Andalusia’s Minister of Agriculture and Fishing, Clara Aguilera, has announced the formation together with the olive industry of a technical working group to analyze the regulations on the quality of olive oil available today. Aguilera met with the press yesterday after meeting with representatives of various organizations and cooperatives to speak about the situation of the sector and explore possible solutions in the short and medium term to calm the crisis of origin prices.
According to Aguilera “Andalusia, because of its leadership in this sector, should promote any initiative that contributes to the promotion and development of olive oil, and we consider essential the creation of a working group to assess all currently applied regulations concerning olive oil in all its categories.” Therefore, one of the requests from this group, held at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment will be to recover the parliamentary process of the State Law on Food Quality, still in the approval process. Since the outcome of this study may impact on the current rules, it is expected that the conclusions of this group will be public within two or three weeks.
Aguilera also insisted that the Minister, Miguel Arias Cañete, should urge Brussels to activate “urgently” the mechanism which allows private storage of virgin olive oil, “because the authorization requires two consecutive weeks of prices below the threshold, and we are already facing the fifth week.” Organizations and associations send to the Ministry a weekly report on the price situation which justifies the immediate adoption of private storage aid. “All I hope is that the Minister, who is totally aware of the problems being experienced by the sector, continues insisting in Brussels,” said Aguilera.
In the short-medium term, Aguilera highlighted the need to strengthen the role of promotion. For Aguilera, promotion will help to consolidate or even increase the significant growth that exports of olive oil have experienced in recent years.
“To sell more and better” Andalusia’s Minister of Agriculture and Fishing is studying further actions, other than those already implemented, for the promotion and concentration of supplies through merger integrations and business that contributes to a better positioning of olive oil brands against those of major retailers.
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