` Calls for Europe to Promote Olive Oil in General


Calls for Europe to Promote Olive Oil in General

Oct. 14, 2012
By Julie Butler

Recent News

The need for more generic pro­mo­tion of olive oil — rather than mar­ket­ing based on coun­tries or areas of ori­gin — was among the issues dis­cussed at the last meet­ing of the Euro­pean Commission’s advi­sory group on olives and derived prod­ucts.

A draft report on the July 12 meet­ing recently pub­lished online says a trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive argued there was need for a har­mo­nized pro­gram for the pro­mo­tion of olive oils at an‭ ‬EU level,‭ ‬which should go‭ ‬beyond the bor­ders of one spe­cific coun­try.”

It was also men­tioned that pro­mo­tion was the best mech­a­nism avail­able to increase the mar­ket posi­tion of olive oils and should be car­ried out‭ ‬at an EU level,‭ ‬so that all pro­duc­ing coun­tries could ben­e­fit” the min­utes say.

And there were calls for the ori­gin of an olive oil to be stated on its label — to increase trans­parency for con­sumers — and for more edu­ca­tion about olive oil in schools.‭

‭PDO review

‭The dis­cus­sion fol­lowed a brief­ing by an EC rep­re­sen­ta­tive on last year’s ‬Euro­pean Court of Audi­tors report on geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions (such as pro­tected des­ig­na­tions of ori­gin‭ — ‬PDOs‭), ‬the‭ EC’s response to it, and an update on the EC’s cur­rent review of its agri­cul­tural ‬pro­mo­tional pol­icy and funds. The min­utes say the lat­ter was con­sid­ered par­tic­u­larly inter­est­ing” but give no detail.


‭Among exam­ples of short­com­ings in PDO ver­i­fi­ca­tion that had been given in the ‬Court of Audi­tors report ‭was a case where there had been no ‬plau­si­bil­ity test on claims made about the aver­age yield for an olive oil reg­is­tered as a PDO

Such a test is impor­tant to deter­mine whether the quan­tity of olives deliv­ered to mills and processed for the olive oil can actu­ally orig­i­nate from the geo­graph­i­cal area con­cerned,” the report said.

And in another exam­ple, it said checks by Ital­ian author­i­ties had found that a com­pany had been illic­itly mar­ket­ing table olives as a PDO prod­uct when they were not of the cor­rect vari­ety.

‭Olive oil fraud

‭Mean­while, the advi­sory group also received a brief­ing from ‬Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner for Agri­cul­ture Dacian Cioloş on his draft action plan for the EU olive oil sec­tor, which among other things promises improved fraud detec­tion and pre­ven­tion includ­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of tougher chem­i­cal para­me­ters.

‭While a‬n indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive acknowl­edged the impor­tance and the util­ity” of the plan and the need to solve fraud issues it was stated that speak­ing too much about this prob­lem could dam­age the image of the sec­tor and of the prod­uct” the min­utes say.

And a trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive said there was need for a har­mo­niza­tion of con­trols at the EU level in order to avoid‭ ‬sit­u­a­tions where some coun­tries are more‭ ‬con­trolled than oth­ers.”

As con­cerns‭ ‬the test­ing para­me­ters,‭ ‬it was men­tioned that the lev­els had decreased‭ ‬a lot over the last sev­eral years and that,‭ ‬if the sit­u­a­tion would‭ ‬con­tinue to be like this,‭ ‬a lot of lam­pante olive oil would be present on the mar­ket,‭ ‬in the detri­ment of the extra vir­gin olive oil. There­fore,‭ ‬stud­ies should be car­ried out before‭ ‬new para­me­ters are accepted.”

Import checks in Brazil

Con­cerns were raised about the impact of planned anti-fraud mea­sures in Brazil requir­ing analy­sis of all imported olive oil.

An indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive said car­ry­ing out checks‭ ‬on olive oils was a good move but would block the‭ ‬mar­ket due to the lack of autho­rized lab­o­ra­to­ries in Brazil to con­duct the‭ ‬tests.

It was noted that rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Por­tu­gal and Spain had dis­cussed the issue with the Brazil­ian author­i­ties and it had been agreed that dur­ing a tran­si­tion period‭ ‬lab­o­ra­to­ries out­side Brazil would be autho­rized to vet imports.


EC Advi­sory Groups

Opin­ions expressed by EC advi­sory groups rep­re­sent the points of view of indus­try stake­hold­ers and can­not be attrib­uted to the EC.‭

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