The European Parliament has proposed measures for the evaluation of high-quality extra virgin olive oils produced in the European Union (EU) aimed at protecting consumers and producers.
Proposed by Croatian MEP (Member of European Parliament) Ivan Jakovčić, member of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the motion for a resolution was tabled on February 18, 2015 at the European Parliament’s plenary sitting.
The proposal document acknowledges the greater awareness of European citizens with regard to the food they consume and the increase in demand for high-quality extra virgin olive oil, as observed by the International Olive Council (IOC). It calls on the European Commission to adopt a series of specific measures aiming to:
- Provide recognition to the high-quality olive oils falling under the category of extra virgin;
- Introduce a new “premium” category which would satisfy strict criteria with regard to taste, aroma and nutritional value;
- Protect producers of high-quality extra virgin olive oil from unfair market practices;
- Enhance the European Union’s olive sector.
The motion was drafted in the current context where a wide range of olive oils produced in the EU satisfy the conditions to be marketed under the category of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). However, some olive oils only barely meet quality requirements while others are far superior in terms of taste, aroma and nutrient value. As a result, the producers of the superior quality olive oils face unfair competition from lower quality oils which meet the minimum conditions to be marketed as EVOO.
At the same time, MEP Ivan Jakovčić also proposed a motion for a resolution on urgent measures supporting and promoting the European olive sector. In response to the poor harvest in 2014 which has led to a 50 percent decline in production and an increase in prices, the proposal requests the European Commission to take measures to evaluate, protect and support the European olive sector.