European Commission Seeks Feedback on Labeling Rules

Actors in the olive oil sector and consumers have been asked for their feedback on proposed amendments to EU rules on the labeling of olive oil.

Mar. 27, 2018
By Isabel Putinja

Recent News

In view of pro­posed amend­ments to a reg­u­la­tion cov­er­ing the require­ments for cer­tain optional indi­ca­tions on the label­ing of olive oil, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s direc­torate-gen­eral for Agri­cul­ture and Rural Devel­op­ment has requested feed­back from stake­hold­ers via a ded­i­cated web­site.

Specif­i­cally, the draft del­e­gated reg­u­la­tion addresses two main clar­i­fi­ca­tions cov­ered by Arti­cle 5 of Reg­u­la­tion (EU) No 29/2012 on mar­ket­ing stan­dards for olive oil. One con­cerns the label­ing of the value of cer­tain physic­o­chem­i­cal para­me­ters in the case acid­ity is men­tioned on the label and the other deter­mines under which con­di­tions the har­vest year should be men­tioned.

With regard to the first, under the exist­ing reg­u­la­tion, the value of physic­o­chem­i­cal para­me­ters like per­ox­ide value, wax con­tent and ultra­vi­o­let absorp­tion must be included only if the acid­ity is men­tioned on the label. The pro­posed change spec­i­fies that these para­me­ters must cor­re­spond to the date of min­i­mum dura­bil­ity” or in other words, the best before” date. The rea­son given is that such para­me­ters often change after bot­tling and that con­sumers should not be mis­led.

Com­ing to the sec­ond clar­i­fi­ca­tion, i.e. under which con­di­tions the har­vest should be men­tioned, a sug­ges­tion was made by Italy to allow EU mem­ber states to decide whether to make the label­ing of the har­vest year com­pul­sory. This would con­cern extra vir­gin and vir­gin olive oil pro­duced on the coun­try’s own ter­ri­tory and intended for the domes­tic mar­ket.

Under the cur­rent reg­u­la­tion, list­ing the har­vest year on the label of extra vir­gin and olive oils is optional if the oil con­tained in the bot­tle is from a sin­gle har­vest.


The EU’s label­ing rules are designed to allow con­sumers to have cor­rect and com­pre­hen­sive infor­ma­tion about the food prod­ucts they’re buy­ing, includ­ing the con­tent and com­po­si­tion.

The draft text is avail­able in Eng­lish here.

Those who are inter­ested in pro­vid­ing their feed­back can do so until the end of March 2018 via this Euro­pean Com­mis­sion web­page.

Feed­back can be given either anony­mously or under a per­sonal name or that of an orga­ni­za­tion. The com­ments received are vis­i­ble on the web­site – so far there are very few com­ments.

Once adopted, the new act will include an overview of the feed­back received and how it con­tributed to the revised act.

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