` Calls for Europe to Promote Olive Oil in General - Olive Oil Times

Calls for Europe to Promote Olive Oil in General

Oct. 14, 2012
Julie Butler

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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.

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‭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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