Wholesale olive oil millers are now required to register their purchases and sales on the website of the Sistema Informativo Agricolo Nazionale or National Agriculture Information System (SIAN), an online reporting system used by various agricultural sectors in Italy.
The law went into effect in July, in advance of the Fall 2011 harvest. In the past, reporting was done on paper. The purpose of the new system is to gather data and cut down on fraudulent practices such as misrepresenting olive oil provenance.
There are some wholesale millers who feel disadvantaged because millers who retail their own olive oil are exempted from having to register their activities. Others complain about time issues — each transaction is supposed to be registered within six days of its occurrence. Still others have complained that the system could be hacked and critical information, such as client lists, could be published and used by competitors.
The question of added costs is also contributing to push back. Just over half of Italy’s population uses the Internet (versus over 75 percent in the U.S.) and this could explain some of the resistance.