The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment have recently taken place in Madrid, which annually celebrates and recognises various establishments across Spain. This year’s winners have been named as Castillo de Canena, a Jaen-based oil producer. The company sells olive oils to over 40 countries and was praised for its export strategy, foreign investment and high quality products.

Castillo de Canena

Ross Vano, the company’s export director said ‘This award is an acknowledgement of the daily effort we make to consolidate our position on the international market and of our contribution to enhancing the image of Spanish high quality extra virgin olive oil abroad, giving it the ranking it deserves.’ The company is a family run business, which has olive producing history dating back to 1780. The name of the company derives from the family castle which is situated in the hills of the township of Canena, the Jaen province of Spain in the region of Andalusia. The extra virgin olive oil is also named after the beautiful Guadalquivir River Valley, which surrounds the Castillo de Canena. The establishment is also situated near the cities of Úbeda and Baeza, both World Heritage cities and remarkable examples of the wonderful cutlture of Andaluzia.

Spain has always been recognised for its production of olive oil and has had a leading role in the culture, going back almost 3000 years. The family trees of the olive groves sit in the valley of the Upper Guadalquivir River and it is here where they are harvested to produce globally renowned high quality olive oil. Not only do Castillo de Canena ensure they create unique flavours with their innovate methods, but they also take care of the way their trees are grown and treated. They recently opened a Chrysopidae farm to promote ‘biological warfare’ against insect pests. This is a way of ensuring the ecosystem remains respected and the natural balance of species is maintained. Castillo de Canena is not just a producer of olive oil, but it is the essence of everything a family business should be, with care, passion and quality.

In addition to the various achievements and awards that Castillo de Canena have collected over the years, they were also awarded as being ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2013 Waitrose Way Awards in the Treading Lightly Water Category. This also commends the commitment to saving water and the methods in which the company undertakes to reduce the water footprint in Spain.

It is the perfect accompaniment to salads & pasta and is worth every taste if it is something you have not tried before. Castillo de Canena is available online and at various retailers locally and internationally. Read more on their website.