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Adding value to spanish exports


Gonzalo Guillén Benjumea

Ricardo Migueláñez. Agricultural Engineer. @rmiguelanez

In this edition of Who's Who, we highlight the professional track record and personal attributes of Gonzalo Guillén Benjumea, Managing Director and CEO of Acesur Group. The son of Juan Ramón Guillén Prieto and Lola Benjumea, Gonzalo is 46 and has four brothers: Carlos, Álvaro, Juan Ramón and Sergio.

He has a degree in Business from CEU San Pablo University in Madrid, an MBA from University of Wolverhampton, in the UK, and an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid.

He joined Aceites del Sur as an assistant in the export department in 1989. Working directly with the sector was a positive experience, and he gradually rose up the ranks to become International Director of the company in 1992, a position he held for nine years.

National Association of Edible Oil Industrial Packaging (Anierac) and the vice-presidency of the Spanish Olive Oil Exporters Association (Asoliva).

Gonzalo Guillén is passionate about Andalusia and, more specifically, Seville. In fact, he admits to being completely enamored of the city. He inherited this enthusiasm from his father, Juan Ramón, who was born in the town of La Roda, in Seville province.

His father's business has always been connected with olive oil, and Acesur distributes its products in over 90 countries and includes prestigious brands such as La Española and Coosur.

Gonzalo also inherited Juan Ramón Guillén Prieto's love for, and dedication to, the rural sector and olive oil, which led him to create the Foundation, whose main objective is to achieve World Heritage status for Andalusia's olive oil producing landscape, and also to promote rural sector development.

He's not just any executive—he is responsible for one of the world's leading olive oil companies. Gonzalo Guillén heads Acesur, a company that has been operating in the olive oil producing industry for more than a century and which is currently a leader in Spain in olive and sunflower oil, exporting to close to 100 countries around the world.

Up-close and personal

Guillén is one of those people who always has a smile on his face when you greet him and, as is typical of people from Seville, he responds in a way that is warm and relaxed. You feel like you can talk to him about anything, from business and funny jokes to the latest news.

Gonzalo is married with two children and, as his professional track record reflects, he is convinced of the need to form collaborative associations so as to present a united front vis-à-vis the Public Administration and to practice what he preaches.

At FIAB's request, Gonzalo Guillén confirmed last week, at the Food & Drink Summit, organized by the Federation, the importance of strengthening Spain's image abroad: "Marca España is increasingly well-known outside Spain, and we must continue to work to grow it further. Even though Italy remains a heavyweight in olive oil, Spain exports more bottled olive oil than any other country".

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