The Association of Olive Oil Producing Municipalities of Crete (SEDIK) has compiled a memo with suggestions to improve Europe’s olive oil action plan for boosting the ailing industry. The memo has been sent to the Greek Ministry of Agriculture, members of the Parliament and the members of the European Parliament.
The suggestions include:
- The “extra virgin” grade should have an acidity level up to 0.5 grams per 100 grams
- The “virgin” grade should be termed “classic virgin” with an acidity level up to 1 gram per 100 grams
- The “olive oil” grade should be termed “processed olive oil” with the inviolable condition to contain 50 percent classic virgin at least
- The limit of the alkyl esters should be set at 50 mg per kilo
- The limit of stigmastadiene should be set at 0.05 mg per kilo
The Cretan Association agrees with the intention to improve the classification of the different qualities of olive oil in order to protect consumers from fraud and promote oil of good quality. After all, Greece itself would take advantage of it since over 75 percent of its oil is of extra virgin quality.
Regarding the promotion of olive oil, it is stated that the participation of the producers/exporters (the amount they have to pay by themselves as a contribution to the EU funds) should be reduced, and the European budget should be allocated to all of the grades of olive oil so that high quality oil can be equally promoted.
Last but not least, the Association brings up the matter of the variations of the olive oil quality assessment methods used by new players in the industry such as the United States and Australia, and it urges authorities worldwide to agree on quality standards applicable globally in order for consumers to avoid confusion.