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Croatian MEP Proposes New Quality Measures

Feb. 26, 2015
Isabel Putinja

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The European Parliament has pro­posed mea­sures for the eval­u­a­tion of high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils pro­duced in the European Union (EU) aimed at pro­tect­ing con­sumers and pro­duc­ers.

Proposed by Croatian MEP (Member of European Parliament) Ivan Jakovčić, mem­ber of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the motion for a res­o­lu­tion was tabled on February 18, 2015 at the European Parliament’s ple­nary sit­ting.

The pro­posal doc­u­ment acknowl­edges the greater aware­ness of European cit­i­zens with regard to the food they con­sume and the increase in demand for high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil, as observed by the International Olive Council (IOC). It calls on the European Commission to adopt a series of spe­cific mea­sures aim­ing to:

  • Provide recog­ni­tion to the high-qual­ity olive oils falling under the cat­e­gory of extra vir­gin;
  • Introduce a new pre­mium” cat­e­gory which would sat­isfy strict cri­te­ria with regard to taste, aroma and nutri­tional value;
  • Protect pro­duc­ers of high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil from unfair mar­ket prac­tices;
  • Enhance the European Union’s olive sec­tor.

The motion was drafted in the cur­rent con­text where a wide range of olive oils pro­duced in the EU sat­isfy the con­di­tions to be mar­keted under the cat­e­gory of extra vir­gin olive oil (EVOO). However, some olive oils only barely meet qual­ity require­ments while oth­ers are far supe­rior in terms of taste, aroma and nutri­ent value. As a result, the pro­duc­ers of the supe­rior qual­ity olive oils face unfair com­pe­ti­tion from lower qual­ity oils which meet the min­i­mum con­di­tions to be mar­keted as EVOO.

At the same time, MEP Ivan Jakovčić also pro­posed a motion for a res­o­lu­tion on urgent mea­sures sup­port­ing and pro­mot­ing the European olive sec­tor. In response to the poor har­vest in 2014 which has led to a 50 per­cent decline in pro­duc­tion and an increase in prices, the pro­posal requests the European Commission to take mea­sures to eval­u­ate, pro­tect and sup­port the European olive sec­tor.


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