`Spain's Olive Oil Agency Monitors Product Traceability - Olive Oil Times

Spain's Olive Oil Agency Monitors Product Traceability

Aug. 7, 2012
Julie Butler

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More than 20 plants involved in the pro­duc­tion or pack­ag­ing of olive oil or table olives in Spain were found to have no sys­tem of prod­uct trace­abil­ity, accord­ing to the 2010 – 2011 annual report from the country’s olive oil watch­dog.

The Olive Oil Agency (AAO) made the dis­cov­ery as part of its inspec­tions — includ­ing 907 spot checks, hun­dreds of cross-checks of accounts and 441 sam­ples of olive oil — among the country’s 1,742 active olive oil mills and related plants that olive sea­son.

The recently-released report says the AAO informed the rel­e­vant regional gov­ern­ments so they could take appro­pri­ate action. Of the 21 reports sent, 9 went to Catalonia, 5 to Andalusia, 4 to Castilla-La Mancha, and 3 to Aragon.

The AAO had said in its 2008 – 2009 report that the imple­men­ta­tion of effec­tive trace­abil­ity sys­tems was of great impor­tance for the future of the sec­tor.”

Sanctions

In its lat­est report, the AAO says that in 2010 – 2011 it rec­om­mended seven fines totalling €11,200 be made against oper­a­tors it found to lack required stock move­ment records or not to have sent it a monthly report on their prod­uct move­ments. This was down from the 25 fines totalling €256,378 it pro­posed in 2009 – 2010 and nine totalling €40,267 in 2008 – 2009.

Of the seven pro­posed fines, three cor­re­sponded to Andalusia (two to table olive proces­sors and one to a refin­ery), three to Murcia (two to table olive proces­sors and one to a table olive packer), and one to an olive oil plant in Castilla-La Mancha.

A total of 219 pro­ceed­ings, down from 263 a year before, were also started against mem­bers of the sec­tor who failed to pay oblig­a­tory con­tri­bu­tions to the rel­e­vant indus­try body for pro­mo­tion and research activ­i­ties: 190 cases for the Interprofessional of Spanish Olive Oil and 29 for the Table Olive Interprofessional Organization.

Exports were also boom­ing in 2010 – 2011

The AAO, which cost €4.96 mil­lion ($6.14m) to run in 2010 – 2011 and had 86 staff, said Spain’s total olive oil pro­duc­tion that sea­son was 1.39 mil­lion tons, the fruit of more than 6.79 mil­lion tons of olives with an aver­age yield of 20.43 per­cent, down from 21.43 per­cent the pre­vi­ous sea­son. Of this, 827,900 tons of olive oil were exported and 554,100 tons sold within Spain. Stocks stood at 474,100 tons at sea­son end.

The mar­ket was very incon­sis­tent” the AAO said, with strong demand and a lot of sales but very low prices.”

In his intro­duc­tion to the report, Spain’s Agriculture Minister Miguel Arias Cañete high­lighted that the country’s olive oil exports had grown for each of the last four sea­sons, repeat­edly break­ing records.

With increas­ing vol­umes of pro­duc­tion and a mature domes­tic mar­ket that is under­go­ing a seri­ous cri­sis of demand, export trade is crit­i­cal for our inter­ests.” he said.

He added that he hoped the immi­nent leg­is­la­tion in Spain on the food sec­tor value chain would help boost inter­nal demand for olive oil, which still has a wide mar­gin for improve­ment”.



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