` Proposed Standard Would Imperil Greek Exports, Trade Group Warns

Business

Proposed Standard Would Imperil Greek Exports, Trade Group Warns

Jun. 19, 2020
Costas Vasilopoulos

Recent News

The United States Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) will con­sider a new stan­dard of iden­tity for imported olive oil after a cit­i­zen’s peti­tion filed by the North Amer­i­can Olive Oil Asso­ci­a­tion and the Span­ish giant Deoleo last month.

Among the pro­posed reg­u­la­tions is a 0.5‑percent free fatty acid­ity (FFA) max­i­mum for extra vir­gin olive oil, lower than the cur­rent 0.8‑percent limit set in inter­na­tional stan­dards.

The pro­posed change was regarded in Greece as an ille­git­i­mate attempt by Span­ish olive oil con­glom­er­ates and their Amer­i­can part­ners to bypass com­pe­ti­tion from Greece and Italy in the wake of U.S. tar­iffs.

Spain was hit with a 25-per­cent tar­iff for bot­tled olive oil to the U.S. last Octo­ber, which impacted almost half of its annual exports headed to the Amer­i­can mar­ket.

Since then, many Span­ish pro­duc­ers have started to bot­tle their olive oil in Por­tu­gal or Tunisia to elude tar­iffs, while leav­ing less room for prof­its, the Office of Finan­cial and Com­mer­cial Affairs of the Greek Embassy in Madrid said in a mar­ket research analy­sis.

Advertisement

In a recent meet­ing, EDOE, the Greek Inter­pro­fes­sional Orga­ni­za­tion of Olive Oil, informed the min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture, Makis Vorides, about the peti­tion filed with the FDA and asked for his inter­ven­tion to pro­tect the coun­try’s olive oil pro­duc­tion from what they con­sider illicit prac­tices,” Agro24 reported.

The min­istry’s press release of the meet­ing con­tained no ref­er­ence to the request.

EDOE said in a state­ment to Olive Oil Times that the con­tem­plated changes would cause tur­bu­lence and fur­ther harm to Greek olive oil exporters.

Such mea­sures are not in favor of Greek pro­duc­ers,” they said. It would be totally dif­fer­ent to cre­ate a new cat­e­gory of high-qual­ity olive oil with a lower acid­ity level than extra vir­gin like the extris­simo clas­si­fi­ca­tion once pro­posed.”

Low­er­ing the max­i­mum acid­ity of extra vir­gin to 0.5 per­cent from 0.8 per­cent will degrade sev­eral qual­ity olive oils and will cre­ate mar­ket imbal­ances and unfair com­pe­ti­tion among sup­pli­ers of the U.S. mar­ket with a neg­a­tive effect on prices and exported vol­umes of Greek extra vir­gin olive oil,” EDOE wrote.





Advertisement

Related News