` Italian Agricultural Agency’s Olive Oil Purchase Tenders Are Too Low, Farmers Argue - Olive Oil Times

Italian Agricultural Agency’s Olive Oil Purchase Tenders Are Too Low, Farmers Argue

Aug. 27, 2020
Paolo DeAndreis

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Some Italian farm­ers are skep­ti­cal about the Agency for Payments in Agriculture’s (AGEA) deci­sion to buy almost €8 mil­lion ($9.4 mil­lion) of extra vir­gin olive oil for only €2.28 ($2.69) per liter.

The ten­der pro­ce­dure has just been con­cluded and will allow AGEA to dis­trib­ute that extra vir­gin olive oil among asso­ci­a­tions and vol­un­teers who, in turn, will pro­vide the olive oil as part of an essen­tial food pack­age to fam­i­lies in need.

Italian olive farm­ers have the right to know the para­me­ters used by AGEA to judge the appro­pri­ate­ness of the €2.28 per liter offer for the pro­gram.- Onofrio Spagnoletti Zeuli, spokesman, Restart Association

However, the farm­ers argue that the price deter­mined by the AGEA is far below mar­ket value and have asked the agency to explain the €2.28 fig­ure.

According to the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea), the aver­age price of extra vir­gin olive oil in Foggia, one bench­mark mar­ket in Puglia, does not gen­er­ally fall beneath €2.70 ($3.19) per kilo­gram.

See more: Olive Oil Prices

In its final notice about the pro­ce­dure, AGEA listed the offers entered by pro­duc­ers for the ten­der. The prices per liter ranged between €2.43 ($2.87) to €2.95 ($3.48), with the excep­tion of Oleificio Salvadori, which was awarded the ten­der and priced its oils at €2.28.

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AGEA said that it had asked all of the pro­duc­ers to jus­tify their price offers and, after receiv­ing reas­sur­ances of the qual­ity of the oils, awarded Oleificio Salvadori all four lots of the ten­der.

The skep­ti­cal farm­ers have argued that all of those reas­sur­ances regard­ing the pric­ing should be made pub­lic.

Italian olive farm­ers have the right to know the para­me­ters used by AGEA to judge the appro­pri­ate­ness of the €2.28 per liter offer for the pro­gram,” Onofrio Spagnoletti Zeuli, spokesman of the Restart Association, said.

In a press release, Restart empha­sized that its asso­ciates in Puglia are ready to coop­er­ate with vol­un­teers and social sup­port orga­ni­za­tions to ana­lyze at our own expenses the prod­uct being bought by the state, to make sure that it is a true, qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil.”

The AGEA ten­der fell under the European Union’s Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) fund. As a result of this, the ori­gin of the extra vir­gin olive oil could be from some­where other than Italy, accord­ing to the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Teresa Bellanova.

Along with the AGEA ten­der, the Italian gov­ern­ment has also pledged to buy its own €20 mil­lion ($23.6 mil­lion) of 100-per­cent Italian extra vir­gin olive oil” to dis­trib­ute in aid pack­ages for fam­i­lies in need.

However, Zeuli said that when the ten­ders are pub­lished we hope that true Italian prod­ucts and qual­ity Protected Designations of Origin will be their focus and that the ten­ders para­me­ters will be con­nected to the real mar­ket.”





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