`With No Deal on Olive Council’s Future, Europe Favors Treaty Extension


With No Deal on Olive Council’s Future, Europe Favors Treaty Extension

Aug. 4, 2014
Julie Butler

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Lack of a deal on the future of the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil (IOC) means the treaty gov­ern­ing it is likely to be pro­longed a year beyond its Decem­ber 31 expiry.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion favors ask­ing the IOC Coun­cil of Mem­bers to extend the 2005 Inter­na­tional Agree­ment on Olive Oil and Table Olives to allow more time for nego­ti­a­tion, Com­mis­sion doc­u­ments show.

Talks on a new deal have been con­fi­den­tial, how­ever both the Com­mis­sion and its olive oil advi­sory group have flagged sup­port for new rules let­ting coun­tries that are olive oil con­sumers, but not pro­duc­ers, join the IOC.

The Com­mis­sion esti­mates its con­tri­bu­tion to the IOC bud­get for the one-year exten­sion of the mul­ti­lat­eral agree­ment would be €3.8 mil­lion ($5.1m).

The Com­mis­sion received a man­date from the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union (EU) last Novem­ber autho­riz­ing it to open talks on behalf of the EU – an IOC mem­ber – for the con­clu­sion of a new treaty. Accord­ing to a Com­mis­sion mem­o­ran­dum, it is seek­ing coun­cil autho­riza­tion to ask the IOC Coun­cil of Mem­bers for a 12-month exten­sion of the 2005 agree­ment because Progress is such that it is now cer­tain that the dead­line of 31 Decem­ber 2014 for the con­clu­sion of an agree­ment can­not be met.” The IOC Coun­cil of Mem­bers can pro­long the agree­ment for not more than two peri­ods of up to two years each.”


The Com­mis­sion said the olive oil and table olives treaty fos­ters coop­er­a­tion; con­tributes to the devel­op­ment and sta­bil­ity of mar­kets; and con­tributes to the EU’s objec­tives relat­ing to trade and agri­cul­tural pol­icy.”

Accord­ing to a sep­a­rate explana­tory mem­o­ran­dum by the UK Depart­ment for Envi­ron­ment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the agree­ment also con­tributes to the pro­tec­tion of con­sumers from fraud through the com­mis­sion­ing of research into lab­o­ra­tory tech­niques to detect adul­ter­ation of olive oil and through the accred­i­ta­tion and bench­mark­ing of lab­o­ra­to­ries car­ry­ing out test­ing of olive oil.”

Not­ing the EU is the largest pro­ducer and con­sumer of olive oil in the world, it said being a mem­ber of the IOC enables the EU to pur­sue the devel­op­ment of the inter­na­tional mar­kets for olive oil and table olives and to defend its inter­ests with regard to these prod­ucts.”

Defra said the pro­posal is likely to be con­sid­ered and pos­si­bly adopted by the Coun­cil of the EU in Sep­tem­ber. The 102nd ses­sion of the IOC Coun­cil of Mem­bers is due to take place in Madrid Novem­ber 10 – 13.

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