Antonio José Pradas Díaz
Oil Master Miller at the associated cooperative San Isidro de Gilena (Seville).
In spite of his youth, he has a long experience in the olive oil industry. As is usually recommended in management manuals, in these fourteen years he has gone through a multitude of positions and has performed all the tasks linked to the extraction of extra virgin olive oil. “This has given me a very global vision of how an oil mill works,” Antonio José tells us. As is usual in these cases, he started his professional activity from the bottom, as a factory worker, helping and learning from previous masters. His training in mechanics and his previous work in the surrounding quarries as a maintenance technician has been very useful in his new role as oil master mill, a responsibility he shares with his partner Lola.
“I consider that we make a good tandem, as her extensive training in the valorization of extra virgin olive oils, complements very well with my interest in machines. In short, I prefer to concentrate my efforts on having the machinery in optimal conditions to achieve the highest quality olive juice,” Antonio José confesses.
During the harvest campaign, his coordination with his partner Lola is total, adjusting schedules so that “all the work is done, all the olives are milled and the mill is sparkling clean to attend to the olive deliveries on a new day of the campaign period. We both share the eagerness for cleanliness, as we consider it to be a key factor in obtaining top quality oils”.
Once the campaign is over, the period of maintenance and improvement of the different elements that make up the mill begins. At this point he emphasizes the important bet of the current board of directors for the modernization of the infrastructure, which will allow them to inaugurate new facilities for the mill in the new campaign “in which we incorporate the latest technology in milling, beating, centrifuging and decanting”, he comments enthusiastically.
Although he has extensive training in mechanics, he knows that his strength lies in his knowledge of the organoleptic characteristics of the oils, which is why he has been combining his daily work with an EVOO tasting course given by Oleoestepa as part of its Continuous Training Program for the past few weeks.
“I know that we are a young team, perhaps not as experienced as other associated mills, but we make up for it with great enthusiasm and dedication to obtain top quality juices” confesses Antonio José at the end of the interview.
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