Olive oil from the Croatian island of Korčula has been added to the European Commission’s list of Protected Designations of Origin (PDO).
The application was approved yesterday under the appellation “Korčulansko maslinovo ulje” (Korčulan olive oil), published in the European Union’s Official Journal, and entered into the EU register of products with the designation of PDO.
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The island of Korčula has close to 1,000 olive farms and ten olive mills, with olive oil production being an important local economic activity.
Olive oil is produced here with two indigenous cultivars: Lastovka and Drobnica, which make up 80 percent of the total production, with 20 percent from other cultivars grown in the area. All stages of production, including cultivation, harvest and processing of the olives, as well as storage and bottling of the olive oil, take place on the island.
For this reason, olive oil from Korčula qualifies for PDO status, the highest recognition of a quality product of the three existing EU schemes – the two others being PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed). The scheme protects product names from misuse and helps consumers determine the authenticity of a product.
According to the specific EU rules concerning labelling, the product label must display the common identifier, i.e. the official logo that has been designed for Korčula olive oil, and the year of harvest. Also, olive oil marketed as “Korčulansko maslinovo ulje” must have physico-chemical and organoleptic properties in line with international standards.
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Two other Croatian olive oils have already been granted PDO status by the EU: extra virgin olive oil from the island of Cres, and olive oil from Krk; while olive oils from the region of Istria and Šolta island still await this appellation.