José María Penco
Panel Leader, ATHENA IOOC
José María Penco is an agronomist, consultant, manager and olive farmer in Cordoba. He holds a BSc in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Cordoba, an Executive MBA degree from the International Institute San Telmo in Seville and a Masters degree in Olive Growing and Olive Oil Technology from the University of Cordoba. He is currently Director for the Association of Spanish Olive Oil Municipalities (AEMO), an organization made up of 170 communities across Spain and Executive Secretary of the Euro-Mediterranean Network of Olive Oil Cities (Recomed), an association that encompasses 10 Mediterranean olive-growing countries.
Previous to this, José María has worked as a project designer for more than 15 years, developing multiple food industry projects, especially in relation to olive oil. Early on in his career he worked as an agronomist for the government of Cádiz and as a manager for agribusiness companies in the oil and wine sectors. He is the author of several scientific papers on the production of olives and olive oil and has lectured at various national and international forums on contemporary olive cultivation techniques, cost and market analysis and quality control. He is a member of several tasting panels in Spain including those of Cádiz, Cordoba and Seville, and is a renown international judge and director of the EVOOLEUM international olive oil competition.