Europe

Italian Producers Group Propose New Olive Oil Classifications

Nov. 16, 2015
By Ylenia Granitto

Recent News

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.

Advertisement

“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.




  • Toscana News