` Rural Payments Agency Overseeing New Olive Oil Regulations in U.K.

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Rural Payments Agency Overseeing New Olive Oil Regulations in U.K.

Feb. 12, 2014
By Will Noble

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New Euro­pean Union olive oil reg­u­la­tions have been intro­duced in a bid to pro­tect and reas­sure con­sumers. The move aims to help ensure all prod­ucts bought by those resid­ing in an EU state are both authen­tic and labelled cor­rectly.

The reg­u­la­tions involve fre­quent checks at bot­tlers and in the retail sec­tor. Sam­ples will be taken for chem­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory test­ing, while spe­cial­ists will be brought in to ana­lyze oils for taste.

Prod­uct labels will be exam­ined to ensure they meet EU stan­dards, which apply across all mem­ber states. Olive oil bot­tling estab­lish­ments will face inspec­tion, and sam­ples of records, stor­age and pro­duc­tion facil­i­ties can be checked by reg­u­la­tors on demand.

The new rules, set in the Com­mis­sion Imple­ment­ing Reg­u­la­tion and the Com­mis­sion Reg­u­la­tion, came into force on Jan­u­ary 1 this year. They are the lat­est indi­ca­tion from the EU of its con­cern for the qual­ity of olive oil being sold across its 28 mem­ber states.

In the UK, the Rural Pay­ments Agency’s (RPA) Hor­ti­cul­tural Mar­ket­ing Inspec­torate has been cho­sen to over­see the new reg­u­la­tions.

Said RPA chief exec­u­tive Mark Grimshaw, I am delighted that the Rural Pay­ments Agency has been cho­sen to carry out this work through­out the UK and believe it shows again that the Agency is prov­ing itself to be an effi­cient, effec­tive and trusted organ­i­sa­tion.”

Adam Fisher, from the Rural Pay­ments Agen­cy’s press depart­ment, told Olive Oil Times, The new rules are being intro­duced by the Com­mis­sion to detect and deter any adul­ter­ation of olive oils and to ensure their authen­tic­ity.

This includes ensur­ing that the con­tainer con­tents com­ply with those indi­cated on the label.”

The rules, says the RPA, will cover the fol­low­ing oils: extra vir­gin olive oil, vir­gin olive oil, olive oil com­posed of refined olive oils and vir­gin olive oils, and olive pomace oil and affect those bot­tling and / or sell­ing olive oil.

Oils that don’t meet with the reg­u­la­tions, said Mr. Fisher, will not be per­mit­ted onto the mar­ket.

The RPA is con­fi­dent about enforc­ing the new reg­u­la­tions, on the back of its claimed suc­cess with the Sin­gle Pay­ment Scheme (SPS) per­for­mance. Here, the RPA paid £1.61billion ($2.62billion) in sub­si­dies to more than 100,650 Eng­lish farm­ers.

Last year, in another pro­posal to con­trol olive oil con­sump­tion, an EU com­mis­sion attempted to ban the use of refill­able cruets in restau­rants. The ban was even­tu­ally dropped.

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