed, practically from one day to the next, “I would come in and they would tell me to do this or that, and suddenly, they offered me a position of maximum responsibility, too big for a young man like me”. Despite the stresses and strains experienced, especially during the first campaign, today he looks back with pride and satisfaction at having overcome this challenge.

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The new campaign’s Oleoestepa extra virgin olive oils comes with a very practical and sustainable gift: a reusable RPET shopping bag.

World plastic production has gone from 1.5 million tons in 1950 to 359 million in 2018. The progression continues to rise, because only three years earlier, in 2015, the quantity was 322 million tons. At this rate, it is expected that it will reach 400 million very soon, if it has not already been reached. Production suffered a big drop during the first half of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but recovered in the second half of the year. This unstoppable growth in production means an increase in waste. Anyway, plastic bags are one of the main problems in terms of waste management worldwide.

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The promotion is valid while stocks last.

You can get more information about our sustainable innovation by clicking here.

Arístides Sevillano Suárez  

Oil mill master at the associated cooperative Agropecuaria in Herrera (Seville)

Arístides Sevillano Suárez, oil master miller of the associated cooperative Agropecuaria in Herrera (Seville).

About six years ago, when the oil mill merged with the table olive cooperative, the need arose for a production management that would encompass both activities. It was at this time that Arístides appeared on the scene as the person in charge of the quality of the olive oils produced in this mill.

During this period, to his technical studies in Agricultural Production and Production Supervision he has been adding the continuous technical training that Oleoestepa periodically programs and new studies of Technician in Process and Food Quality. “Technical information is fundamental, but also knowing how to value the product,” Arístides points out as the main reason for developing tasting courses, also given by Oleoestepa.

During the campaign it is more complicated for him to combine his work as production manager with his training as a Process and Food Quality Technician and the training courses to belong to the Oleoestepa tasting panel, but he points out that “this extra effort compensates me because it has a direct application on my daily work in the mill”.

His task in the cooperative is focused on directing all the operations of this industry, as well as the management of the raw material and the human team. Before the campaign, he directs the preparation tasks to guarantee a total set-up. “During the campaign, I prioritize my efforts to convert the raw material provided by our farmers into the best extra virgin olive oil possible”. In his opinion, maximum cleanliness, minimum time (6-7 hours) and temperature always below 27ºC are the key factors for extracting a juice with the best possible organoleptic properties from the olives harvested by the associates.

Looking back, he highlights what the commitment to excellence has meant for the mill. “The cultural change and the way of doing things has been spectacular. Although we have had the support of the old master, I would like to convey my pride and gratitude to the entire technical team of the mill; together we are making it possible”, concludes Arístides.

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