`Trade Commission's Olive Oil Report Due Out Monday - Olive Oil Times

Trade Commission's Olive Oil Report Due Out Monday

Aug. 9, 2013
Olive Oil Times Staff

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John Sessler (left), chair­man of the American Olive Oil Association, at the United States International Trade Commission in Washington last December.

The inves­ti­ga­tion by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) into the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the olive oil indus­try is sched­uled to be deliv­ered Monday to the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since a hear­ing in Washington last December, where twenty wit­nesses includ­ing pro­duc­ers, chemists and importers tes­ti­fied on mat­ters rang­ing from sub­si­dies and tar­iffs to olive oil qual­ity and fraud, the USITC has been col­lect­ing infor­ma­tion on the 2008 – 2012 prac­tices of major olive oil sup­pli­ers world­wide, empha­siz­ing the U.S., Spain, Italy and North African pro­duc­ers.

The report will address four areas:

  • Review com­mer­cial olive oil pro­duc­tion, pro­cess­ing and con­sump­tion data.
  • Analyze the inter­na­tional import and export mar­kets, includ­ing trade between Europe and North Africa, tar­iffs and olive oil clas­si­fi­ca­tions.
  • Assess fac­tors affect­ing U.S. con­sump­tion, includ­ing stan­dards, grad­ing and pric­ing.
  • Compare com­pet­i­tive strengths and weak­nesses of the major olive pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing coun­tries, includ­ing indus­try orga­ni­za­tion, olive oil pro­cess­ing and tech­nol­ogy, gov­ern­men­tal influ­ences, pro­duc­tion costs, mar­ket­ing approaches and exchange rates.

The fledg­ling U.S. olive oil indus­try has its sights set on more than the two per­cent of domes­tic demand it cur­rently sup­plies, and it has been lob­by­ing for a level play­ing field” to com­pete with sub­si­dized European farms and some exporters who, they claim, occupy super­mar­ket shelves with lower qual­ity, often mis­la­beled prod­ucts.

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