`Italian Producers Group Propose New Olive Oil Classifications

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Italian Producers Group Propose New Olive Oil Classifications

Nov. 16, 2015
Ylenia Granitto

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The pres­i­dent of the Ital­ian Olive Indus­try Asso­ci­a­tion (Assi­tol), Gio­vanni Zuc­chi, has called for a new clas­si­fi­ca­tion of olive oil prod­ucts across the global indus­try. The request is born out the fact that extra virgin’s pop­u­lar­ity has come at the expense of other poten­tially use­ful olive oils, thus harm­ing the over­all sec­tor.

There needs to be a fun­da­men­tal reshap­ing of the prod­uct cat­e­gories, enabling the whole fam­ily’ of olive oil to regain pres­tige and prof­itabil­ity.- Gio­vanni Zuc­chi, Assi­tol

It is Zucchi’s belief that by tak­ing a closer look at the dif­fer­ent olive oil cat­e­gories, their nam­ing and uses, the indus­try could be revived, result­ing in prod­ucts being bet­ter val­ued and con­sumers bet­ter informed.

Vir­gin is prac­ti­cally no longer on the mar­ket. The oil is sold less and less,” said Angelo Cre­monini, the pres­i­dent of Oli­talia, regard­ing con­sumers’ pref­er­ence for extra vir­gin. That’s why we believe that there needs to be a fun­da­men­tal reshap­ing of the prod­uct cat­e­gories, enabling the whole fam­ily’ of olive oil to regain pres­tige and prof­itabil­ity.”

Accord­ing to Zuc­chi, this endeavor would involve com­bin­ing research with the needs of the mar­ket, result­ing in rec­om­men­da­tions for more diverse uses of olive oil. For exam­ple, while extra vir­gin may be ideal when used raw, such as a dress­ing, the lower-priced pure’ olive oil could be suit­able for cook­ing and fry­ing, he said.

Zuc­chi said his objec­tive is to boost the entire indus­try — one that in Italy and else­where across Europe has seen great strug­gle over the past year.

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Our goal is com­pre­hen­sive,” Zuc­chi explained. We want to cre­ate a solid com­mon base on which we can build a bal­anced sys­tem and value for all the prod­ucts. It is there­fore nec­es­sary to bring together the entire oil world around the same table with the goal of find­ing and shar­ing the right solu­tions to revive our indus­try.”

Whether this is just an appeal to the indus­try to reeval­u­ate mes­sag­ing, or a move to make more offi­cial and spe­cific changes, remains unclear.




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