Calling parts of the proposed olive oil standards for Australia and New Zealand possible “barriers to international trade” that could actually make olive oil adulteration “easier”, the International Olive Council (IOC) issued a statement today recommending a reconsideration of the draft guidelines.
The statement, titled “IOC Comments on the Draft Australian/New Zealand Standard Olive Oils and Olive Pomace Oils”, laid out about twenty “discrepancies” — or parts of the proposed standards inconsistent with existing IOC conventions — that included definitions, olive oil categories and testing methods that differ with, or do not exist in the IOC standards. “It would be expedient,” according to the document, “for the Australian/New Zealand draft standard to be re-examined.”
Australia and New Zealand, which are not IOC member countries, have long held that existing IOC rules do not adequately protect the region’s consumers and producers. Leandro Ravetti who helped draft the standards told Olive Oil Times “Unscrupulous operators who are currently profiting from the significant price difference available by deceptively re-selling seed oils and/or inferior quality olive oil as high-value extra virgin olive oil will be seriously affected by this new regulation. Meanwhile, genuine and honest operators from Australia, New Zealand and overseas will receive the advantage of a level playing field where their higher quality products are protected and recognized.”
In a closing reminiscent of the council’s response to methods used in last year’s UC Davis study, another New World deviation from IOC protocols, today’s statement concluded:
“As the premier world organisation overseeing olive oil, its sole concern on submitting these comments is to safeguard and facilitate fair international trading and prevent potential adulteration or fraud. It is ready and willing at all times to work together with countries and organisations around the world, regardless of whether or not they are Members of the IOC, to achieve these aims and will be happy to provide any clarifications required.”