Gaspar Barceló (Fornalutx, 1963) is a secretive man who speaks little, perhaps because the job requires it. Although Barceló is the fourth generation of his family devoted to oil, he curiously began his professional career as a waiter in the hospitality industry; One fine day he decided that this trade was not for him and chose to become a millmaster at the Sant Bartomeu de Sóller Agricultural Cooperative. This radical change in his life took place in 1991, yesterday, 31 years later, it was named Tafoner Major 2022 by the regulatory council of the Sect Oli de Mallorca. We talked to him about the liquid gold produced in Ada, the continuous development of the industry and the future of the business. Are there any pending issues? Barceló tells us.
How were your beginnings, from the hospitality industry to the oil world?
–I was fed up with the crazy shifts and schedules and decided to devote myself to oil. It was a slow but exciting process. Also, I arrived at Cooperativa Agrícola Sant Bartomeu de Sóller when a very important change was taking place: we switched from oil extraction produced in batches or by pressing to a more modern oil mill with a continuous extraction system. My teachers were master builder Paco Gallego and previous master Toni Trias ‘Porret’. sound recorder. It was a very positive experience, yes, because I’m still here 31 years later.
Has the oil industry in Mallorca changed much since coming to this world?
-No doubt. Consider that olive trees began to be planted on Pla de Mallorca just before oil was produced in Serra de Tramuntana. There have been constant changes all these years until we got here. I think we can be proud of my evolution.
It is always said that the farming business in Serra de Tramuntana is more difficult than the rest of Mallorca, is it still like that?
–Serra’s harsh orography is also our success and Achilles heel. Pla flat, we have terraces. All these planting, harvesting… everything is more laborious, more expensive…
The Sant Bartomeu de Sóller Agricultural Cooperative was a pioneer in the production of extra virgin olive oil, a risky bet…
“Of course it was. I already sound recorder. And this kind of oil was not produced in Ada, but this business is constantly evolving and we believed it was necessary to produce the best quality oil. We started in the 1998-99 season, then others followed.
Who buys more oil from the island, tourists or Majorcans?
– It is undoubtedly the tourist who consumes, buys and appreciates the oil produced in Mallorca the most. I don’t know how they introduce themselves, but they do it very well. They all know him.
What about Mallorcans?
–They also appreciate and consume, but we have a few important handicaps: price and fierce competition both nationally and internationally. Due to the characteristics of the land and farms, which are smaller than the peninsula, our production is less, so the price of oil is higher.
There is a lot of talk about generation change in the field, is this a guarantee in oil factories?
I will say yes to him. Moreover, there are six of us at Cooperativa de Sóller and we currently have a 19-year-old apprenticeship with us. We can be calm.
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