Italian Antitrust Authority Clears Colavita of Wrongdoing

The Italian Antitrust Authority has cleared Colavita Spa of an earlier charge of unfair business practices following a May 2015 report by the consumer magazine Il Test Salvagente.

Sep. 20, 2016
By Ylenia Granitto

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The Italian Antitrust Authority has cleared Colavita Spa of an ear­lier charge of unfair busi­ness prac­tices fol­low­ing a May 2015 report by the con­sumer mag­a­zine Il Test Salvagente.

Giovanni Colavita, the com­pa­ny’s legal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, announced that Santa Sabina has been found to com­ply with the cur­rent qual­ity stan­dards for extra vir­gin olive oil.

After 15 months, finally, the Italian Antitrust Authority has pro­vided clar­ity with its Decision n. 26161, pub­lished on August 22, 2016 in its offi­cial bul­letin, which con­firmed that, based on the analy­sis car­ried out on Santa Sabina, it resulted that this prod­uct cor­re­sponds to the cat­e­gory extra vir­gin olive oil as declared on the label’. Consequently, the Authority ruled that there was no unfair busi­ness prac­tice’.”

The deci­sion of the Antitrust is the lat­est in a series of acts after the report by Il Test which in May 2015 com­mis­sioned an analy­sis of 20 olive oils labeled extra vir­gin’ dis­trib­uted and sold by the most pop­u­lar super­mar­kets in Italy. Some were found to be merely vir­gin by the mag­a­zine due to the pres­ence of organolep­tic defects found by the panel tests.

The pros­e­cu­tor of Turin con­se­quently launched an inves­ti­ga­tion to ver­ify the accu­sa­tions.

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In the mean­time, Italian con­sumer asso­ci­a­tions com­plained to the Italian Antitrust Authority ask­ing for mea­sures towards the com­pa­nies on the ground that they gave untruth­ful com­mer­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tions” pre­sent­ing their prod­ucts as extra vir­gin while belong­ing to the lower vir­gin olive oil cat­e­gory.

In May, the lab­o­ra­tory of the Central Inspectorate for the pro­tec­tion of qual­ity and fraud pre­ven­tion of food prod­uct (ICQRF) of the Ministry of Agriculture (Mipaaf) in Perugia, pro­duced its report on Santa Sabina’s lot 15203, con­clud­ing that the ana­lyzed sam­ple was found to com­ply with the declared type,” point­ing out that for var­i­ous rea­sons the pre­vi­ous analy­sis was not suf­fi­cient to base an assess­ment of unfair com­mer­cial prac­tices.

As the antitrust deci­sion reads, the analy­ses car­ried out by Mipaaf-ICQRF are of the utmost reli­a­bil­ity, since both the sam­pling oper­a­tions and sub­se­quent analy­sis were car­ried out by pub­lic bod­ies respon­si­ble for this type of con­trol, which have cer­ti­fied each pro­ce­dural step, from sam­pling to cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Based on the results of the analy­sis, it has been cer­ti­fied that Santa Sabina cor­re­sponds to the cat­e­gory extra vir­gin olive oil’ declared on the label.”

We were con­fi­dent about this deci­sion which tes­ti­fies our fam­i­ly’s com­mit­ment to qual­ity,” Colavita told Olive Oil Times.


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