When the winners of the 2021 NYIOOC are revealed next week, we're going to learn a lot about the award-winning brands, but we won't know anything about the entries that failed to make the grade.

I've said many times over the past ten years that our job is not just to draw attention to the winners. The contest's aim is to encourage every producer to craft the best product possible by educating the public on matters of olive oil quality and value.

Making a great olive oil is a hell of a task under the best conditions. Throw in droughts, floods, pests, heatwaves and cold snaps. Mix in Covid, and worker shortages. Top it off with low market prices and economic pressures and you can see why those who succeed in producing an excellent EVOO deserve much more than an award – they deserve our business.

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