The member countries of the International Olive Council (IOC) have agreed on a draft text to replace the current 2005 agreement. The document will serve as a basis for negotiations on the new agreement due to be discussed in October 2015 at a United Nations conference in Geneva. The new agreement is expected to enter into force on January 1, 2017 until the end of 2026.
Discussions on the draft text took place just before the IOC’s 24th extraordinary session in Madrid last week.
The draft text introduces several important changes to the current agreement, including:
- More weight is to be given to consumer countries via a proposed formula which calculates member countries’ participation shares in the budget of the IOC by looking at production, exports and imports equally.
- A new decision-making process for topics related to the IOC’s international trade standard which includes new steps aiming at consensus-building incorporating a new voting procedure.
Following discussions on the new agreement, the IOC’s 24th extraordinary session of the Council of Members was held June 16 – 19. Several measures for adoption were discussed by the specialist committees:
- The Economic Committee took decisions to defer publication of the results of the production costs study in order to verify data, to request validation of the methodology for the value chain study, and to hold the May 2016 meeting of the IOC Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives in Iran which will include a regional seminar on a relevant topic.
- Members of the Promotion Committee decided to publish a new call in July for grant applications for promotional activities to be undertaken between 1 October 2015 and 31 March 2016.
- The Technical Committee proposed not changing the ethyl ester limit of 35 mg/kg for the upcoming crop year, to hold a meeting this fall to organize an IOC seminar in 2016 on Xylella fastidiosa, and to come up with recommendations for the organizers of quality competitions.