Coldiretti Molise, the provincial farmers federation in the Molise region of Italy, has backed recent government efforts to increase accountability of the olive oil supply chain.
Recent adulteration scams have elicited governmental reaction in the world’s second-largest olive oil-producing country. A single register system that tracks the production of olive-derived oils has been established, and recent legislation extended producers’ obligation to track the entirety of their production process in the register. Olive producers, refineries, processors, traders and other contractors have been added to the list of mandated reporters.
Previous legislation passed in 2013 only applied to mills, bulk oil dealers, packers and processors of table olives. Exemptions will continue for very small producers who make under 200 kg of oil per year.
The legislation comes just a few weeks after California passed its own sweeping regulation of the olive oil industry. New grades have been established in the U.S. state in an effort to promote locally-produced olive oil as adhering to higher standards than European imports. EU leaders are unhappy with the move.
“The importers know that if we establish ourselves as the premier, authentic producers of olive oil, we’ll cut into their business over time,” said Jeff Colombini of California-based Lodi Farming in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
The aim of the move by Italian farmers, they say, is to increase product transparency by requiring checkpoints at every step of production. Not just extra virgin olive oil that is being tracked: Olive pomace oil and other refined oils also fall under the reporting requirements.
Coldiretti Molise said they will have staff on hand at all branch offices to assist those effected by the new requirements.