Oil Master Millers: Francisco Jesús Berral Torres

Francisco Jesús Berral Torres

Oil master miller at associated cooperative Olivarera Pontanense in Puente Genil (Córdoba).

Francisco Jesús Berral Torres, Oil Master Miller at cooperative Olivarera Pontanense de Puente Genil (Córdoba).

With this campaign just finished, Francis, as he is known by his friends and family, has been directing the associated mill in Puente Genil for more than fifteen years. But there are many more linked to the world of the olive grove. “I come from a family linked to the cooperative world of the olive grove, oil runs through our veins,” says Francisco.

In his childhood memories, agriculture and the olive grove are always present, and he gets excited when he remembers that in the afternoons he used to accompany his father in the tractor to the cooperative and “the joy he took me when the old teacher, Marcos, gave him steel rollers to play with the skateboards”.

Before becoming a master, he started as a maintenance worker, learning all the secrets of extra virgin olive oil production from the old master and the extreme care with the machinery. Outside the campaign he combined this work with the maintenance of the cooperative, which helped him to know deeply all the technical issues of the mill.

During the campaign he focuses his attention on the control of the olives from the moment he empties the trailer until the oil leaves the cellar for bottling, confessing that the most complicated part is the reception, since “I still have to explain to some farmers the importance of bringing the olives unpolluted; fortunately there are fewer and fewer of them”.

He considers that to be an oil mill master, continuous training is crucial, in order to keep abreast of the latest technical innovations. As a restless person and lover of everything that surrounds extra virgin olive oil, he takes advantage of all training opportunities in the form of courses, workshops, presentations and technical forums to keep up to date. She emphasizes how the culture of excellence is internalized in the Oleoestepa masters. “There is a very healthy competition among us to achieve the best olive juices and when we leave our environment, we realize that not everyone has the same vision and dedication.” In this regard, he tells us the anecdote of attending a course for teachers in which the practices of the oil mills associated with Oleoestepa were always used as an example.

Finally, he tells us a story that he still remembers with displeasure and sadness, the day the mill was robbed of 5 trucks of extra virgin olive oil, 128,000 kg, and with joy, he points out that “the oil was stolen from the mill, 5 trucks of extra virgin olive oil. And with joy, he points out that “when we have received awards it is a reward for all the sacrifice we make and it helps us to reinforce our commitment to excellence, it is worth it”.

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