`Council Taking Closer Look at Olive Oil Quality Seals


Council Taking Closer Look at Olive Oil Quality Seals

Oct. 17, 2013
Julie Butler

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Olive oil pro­duc­ers from Cal­i­for­nia and Aus­tralia are among those invited to an Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil (IOC) meet­ing next week focus­ing on qual­ity seals and other strate­gies being used by coun­tries to pro­mote olive oil qual­ity.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the QVEx­tra and Extra Vir­gin Alliance (EVA) asso­ci­a­tions — which the IOC said seem to be the most advanced in this area” — are also expected to attend the meet­ing of its Advi­sory Com­mit­tee on Olive Oil and Table Olives.

In a state­ment Wednes­day, the IOC said that the issue of the var­i­ous qual­ity strate­gies (includ­ing self-mon­i­tor­ing qual­ity schemes) and qual­ity seals spring­ing up in the mar­ket­place had been raised at the committee’s last meet­ing, in Mar­seille in July, and the IOC exec­u­tive sec­re­tariat had invited them to give deeper thought” to them.

Any com­mit­tee rep­re­sen­ta­tives who wish to do so have there­fore been invited to present their ini­tia­tives and schemes in this field at the next com­mit­tee meet­ing due to take place on 25 Octo­ber.” it said.


The meet­ing will be held in Madrid, where last week the agri­cul­ture min­is­ters from the Span­ish cen­tral and the Andalu­sian regional gov­ern­ments also met and agreed to start work on a pro­posed qual­ity seal to bol­ster the image of Span­ish and Andalu­sian olive oil in for­eign mar­kets.

Debate on future of the IOC

The advi­sory com­mit­tee will also be asked for input in the debate on the future of the IOC in the lead-up to the renewal of its gov­ern­ing agree­ment. The cur­rent, 2005, agree­ment expires at the end of next year.

Also on the agenda are an exam­i­na­tion of the world mar­ket for olive oil and table olives and con­sul­ta­tion about planned changes in the olive oil cus­toms clas­si­fi­ca­tions of IOC mem­ber coun­tries.

The IOC’s exec­u­tive sec­re­tariat will also report on its recent and future work on eco­nomic sur­veys, stan­dard­iza­tion and pro­mo­tion.

Com­mit­tee taps indus­try insight

The Advi­sory Com­mit­tee on Olive Oil and Table Olives includes rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all parts of the olive sec­tor — pro­duc­tion, pro­cess­ing, mar­ket­ing and con­sump­tion — in IOC mem­ber coun­tries.

It was estab­lished to voice the opin­ions of busi­ness cir­cles and to tap their hands-on knowl­edge to help the Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tariat to find effec­tive solu­tions to prob­lems and to keep its fin­ger on the pulse of the indus­try,” the IOC said.

Advi­sory Com­mit­tee offi­cers

Chair­man of the advi­sory com­mit­tee is Ali Ben Hadj M’Barek, chief offi­cer of the National Olive Oil Board in Sousse, Tunisia. He was vice chair­man from 1992 – 1995 then chair­man from 1997 – 2000, and again from 2010.

Panay­otis Karan­to­nis, direc­tor of the Athens-based Greek Asso­ci­a­tion of Olive Oil Proces­sors and Pack­ers (ESVITE), has been vice chair­man of the olive oil sec­tion of the advi­sory com­mit­tee since 2006.

Marino Melis­sano, vice pres­i­dent of the Ital­ian con­sumer group Altro­con­sumo, has been vice chair­man of the table olive Sec­tion also since 2006.

All three have been mem­bers of the com­mit­tee since it was set up in 1991.

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