Rabós d’Empordà, 10 June 2019. Clos de la Torre extra virgin olive oil, produced by Oleícola de l’Empordà, has arrived in China, specifically in Hong Kong. The company, located in Rabós d’Empordà, participated at its distributor’s stand in the Hofex fair, a leading event in the food and hostelry sector which was held recently in the city, and it now has the first order to be shipped to the country. The company also plans to ship product to the Chinese city of Macau during this year.
The Hofex fair is organised by Messe Düsseldorf China Ltd and the UBM, one of the most important commercial contact platforms for the Asian agrofoodstuffs sector, with special influence in South-East Asia. It is an exclusively professional fair and a gateway to the Chinese market.
The company has been working for two years to gain access to the Far East, “where there is a growing interest in healthy and quality products like olive oil,” says Martí Clos, the general manager of Clos de la Torre.
The olive oil market in Hong Kong is in constant growth, although consumption is still modest because the local cooking uses other types of oil, particularly of vegetables and seeds, and the Spanish State, along with Italy, is the principal supplier of virgin olive oil in this zone. In addition, the great attraction of healthy products among Hong Kong consumers makes this an opportunity for the Catalan olive oil industry.
Clos de la Torre sells mainly to Northern European countries like Denmark and the United Kingdom, and also to the USA by means of the luxury foods chain Zingerman’s Delicatessen of Michigan. In addition, it is working to export to Central Europe, to countries like Austria and Germany, and it maintains contacts with the Philippines, Singapore, Dubai and Doha, in order for the olive oil produced by this small Empordanese company to be sold throughout the Asiatic region. The firm is also setting its sights on other destinations like Japan or South Korea.
A record harvest
Oleícola de l’Empordà produces one high-range oil and another for local consumption. It also makes olivada paste from green and black olives, jam of olives and honey, and ecological oil. These products are aimed at gourmet and delicatessen markets, specialised stores and restaurant establishments. “The consumers are giving more and more value to quality oils because they are exquisite and add unique aromas and flavours to any dish, raw cru or cooked,” Martí Clos emphasises.
Clos de la Torre’s oil is produced exclusively from the harvest of olives from the company’s estates located in Garriguella, Rabós d’Empordà, Espolla and Peralada in order to have an absolute guarantee that they are of the highest quality. This year, according to Martí Clos, the state of extraordinary flowering of the olive trees due to the winter rains promises a record harvest and of greater quality, with over 200,000 kilos of olives, 50,000 more than last year.
Clos de la Torre’s extra virgin oil, very fruity, extremely well-balanced and very rich in aromas and flavours, is made from three varieties of olive: argudell (autochthonous of the Empordà), picual (of Andalusian origin) and frantoio (autochthonous of Tuscany in Italy), planted in its estates in the Empordà. It is packaged in dark glass bottles and metal cans to protect it from light.
The company, owned by one of the Empordanese families of longest oil-producing tradition, commenced its modern trajectory twenty years ago: its general manager represents the fourth generation. In 2011 a cellar was built in Rabós d’Empordà to produce the oil in the traditional manner and with the maximum guarantees of quality.
A prize-winning oil
Clos de la Torre’s extra virgin olive oil has won a large number of prizes and acknowledgements. In recent years it has been recognised among the world’s finest producers with a silver medal at the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition in the USA, one of the industry’s most prestigious competitions. It has also received on various occasions the Prestige Gold award, one of the highest prizes of the TerraOlivo international competitions held in Jerusalem (Israel), which continues to maintain it among the best oils in the world.
Clos de la Torre has also won a Silver Medal at the “Concours International des Huiles d’Olive du Monde Les Olivalies,” held in Cannes (France) and organised by the Unión des Œnologues de France. These prizes are now added to others received in the past in other countries like Italy, Argentina or the USA.
The company’s general manager, Martí Clos, emphasises that “these awards have a twofold function: on the one hand, to introduce us more and more into the international markets, and on the other hand, to stimulate us to keep up the good work.”