11 Nov

Australia: Time to act on olive oil

Spanish olive oil giant Carbonell has demanded to see test results that found some of its products wanting will do nothing to address the image problem confronting large, foreign olive-oil producers.

It has been no secret in Australian olive oil industry circles for some years that many imported brands were not living up to their premium “extra virgin” tag.

Testing this year by a NSW Government laboratory has confirmed as much.

Carbonell has written to the Australian Olive Association, who commissioned the tests, demanding to see the results and the methodology behind them.

Carbonell, part of the Grupo SOS group of companies, may gain its wish to have the AOA hand over the results.

But it will not change the fact that serious questions have emerged over the integrity of a range of imported olive oils, which has alarmed large numbers of consumers.

The testing found issues with every imported oil sampled, but the good news for Australian olive companies was that every Australian oil tested passed with flying colours.

The samples tested were gathered by NSW Government scientists from supermarket shelves, which shows the Australian olive industry had absolute faith in its product.

The new “Code of Practice” logo, which can be used by Australian companies once they earn the right via strict quality testing, is also a great initiative.

The Australian Government must act immediately to legislate standards for extra virgin olive oil, to ensure Australian consumers are getting what they pay for when they fork out for a top product.

Australia has for too long used the “honour system” in regard to labelling.

The AOA has suggested Australia adopt the stringent German standards to make sure Australia receives the best quality olive oil and authenticity on the supermarket shelf.

This seems a sensible suggestion.

Meanwhile, consumers can at least be sure that when they shop for extra virgin olive oil, the Australian product is living up to its name.

[Source] Click here

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