10 Apr

50% of Italian olive oil sold in supermarkets is made from olives of unknown origins.

Slow Food/Coldiretti on Italian Oil : Made from 50% of Olives harvested abroad.

50% of Italian olive oil sold in supermarkets is made from olives of unknown origins. This is because law 204 from 2004 has still not become official for Italian oil producers which would make it mandatory to indicate the area of cultivation on extra virgin olive oil labels, rather than just the area in which it was bottled. It is a good law that is awaiting full application, but which now risks being drastically changed, reducing its efficacy.

An initiative in defense of this law, “Let’s defend the label! We want to know the source of the products we eat”, launched by Slow Food and Coldiretti, was presented at the Quality Oil event in Verona some days ago.

The European Union maintains that making it mandatory to print the origin of goods on labels is an obstacle to the free market and competition. And the drafts for new 2007 EU law, currently being discussed in Parliament, foresee the removal of some articles that impose the mandatory labeling of “Italian” goods on olive oil, as well as pasta, meat products and other food related labels. Once Parliament does scrutinize these proposed changes it may well decide to block them.

According to Coldiretti and Slow Food the changes must be stopped because they put quality Italian national olive oil production at risk, along with the 250 million olive trees (many which are secular) that also contribute to the natural beauty of the country as well as its environmental health.

Italians are among the top consumers of olive oil with 13-14 kilos per person per year, and Italy, with its 600,000 tons produced, is the second largest European producer. It also boasts 37 extra virgin olive oils that are recognized by the European Union.

[Source] Click here

2 Responses to “50% of Italian olive oil sold in supermarkets is made from olives of unknown origins.”

  1. CButler Says:

    Hello Claude,

    I’m trying to grasp the havoc this measure would reek on olive commerce if it were brought to fruition – and then enforced. Considering that Italy does not really produce enough oil for its own domestic consumption, yet ‘Italian’ oils are the mainstay of shop shelves beyond the countries of Mediterranean, and the largest producing region, the province of Jaén (Spain), refuses to let go the apron strings of Italian bottlers, as I mentioned at the link below, I see nothing but confusion for the less informed consumer being the result. Better, in my opinion, to let the non-Italian bottlers fight it out for the hearts of the buyers worldwide, as they economically will have to when the EU subsidy is wound down. This will accomplish the same thing, but at a more evolutionary pace.

    On the other hand, some sort of enforcement of olive oil grading and labelling of origin in the United States would be much appreciated by anyone producing outside of Lucca.




  2. Italians seek to reclaim olive oil - Olive News, Recipes, Health, Business & Consumer info. Says:

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