This Thursday in Rome, the government’s bureau of forestry, the Corpo Forestale, will hold a news conference about its recent investigations into deodorized olive oils and supply chains. The investigations were carried out by the agency’s agricultural branch. On February 24th, the Corpo Forestale said the investigations, which were started in September 2010, involved 450 tons of deodorized olive oil. The oil was allegedly fraudulently labeled as extra virgin olive oil.
While the agency did not explicitly name any companies, they described one investigated company as “a noted foreign company which since 2005 has been the proprietor of some famous Italian brands of extra virgin olive oil…” leaving no doubt that they were talking about the Grupo SOS. Documents were seized from packaging plants in Pavia, Genova, Reggio Emilia, and Florence.
On March 15th, the Florence prosecutor’s office, working in conjunction with the forestry department, indicted two managers and an officer of Carapelli, one of the Grupo SOS brands. The charges involved falsified documents and food fraud. Carapelli lawyer Neri Pinucci said the company was not worreid about the charges and that “the case is based on an irregularity in the documents.”
It seems that the Grupo SOS is only one of the investigated companies. Details will emerge at the news conference, where the following people will speak:
• Cesare Patrone, Head of the Corpo Forestale
• Giovanni Fava, President of the Parliamentary Commission on Counterfeit and Piracy in Commerce
• Sergio Marini, National President of Coldiretti
• GiuseppeVadalà, Director of the Corpo Forestale’s Agriculture relating to Food and Environmental Safety Division
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