`Spain Approves New Rules Governing Olive Oil Quality and Standards - Olive Oil Times

Spain Approves New Rules Governing Olive Oil Quality and Standards

Sep. 8, 2021
Daniel Dawson

Recent News

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries has approved a new set of laws and reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing olive oil qual­ity stan­dards for the first time in almost 40 years.

The update to the 1983 royal decree includes a series of require­ments for trace­abil­ity, prepa­ra­tion and pack­ag­ing of the final prod­uct.

The min­istry said that its goal is to add value to the country’s extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­tion and increase con­sumer aware­ness about the organolep­tic and healthy qual­i­ties of the prod­uct.

See Also:Only One Percent of Olive Growers Expected to Lose Funding Under Spain’s New CAP

To that end, the min­istry has restricted the use of the terms vir­gin” and extra vir­gin” solely to olive oil. No other type of edi­ble oil will be per­mit­ted to use the terms on its label, includ­ing veg­etable oils that have been blended with vir­gin or extra vir­gin olive oil.

The min­istry has also cracked down on the prac­tice known locally as refres­cado, or the blend­ing of vir­gin olive oils from the cur­rent crop year with oils from pre­vi­ous cam­paigns to improve the organolep­tic char­ac­ter­is­tics of the older prod­uct.


The min­istry said the prac­tice, which was explic­itly per­mit­ted in the pre­vi­ous royal decree, short­ened the shelf-life of the result­ing blend.

To improve trace­abil­ity and crack­down on olive oil fraud, the min­istry said it will launch a dig­i­tal stan­dard­ized trace­abil­ity sys­tem.

While details on the sys­tem remain lim­ited, the min­istry said the idea will be to ensure that the ship­ments of bulk oils are accom­pa­nied by pub­licly avail­able offi­cial doc­u­ments.

This con­trol sys­tem, which does not exist in any other coun­try in the world, places Spain at the fore­front of the qual­ity require­ments of olive oil,” the min­istry announced.

Along with the new reg­u­la­tions, the min­istry said it will work with the olive oil sec­tor to specif­i­cally pro­mote extra vir­gin olive oil con­sump­tion. The min­istry also sent a stern reminder to the restau­rant and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor that all extra vir­gin olive oil must be pro­vided in non-refill­able con­tain­ers.

The rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the royal decree comes just as the min­istry expects the olive oil stock to reach 378,400 tons at the end of the 2020/21 crop year, a sub­stan­tial decrease com­pared with the pre­vi­ous period.

Decreasing olive oil stocks will come as good news to pro­duc­ers, as less avail­abil­ity may lead to higher olive oil prices in the 2021/22 crop year.


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