EU Approves PGI for Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The European Commission approved the Protected Geographical Indication 'PGI Sicilia’ for extra virgin olive oil produced on the island.

Apr. 27, 2016
By Ylenia Granitto

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The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has approved the Pro­tected Geo­graph­i­cal Indi­ca­tion PGI Sicilia’ (Sicily) for extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duced on the island. The sec­ond ter­ri­to­r­ial geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tion (the first is the Toscano PGI) is the result of long nego­ti­a­tions and a pos­i­tive sign after the con­tro­versy that fol­lowed the Euro­pean vote on Tunisian olive oil
crit­i­cized by Ital­ian farm­ers, Sicil­ian ones in par­tic­u­lar.

A great result for the whole Sicil­ian olive oil sup­ply chain and for those who believed in this project.- Pres­i­dent of the IGP Sicilia Olive Oil Com­mit­tee, Mau­r­izio Lunetta

An EU geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tion iden­ti­fies the name of a region, a spe­cific place or, in excep­tional cases, a coun­try used to describe an agri­cul­tural or food prod­uct as native of that region, spe­cific place or coun­try, and of which a given qual­ity, rep­u­ta­tion or other char­ac­ter­is­tics can be attrib­uted to that geo­graph­i­cal ori­gin and whose pro­duc­tion and/or pro­cess­ing and/or prepa­ra­tion take place in the defined geo­graph­i­cal area,” as reads art. 2 of the Reg­u­la­tion (EC) no. 510/2006.
See more: The Best Sicil­ian Olive Oils for 2016
Such cer­ti­fi­ca­tions (PGI and PDO) by the Euro­pean Union are intended to pro­mote the devel­op­ment of spe­cific rural areas and pop­u­la­tions which exert activ­i­ties related to agri­cul­ture and man­u­fac­ture of agri-food prod­ucts with spe­cial qual­ity char­ac­ter­is­tics, in order to pro­tect the inter­ests of pro­duc­ers and con­sumers.

The PGI val­i­da­tion allows Sicil­ian farm­ers to ben­e­fit from the Mea­sure 3 of the Rural Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme of Sicily and cov­ers cer­ti­fi­ca­tion costs up to €3,000 per farm. The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will also allow orga­ni­za­tions of Sicil­ian pro­duc­ers to access pro­mo­tion pro­grams in third coun­tries and the mea­sures for the pro­mo­tion of regional sup­ply chains.

Gio­vanni La Via, chair­man of the Com­mit­tee on the Envi­ron­ment, Pub­lic Health and Food Safety of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, called the mea­sure a great suc­cess for Sicily and a recog­ni­tion of the work done in recent months which enables us to over­come some tech­ni­cal con­cerns, and that relaunches one of the strate­gic sec­tors of our region, pro­mot­ing our agri-food excel­lence.”

This is the great vic­tory of a bat­tle in which I have been per­son­ally involved since the begin­ning of my man­date,” added Michela Giuf­frida, a mem­ber of the Com­mit­tee on Agri­cul­ture and Rural Devel­op­ment of the EP. The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of a unique olive oil pro­duc­tion of the Sicil­ian ter­ri­tory is an extra­or­di­nary oppor­tu­nity for the island farm­ers which can ben­e­fit from the advan­tages of the Euro­pean qual­ity sys­tem and finally write on the label that their extra vir­gin olive oil comes exclu­sively from olives grown and crushed in Sicily, with supe­rior qual­ity para­me­ters than the con­ven­tional extra vir­gin olive oil.”


The regional agri­cul­ture coun­sel­lor, Antonello Cra­col­ici and the pres­i­dent of the IGP Sicilia Olive Oil Com­mit­tee, Mau­r­izio Lunetta said in a joint state­ment, Brussels’s recog­ni­tion is a great result for the whole Sicil­ian olive oil sup­ply chain and for those who believed in this project and invested their time. Now let us focus on qual­ity as well as quan­tity and sup­port Sicil­ian extra vir­gin olive oil.”

Now that the decree is pub­lished in the EU Offi­cial Jour­nal, the other mem­ber states have 15 days to sub­mit com­ments before the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion becomes effec­tive.

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