Turkey Receives PDO for Edremit Olive Oil

Nearly 10 million olive trees fall into the new Protected Designation of Origin-certified region in northwestern Anatolia.

View of Edrtemit Bay from Kaz mountain, Balikesir, Turkey
By Costas Vasilopoulos
Jul. 31, 2023 13:13 UTC
View of Edrtemit Bay from Kaz mountain, Balikesir, Turkey

Edremit olive oil from Turkey has received a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the European Union.

The Turkish olive oil was added to the E.U.’s geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions (GIs) reg­is­ter on July 20th under the name Edremit Zeytinyağı.’ The appli­ca­tion was sub­mit­ted to the European Commission in July 2021, and no state­ment of oppo­si­tion was filed with the com­mis­sion.

The com­mis­sion spec­i­fied that Edremit Zeytinyağı is extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duced from Edremit olives in the west­ern Turkish dis­tricts of Edremit and Havran of the Balikesir province, in an area known as the Gulf of Edremit. The PDO region is home to around 9.8 mil­lion olive trees, rep­re­sent­ing 6.2 per­cent of all the olive trees cul­ti­vated in Turkey.

See Also:Signs Suggest a Weak Harvest in Turkey

The PDO label for­mally cer­ti­fies that the qual­ity and char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Edremit olive oil are due to the par­tic­u­lar geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion.

Ahmet Çetin, the pres­i­dent of the Edremit Chamber of Commerce, the insti­tu­tion that applied to the com­mis­sion to reg­is­ter the Edremit Zeytinyağı, said that the area boasts a long tra­di­tion in olive grow­ing.

Olive trees have been cul­ti­vated in the Gulf of Edremit for at least 2,000 years,” Çetin told Olive Oil Times. Therefore, the Gulf of Edremit, with its his­tor­i­cal back­ground, has become one of the exem­plary places in Turkey where olives and olive prod­ucts, as well as olive cul­ture, come to the fore and inte­grate.”

Çetin also sum­ma­rized the fac­tors that have com­bined to shape the dis­tinc­tive qual­i­ties of the local Edremit olives.

The soil struc­ture of the region, the cli­matic fea­tures, espe­cially the north­ern winds of Ida Mountains and the wind blow­ing from Madra Mountain, the endemic plant rich­ness of the region, are blended with the oxy­gen of the Imbat wind blow­ing from the sea, reveal­ing the char­ac­ter­is­tic struc­ture of the olive fruit,” he said.

As a result of the research car­ried out by the European Commission, It has been con­firmed that Edremit olive oil is unique and dif­fer­ent from other olive oils in terms of sen­sory and char­ac­ter­is­tic fea­tures of the olive vari­ety,” Çetin added.

We can say that the geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tion is a qual­ity mark taken to pro­tect this geog­ra­phy, his­tory, prod­uct and vari­ety,” he con­tin­ued.

Edremit Zeytinyağı is the sec­ond Turkish olive oil to receive a geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tion sta­tus from the E.U. after Milas extra vir­gin olive oil entered the reg­istry in 2020. Milas olive oil is pro­duced from olives of the Memecik vari­ety grown in Turkey’s Milas region.

The E.U.‘s geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions scheme, intro­duced in 1992, aims to pro­mote and legally pro­tect food prod­ucts’ names and dis­tinc­tive qual­i­ties with a spe­cific link to their geo­graph­i­cal ori­gin in all mem­ber states.

The GI recog­ni­tion enables con­sumers to trust and dis­tin­guish qual­ity prod­ucts while help­ing pro­duc­ers mar­ket their prod­ucts bet­ter.

Non-European prod­uct names can reg­is­ter as GIs through a bilat­eral or regional agree­ment between their coun­try of ori­gin and the European Union that includes the mutual pro­tec­tion of such terms.

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