`Italian Farmers' Organization Backs Olive Oil Quality Register

Europe

Italian Farmers' Organization Backs Olive Oil Quality Register

Oct. 6, 2014
Olive Oil Times Staff

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Coldiretti Molise, the provin­cial farm­ers fed­er­a­tion in the Molise region of Italy, has backed recent gov­ern­ment efforts to increase account­abil­ity of the olive oil sup­ply chain.

Recent adul­ter­ation scams have elicited gov­ern­men­tal reac­tion in the world’s sec­ond-largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing coun­try. A sin­gle reg­is­ter sys­tem that tracks the pro­duc­tion of olive-derived oils has been estab­lished, and recent leg­is­la­tion extended pro­duc­ers’ oblig­a­tion to track the entirety of their pro­duc­tion process in the reg­is­ter. Olive pro­duc­ers, refiner­ies, proces­sors, traders and other con­trac­tors have been added to the list of man­dated reporters.

Pre­vi­ous leg­is­la­tion passed in 2013 only applied to mills, bulk oil deal­ers, pack­ers and proces­sors of table olives. Exemp­tions will con­tinue for very small pro­duc­ers who make under 200 kg of oil per year.

The leg­is­la­tion comes just a few weeks after Cal­i­for­nia passed its own sweep­ing reg­u­la­tion of the olive oil indus­try. New grades have been estab­lished in the U.S. state in an effort to pro­mote locally-pro­duced olive oil as adher­ing to higher stan­dards than Euro­pean imports. EU lead­ers are unhappy with the move.

The importers know that if we estab­lish our­selves as the pre­mier, authen­tic pro­duc­ers of olive oil, we’ll cut into their busi­ness over time,” said Jeff Colom­bini of Cal­i­for­nia-based Lodi Farm­ing in an inter­view with the Los Ange­les Times.

The aim of the move by Ital­ian farm­ers, they say, is to increase prod­uct trans­parency by requir­ing check­points at every step of pro­duc­tion. Not just extra vir­gin olive oil that is being tracked: Olive pomace oil and other refined oils also fall under the report­ing require­ments.

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Coldiretti Molise said they will have staff on hand at all branch offices to assist those effected by the new require­ments.


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