Oil Master Millers: Ricardo García

Oil mill master at the associated cooperative Sor Ángela de Cruz in Estepa (Seville)

He is in his fifth campaign as head of the team in charge of extracting the olive juice.

He studied Agricultural Engineering at the University of Seville and specialized in Agroindustrial Plant Design. He joined this associated cooperative in 2008 as a technical advisor to the associated farmers for the implementation of a set of environmentally sustainable agronomic techniques, certified by Integrated Production.

He took advantage of his permanent and close contact with the former master, especially during the olive harvesting and oil production campaign, to train himself in the skills and tasks of the oil master of the mill, taking over from 2017.

He summarizes his daily task in planning and directing the production process. That is, organizing from the reception of the olives to the classification of the oils in the cellar.

He considers that the incorporation of technology in the production process is very important, but the key to achieving high quality extra virgin olive oils is found in the fruit, the olive, “if the fruit is extraordinary in the mill we take care of not spoiling that quality”.

In his daily work he has verified that there are areas that give singular oils, “the majority of olive groves in the region give a good extra virgin olive oil but not all of them are singular”, putting the focus on the dry land areas and with a deficit irrigation.

In the industrial component of his activity he affirms that all the improvements of facilities are welcome since once incorporated, it is very difficult to spoil the quality of a fruit in the extraction of its juice. Here he insists again that “technology, automation and self-digitization are fundamental”.

From his apprenticeship with the previous master he wants to highlight his insistence on having the ability to make decisions before the olive enters the mill. “From the beginning I have poured my work into sorting olives and not oils. Batches of very good olives give very good oils. Again, technology is our ally, thanks to it the farmers communicate before they arrive from which plot they are going to take the olives, which allows us to make an optimal planning of the reception of the olives.”

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