Two Greek PDO Olive Oils Receive Protection in India

Kalamata and Sitia Lasithiou Kritis extra virgin olive oils have been registered as in India to protect them from imitations.
By Costas Vasilopoulos
Nov. 27, 2023 19:06 UTC

Two Greek extra vir­gin olive oils with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cer­ti­fi­ca­tions from the European Union, Sitia Lasithiou Kritis and Kalamata, have been granted pro­tected sta­tus in India after being rec­og­nized as geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions (GI) by the gov­ern­ment.

The res­o­lu­tion was pub­lished in the Journal of Geographical Indications of the Intellectual Property Organization of India on October 31st.

Kalamata PDO olive oil is pro­duced in the Messinia region in south­west­ern Peloponnese mainly from olives of the Koroneiki or the Mastoeidis vari­ety (also known as Athinolia or Tsounati).

See Also:Europe Strengthens Rules to Protect PDO and PGI Products

Sitia Lasithiou Kritis PDO is extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duced in the province of Sitia in east­ern Crete exclu­sively from Koroneiki olives.

The two Greek olive oils are now pro­tected from imi­ta­tions and mis­use of their names in the vast Indian mar­ket, while GI recog­ni­tion can also serve as an impor­tant mar­ket­ing tool.

The approval of the two olive oils as GIs in the South Asian coun­try, which took more than ten years to com­plete, resulted from for­mal appli­ca­tions by the Messinia Union of Agricultural Associations and the Sitia Union of Agricultural Cooperatives.

India is another major mar­ket where the union man­aged, after a long and demand­ing process, to pro­tect its Kalamata PDO extra vir­gin olive oil against coun­ter­feit­ing,” the Messinia Union said in an announce­ment.

This pro­tec­tion sta­tus is of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance since the Indian mar­ket will be a tar­get for Greek exports in the future,” the announce­ment added. It is, there­fore, a win­dow to the future.”

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

A Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is a type of geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tion (GI) that iden­ti­fies a prod­uct as orig­i­nat­ing from a spe­cific geo­graph­i­cal area and hav­ing qual­i­ties or char­ac­ter­is­tics that are essen­tially attrib­ut­able to its geo­graph­i­cal ori­gin. The PDO des­ig­na­tion is a legal label that is used to pro­tect the names of prod­ucts that are truly unique to a par­tic­u­lar region.

The union also noted that it will seek pro­tec­tion in India for the Kalamata PDO table olives.

Both Sitita PDO and Kalamata PDO olive oils are among the four Greek olive oils that have been granted inter­na­tional intel­lec­tual prop­erty pro­tec­tion in 56 coun­tries after being reg­is­tered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Consumers world­wide are increas­ingly inter­ested in agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and foods with spe­cific char­ac­ter­is­tics and dif­fer­ent geo­graph­i­cal ori­gins. At a global level, there are more than 10,000 pro­tected GIs.

Regarding the pen­e­tra­tion of olive oil in the world’s most pop­u­lous coun­try, India is still largely a vir­gin mar­ket; in 2022, the coun­try imported around 13,400 tons of extra vir­gin and pomace olive oil, mainly from Spain and Italy.

However, as else­where, the rise in global olive oil prices is adversely impact­ing the coun­try’s con­sump­tion of extra vir­gin olive oil.

We have reduced imports of extra vir­gin olive oil by 30 per­cent and almost dou­bled imports of pomace [olive oil],” Dhiraj Dama, the man­ag­ing direc­tor at MRK Foods, a food sup­plier from Mumbai, told the Times of India.

According to Rahul Upadhyay, head of the Indian Olive Association (IOA), import­ing olive oil in India is becom­ing increas­ingly expen­sive.

Not only have the prices at source dou­bled over the last year, but the Euro has also appre­ci­ated by 12 to 13 per­cent, and we are still pay­ing a 40 to 45 per­cent import duty for this higher price,” he said.

Upadhyay added that the asso­ci­a­tion has called on the Indian gov­ern­ment to reduce taxes on imported olive oil.


Related Articles