Europe

PGI for Apulian Olive Oil Underway

Olio di Puglia obtained the approval by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and is waiting for the final EU approval.

Feb. 5, 2018
By Ylenia Granitto

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The pro­duc­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) ‘Olio di Puglia’ obtained the approval by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture (Mipaaf).

We are ready to launch a pow­er­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion cam­paign to make Italian and world­wide con­sumers aware of the extra­or­di­nary organolep­tic and health prop­er­ties of the extra virgin olive oil IGP Olio di Puglia.- Pantaleo Piccinno, asso­ci­a­tion of Puglian olive oil pro­duc­ers

“The national process for the recog­ni­tion of the PGI was con­cluded and the dossier was sent to the EU for the defin­i­tive accep­tance, which hope­fully will be issued in a few months,” the pres­i­dent of the asso­ci­a­tion for Apulian extra virgin olive oil, Pantaleo Piccinno, said.

The draft was brought to the atten­tion of the European Commission which should for­mally final­ize the adop­tion with the reg­is­tra­tion in the list of PGIs.

These steps are part of the long and com­plex pro­ce­dure required for the insti­tu­tion of a new geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tion, which starts from the estab­lish­ment of an asso­ci­a­tion of pro­duc­ers and then depends upon the approvals of national and European insti­tu­tions, in com­pli­ance with the Regulation 510/2006.

If adopted, the doc­u­ment will be pub­lished in the Official Journal of the EU, and if no objec­tions are received within in six months, the prod­uct will obtain the recog­ni­tion.

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After a first national val­i­da­tion, some let­ters of oppo­si­tion came to the Mipaaf and a fur­ther meet­ing at the Ministry was nec­es­sary. The Association for the pro­mo­tion of the PGI responded promptly to the argu­ments and the spec­i­fi­ca­tion was defin­i­tively accepted.

“It was an elab­o­rate work that lasted two years and involved all the sub­jects of the olive and olive oil sector in Puglia,” Piccinno pointed out. “The com­plex­ity con­sisted of defin­ing the unique char­ac­ter­is­tics of an area which, we must recall, pro­duces more than fifty per­cent of Italian olive oil.

“The result was a rig­or­ous and highly qual­i­fy­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tion which out­lines the apu­lian­ity of this extra virgin olive oil, and which will be a guar­an­tee of origin and qual­ity for con­sumers all over the world.”

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The PGI Olio di Puglia will be obtained from olives har­vested in the Apulian ter­ri­tory, along with milling and pack­ag­ing facil­i­ties that like­wise must be located in the admin­is­tra­tive ter­ri­tory of the region, in an area within a max­i­mum radius of 125 km (77.6 mi) from the orchard or which can be reached with travel time not exceed­ing 120 min­utes.

Olives, whose max­i­mum pro­duc­tion per hectare cannot exceed 12 tons, shall belong exclu­sively to national vari­eties mainly wide­spread in Apulia such as Cellina di Nardò, Cima di Bitonto (or Ogliarola Barese, or Ogliarola Garganica), Cima of Melfi, Frantoio, Ogliarola salentina (or Cima di Mola), Coratina, Favolosa (or Fs-17), Leccino, Peranzana, in a mea­sure of not less than 70 per­cent. Other vari­eties, up to a max­i­mum of 30 per­cent, must be exclu­sively national.

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It is note­wor­thy that the require­ment for healthy prop­er­ties, as total bio­phe­nols shall be at least 300 mg/kg, of which bioac­tive phe­nols must be at least 250 mg/kg, “that is a con­cen­tra­tion to the bot­tling com­pat­i­ble with the health claim approved by the EFSA and included in the EU Reg. 432/2012,” the spec­i­fi­ca­tion points out.

“It will be good for your health because it com­plies with the EU health claim, and it will be always fresh because it shall be bot­tled in the year of pro­duc­tion,” Piccinno noted. “We are now con­fi­dent in the EU’s deci­sion and ready to launch a pow­er­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion cam­paign to make Italian and world­wide con­sumers aware of the extra­or­di­nary organolep­tic and health prop­er­ties of the extra virgin olive oil IGP Olio di Puglia, which will become an irre­place­able food in the diet of those who care about good food and health,” he con­cluded.

Characteristic fea­tures of the Apulian PGI logo will be a cir­cu­lar ama­ranth red area which embraces a three-dimen­sional repro­duc­tion of an ancient Roman gold coin which was minted in Taranto. It depicts leaves and branches of an olive tree and a wheel with a young girl hold­ing an olive branch which sym­bol­izes the his­tor­i­cal link of the region with the pro­duc­tion of olive oil.