I am very glad to be part of the event that closes the 2022 edition of the Japan Olive Oil Prize.
I wish to thank, firstly, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan for the organization of this initiative dedicated to one of the excellences of the Italian and Mediterranean gastronomic tradition: the olive oil.
I also want to thank the jury, connected from all over the world, and to salute my colleagues, the Ambassadors of Croatia, Greece and Portugal.
The Japan Olive Oil Prize, that celebrates this year its 10th edition, has become an important appointment for olive oil producers since it aims to support the consumption of olive oil and to promote the Mediterranean Diet and the extraordinary offer and variety of the olive oil production.
Despite the still existing limitations to travel and the current international situation, this year we have reached 500 participants from 21 countries, a result that we are very proud of. I am also very proud of the large presence of Italian olive oil producers that count for 36% of the total.
The olive oil is recognized at a global level as one of the highest Italian quality product and we are very pleased to see that it is increasingly successful in the Japanese market. In this perspective, we attach great importance to the Japan Olive Oil Prize as we believe it helps raising a more conscious awareness about the unique properties of this extraordinary product.
With the hope that the olive oil will be even more successful in Japan in the coming years, I thank again the Italian Chamber of Commerce for this initiative and the many producers for their participation.