EU PDO Application for Istrian Olive Oil to Be Resubmitted Jointly With Slovenia

Following an objection by Slovenia, a new PDO application for Istrian olive oil will be submitted to the European Commission jointly by Slovenia and Croatia.

Mar. 23, 2017
By Isabel Putinja

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Slovenia has lodged a notice of oppo­si­tion to the appli­ca­tion for PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) for Istrian extra vir­gin olive oil sub­mit­ted by Croatia to the European Commission.

Istrian extra vir­gin olive oil received PDO sta­tus at the national level in early 2015, after which an appli­ca­tion for the same recog­ni­tion at the EU level was sub­mit­ted in July 2015. After being exam­ined for receiv­abil­ity,” the appli­ca­tion was pub­lished in the European Commission’s Official Journal on March 23, 2016. 

Following the date of pub­li­ca­tion, there was a three-month period dur­ing which objec­tions could be raised. A notice of oppo­si­tion was lodged by Slovenia one day before the end of this three-month dead­line over the pro­posed appel­la­tion Istarsko ekstra dje­vičan­sko masli­novo ulje” (Istrian extra vir­gin olive oil). 

The pro­posed appel­la­tion may cause con­fu­sion, Slovenia argued, as both coun­tries share the same geo­graph­i­cal area. Olive oil from Slovenian Istria has had EU PDO sta­tus since February 2007 under the appel­la­tion Ekstra deviško oljčno olje Slovenske Istre” (Extra vir­gin olive oil from Slovenian Istria). 

Istria is a penin­sula in the North Adriatic sea shared by three coun­tries: Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. While 90% of the geo­graph­i­cal penin­sula is located in Croatia, a north-west­ern strip is part of Slovenia, and a tiny area of its north­ern tip is located in Italy near the port city of Trieste. 

In December 2016, work­ing meet­ings were held in the Croatian cap­i­tal of Zagreb between the Croatian min­istry of agri­cul­ture and Slovenian coun­ter­parts to reach an agree­ment. As a result, the two coun­tries will be sub­mit­ting a joint appli­ca­tion for PDO sta­tus of olive oil from Croatian and Slovenian Istria. 

The pro­posal is that all olive oil pro­duced on the entire Istrian penin­sula will be marked with the appel­la­tion ISTRA (the Croatian and Slovenian name for Istria). Under the agree­ment, the pro­duc­tion area has been extended to the Slovenian munic­i­pal­i­ties of Koper, Piran, Koper and Izola. This will also include Liburnia: a sec­tion of Istria’s north-west­ern coast that falls under the polit­i­cal bound­aries of the Primorsko-Goranska Region of Croatia. 

The list of olive vari­eties has been extended to include Buga, Drobnica, Mata, Plominka, Storta and Maurino. Also, a new pro­posed logo has been cre­ated fea­tur­ing styl­ized green and black olive-shaped cir­cles with green drops. Under the pro­posal, olive pro­duc­ers from the region will be able to process their olives in any mill located in either the Croatian or Slovenian part of Istria. 

Croatia and Slovenia already share a PDO for Istrian pro­sciutto — cured ham from Istria — reg­is­tered in October 2015. The only other EU food prod­uct to have joint PDO sta­tus shared between two coun­tries is Polish and Lithuanian honey, reg­is­tered in 2012.



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