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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.

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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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