11 Jun

an Importer fights state’s stricter olive oil laws

By Brian Lockhart,

The state’s strict new olive oil standards have left a bad taste in the mouth of one New York food importer who is arguing in court the rules are unfair, flaunt federal law and are hurting business.

gourmet-factory-logoDennis Kangadis, vice president of New York-based Kangadis Food Inc., also known as The Gourmet Factory, has filed for a temporary injunction in Hartford Superior Court to prevent Department of Consumer Protection from imposing a ban on olive oil containing other kinds of oils and from seizing products that do not comply.

“The Gourmet Factory’s reputation and business relationships have already been harmed by the DCP’s adoption of the state Olive Oil Standards,” Kangadis’ attorney, Brett Boskiewicz of the Hartford-based Robinson & Cole law firm, claims in court documents.

The controversy stems from the differing olive oil standards imposed around the world.

According to court records, Connecticut last year chose to adopt criteria used by the International Olive Oil Council, a 41-member intergovernmental organization that does not include the United States.

The Gourmet Factory follows differing federal guidelines which grade olive oil based on fatty acid content, color, flavor, odor, cloudiness and sediment content.

But Connecticut lawmakers, at the urging of Norwalk-based Sclafani Importers, took a further step by preventing the sale of olive oils that — to cut production costs — are watered down with hazelnut, soy or peanut oils.

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