The European Union noted in a new report that there has been greater cooperation among member states when it comes to food fraud.
The fight against adulteration, mislabelling, forgery and counterfeit has become a more coordinated effort, and common actions for the protection of the legal olive oil food chain are among the most visible sign of such cooperation.
In the latest annual report of the Administrative Assistance and Cooperation System (AAC-FF), the EU Directorate-general for Health and Food Safety confirmed that the fats and oils sector was one of the most active sectors of fraud-fighting among members states with 44 recorded instances of administrative and investigative actions.
In the case of olive oil, the European Authority has recorded cases of olive oil marketed as extra virgin olive oil when they were in fact a blend of different olive oil qualities. In other instances, the formal declaration of organic olive oil did not match the contents of the packaged oil.
“As an example,” the report noted, “products sold as Extra Virgin Olive Oil but which did not meet E.U. standards and of inferior quality were being distributed to the restaurants and retail trade in the United Kingdom. The products were imported from Spain. Following a request from the United Kingdom addressed to Spain in the AAC-FF, actions were initiated by the Spanish competent authorities against the food business operator for a possible fraud.”
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In recent years, the food fraud initiatives of the AAC-FF have led to a series of new market regulations as well as technology frameworks that make it easier for the national authorities to exchange relevant information with partners and to take the appropriate measures.