Europe Approves PDO for Memecik from Aydın, Turkey

Aydın Memecik is set to become the country's third Protected Designation of Origin for olive oil.
Ruins of ancient city of Nysa in Aydin province of Turkey
By Daniel Dawson
Oct. 23, 2023 16:30 UTC

The European Parliament and the Council have approved the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) appli­ca­tion of Aydın Memecik Zeytinyağ extra vir­gin olive oil.

The res­o­lu­tion was pub­lished in the Official Journal of the European Union on October 18th. If there is no objec­tion in the next three months, the Aydın Memecik Zeytinyağ PDO will be con­firmed.

Aydın Memecik Zeytinyağı has a high export value now with the PDO and pro­vides added value to our province’s econ­omy.- Fevzi Çondur, chair­man, Aydın Commodity Exchange

According to the appli­ca­tion, Aydın Memecik Zeytinyağı is made exclu­sively from Memecik olives grown and milled in the south­west­ern Aegean province of Aydın. Memecik trees com­prise an esti­mated 75 per­cent of the olives grown in Aydın.

Turkish author­i­ties describe Aydın Memecik Zeytinyağı as green to golden yel­low with an intensely fruity odor and a pro­nounced bit­ter­ness and pun­gency.

See Also:The best Memecik olive oils

The appli­ca­tion cites var­i­ous fac­tors con­tribut­ing to the unique prop­er­ties of the mono­va­ri­etal extra vir­gin olive oil, includ­ing its loca­tion, his­tor­i­cal ties to the region and phe­no­lic con­tent.

The province of Aydın is located in the Büyük Menderes Basin, sur­rounded by moun­tains to the north and south. The basin extends to the Aegean Sea, cre­at­ing a wind cor­ri­dor.

Authorities con­tend that these winds con­tribute to the province’s unique cli­mate and organolep­tic prop­er­ties of the locally-pro­duced extra vir­gin olive oil.

These winds give Aydın Memecik Zeytinyağı’ its unique organolep­tic prop­er­ties, such as bit­ter­ness and pun­gency, and pro­tect the olives against the olive fly dur­ing the ripen­ing period,” they wrote. The low rate of dam­age by the olive fly ensures that the olive oil’s free acid­ity and per­ox­ide con­tent is low.”

Additionally, author­i­ties argue that the region’s 2,000-year his­tory of olive farm­ing and olive oil pro­duc­tion, along with cen­tury-old ini­tia­tives to pro­mote both activ­i­ties, have made olive oil a core com­po­nent of local cul­ture.

Fevzi Çondur, the chair­man of the Aydın Commodity Exchange, told local media that the new PDO would help the province’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment.


PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) are two types of geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions used by the European Union to pro­tect and pro­mote tra­di­tional and region-spe­cific agri­cul­tural and food prod­ucts. These cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are part of the E.U.‘s sys­tem of des­ig­na­tions that help con­sumers iden­tify and rec­og­nize prod­ucts with spe­cific qual­i­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics tied to their geo­graphic ori­gin. PDO and PGI cer­ti­fi­ca­tions both aim to pro­tect and pro­mote tra­di­tional and regional prod­ucts within the European Union, but they dif­fer in their strict­ness and the degree to which the pro­duc­t’s char­ac­ter­is­tics are tied to the geo­graphic area. PDO is more exclu­sive and region-spe­cific, while PGI is broader in scope and allows for some flex­i­bil­ity in pro­duc­tion meth­ods and char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Geographical indi­ca­tions indi­cat­ing a prod­uct iden­ti­fied with its region or coun­try due to its dis­tinc­tive qual­ity and other fea­tures pro­vide added value to the brand­ing of the prod­uct and the region’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment,” he said.

We will intro­duce Aydın Memecik Zeytinyağı – which has a high export value now with the PDO and pro­vides added value to our province’s econ­omy – to the whole world by pro­tect­ing it from imi­ta­tions,” Çondur added.

Aydın Memecik Zeytinyağı will become the province’s third reg­is­tered PDO if con­firmed. Previously, locally-grown chest­nuts and figs received pro­tec­tion from the European Union. Local author­i­ties have also applied for new pine nut and table olive PDOs.

At a national level, Turkey already has 12 prod­ucts with a Protected Designation of Origin cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and two oth­ers with a Protected Geographical Indication, includ­ing two extra vir­gin olive oils.

Milas PDO was the first to be reg­is­tered in December 2020. In July 2023, E.U. author­i­ties approved the reg­is­tra­tion of the Edremit PDO.

Authorities are wait­ing for approval and are apply­ing for 15 new PGIs and 30 new PDOS, includ­ing Kilis PDO extra vir­gin olive oil. The appli­ca­tion was sub­mit­ted in January 2023.


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