`Australian Supermarket Adopts Standard, but Only for Private Label - Olive Oil Times

Australian Supermarket Adopts Standard, but Only for Private Label

Nov. 5, 2012
Charlie Higgins

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Following a grow­ing global trend toward olive oil qual­ity assess­ment and con­trol, Australian super­mar­ket chain Coles has announced that all of its pri­vate label olive oils will com­ply with the the Australian Standard for Olive Oils and Olive Pomace Oils by the end of 2012.

They’ve argued that they can’t dic­tate what their sup­pli­ers do, which I think is rub­bish- Lisa Rowntree, Australian Olive Association

As there are cur­rently no manda­tory con­trols for olive oil in the coun­try, Coles’ adop­tion of the Australian Standard, which applies cri­te­ria for purity and qual­ity, is vol­un­tary. The Australian Standard was estab­lished in 2011 as a joint ini­tia­tive between indus­try stake­hold­ers and con­sumer advo­cacy group CHOICE to ensure accu­rate label­ing and test­ing meth­ods. The Australian Standard pro­hibits the use of hol­low terms like pure,” light,” and pre­mium,” that can mis­lead con­sumers.

Olive oils approved by the Australian Standard must pass a series of taste tests con­ducted by an accred­ited sen­sory panel. Members of the panel test and rate each oil based on the Australian Olive Association’s 20-point sen­sory scor­ing sys­tem.

The Australian Standard also requires that all olive oils labeled extra vir­gin” be unre­fined, mechan­i­cally extracted from qual­ity olives, and stored and han­dled accord­ing to guide­lines to help ensure olive oils meet the grade at the time of pur­chase.

Lisa Rowntree, chief exec­u­tive of the Australian Olive Association, said the move will cer­tainly ben­e­fit the indus­try but urged the country’s sec­ond largest super­mar­ket chain to go fur­ther.

We very much look for­ward to see­ing a change on the super­mar­ket shelf, and we would strongly encour­age Coles to ensure that all the importers who bring oil [to Australia] and sell it through Coles com­ply with the Australian Standard as well,” Rowntree said.

They [Coles] have always said they’d do it for their own brands, but we want it to do it with their imports as well. They’ve argued that they can’t dic­tate what their sup­pli­ers do, which I think is rub­bish,” Rowntree told The Weekly Times. I think a super­mar­ket can dic­tate what their sup­pli­ers bring in and they can choose not to stock it if it does­n’t com­ply.”

Coles said it began remov­ing Coles brand olive oils that did not meet the Australian Standard ear­lier this year. The com­pany said its effort to pro­mote Australian-made extra vir­gin olive oil has resulted in a 50 per­cent sales increase over the past year.


Sources:

CHOICE
Weekly Times
Addisons

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