By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) has detected the possibility of creating 80 new denominations of origin for olive oil and olives throughout the world according to the Director and Chief of the Division of Study and Evaluation, Jean Louis Barjol. The majority of these new denominations would apply to olive oil producing nations outside the European Union, like Argentina and Palestine.
Studies began in October of 2009 when the IOOC created a tracking committee comprised of experts from Tunisia, Morocco, Israel and the European Union. The objective was to initiate a detailed analysis of the current denominations of origin
in the world and identify new olives and olive oil that do not fit within the existing denominations.
Denominations of origin are placed as labels for olives or olive oil that meet the specific requirements of production regulations. They indicate the geographical location where the olive oil or olives have been produced and they elaborate upon the product’s composition which must reach certain precise standards, often detailed legislatively.
The first phase of this new denominations project reached its conclusion when the committee analyzed the judicial foundations of IOOC member countries and other third parties involved in the production process. The second part of the study has also been finalized and was cause for a recent meeting of the IOOC’s working group in Madrid. This phase detailed the requirements, standards and specifications for each newly proposed denomination of origin. The rest of the working group’s conclusions and proposals will be made known in a seminar in Italy that the IOOC will hold in October.
The analysis has determined that at present, there are 120 denominations of origin in the international olive and olive oil sectors. All of them belong to countries within the European Union except for 3 in Turkey and 1 in Morocco. Jean Louis Barjol has stated that the key for developing these new denominations of origin lies in the specificity of the product, the “terroir” or personality of each region, the methods of production, the existence of a demand on the part of the economic sector and an impulse at the hands of political authorities.