Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • Trade Commission Report Fails to Consider Latest E.U. Measures

    The USITC report on Competition between U.S. and ‘Major Foreign Supplier Industries,’ notably the EU, provides a wealth of information, although for serious researchers it would have been more helpful if the vast majority of this information had not been sourced from telephone calls and emails with unnamed interlocutors.

    Similarly, it takes little note of either major legislative changes in the EU that will take full effect by the end of 2014, or the rise of what may well prove to be a major supplier to the world market, namely India, who, with the help of Israeli investment and technology and low labor costs is slated to put its oil on the market for the first time in the coming season.

    This Report needs to be read with the backdrop of the ongoing negotiations between the US and the EU, set to resume for a second session next week, towards a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

    Central to US goals in these negotiations are: widespread deregulation; institutionalization of corporate lawsuits against states that take legislative actions that have the possibility of reducing profits of foreign investors, and minimization of the effects of the EU system of protecting registered designations of origin (PDO’s).

    Labyrinthine legislative proposals like those suggested in the Report (which some see as cries for government help after a wrong-footed and highly speculative investment) will only expose a hypocrisy that cannot but weaken the US position in those negotiations.

    In fact, a report on growth and jobs issued jointly by the EU and the US earlier this year talks specifically about reducing “redundant and burdensome testing and certification requirements.”

    read more at oliveoiltimes

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    The USITC report on Competition between U.S. and ‘Major Foreign Supplier Industries,’ notably the EU, provides a wealth of information, although for serious researchers it would have been more helpful if the vast majority of this information had not been sourced from telephone... 
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  • EU Olive, Sunflower Oil Surge Leads Vegetable Oil Supply Rebound

    Production of vegetable oils and fats in the European Union is set to rebound in the next season as sunflower seed and olive oil output jumps, Oil World said.

    Sunflower oil production in the EU may top 2.9 million metric tons in the 2013-14 season starting Oct. 1, the most on record and 16 percent higher than a year earlier, the Hamburg-based researcher said in an e-mailed report. Olive oil output will surge 40 percent from the prior season, helping bring total EU production of 17 oils and fats to 22.6 million tons, 3.6 percent more than a year earlier. Last year, some crops in southern and eastern Europe were hurt by drought.

    “Production of oils and fats will recover pronouncedly in the EU,” Oil World said. “Consumption is expected to increase at best marginally, probably curbing import requirements somewhat.”

    EU consumption of oils and fats, including for food and biofuels, may total 29.8 million tons, 0.2 percent more than the previous year, Oil World said. Imports at 9.98 million tons may be the second-highest ever, behind last year’s record 10.1 million tons, according to the report. Palm oil will account for the majority of EU imports at 6.3 million tons.

    World production of sunflower oil may be about 15 million tons in 2013-14, about 12 percent more than a year earlier, Oil World said. Output in Russia, the second-biggest producer, after Ukraine, may climb 11 percent to 3.59 million tons, helping the country’s exports jump 29 percent to 1.4 million tons.

    “Following a season of insufficient supplies that resulted in a decline of stocks worldwide, the global sun oil balance is expected to return to a surplus,” Oil World said. “A sharp increase of sunflower oil usage is likely to occur in the European Union and China as well as in many North African and Middle East countries, promoted by the exceptionally attractive sun oil prices.”

    Source bloomberg

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    Production of vegetable oils and fats in the European Union is set to rebound in the next season as sunflower seed and olive oil output jumps, Oil World said. Sunflower oil production in the EU may top 2.9 million metric tons in the 2013-14 season starting Oct. 1, the most on... 
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  • Recipe: Top quolity spaghetti with unique MANNI Olive Oil

    Armando Manni of MANNI Olive Oil comes to FOX 2

    MANNI extra virgin olive oil is the only oil in the world to maintain its extra virgin quality and taste for three years, in a market where competitors can only sustain it for 12 months.

    With a production of only 3,000 liters per year, MANNI produces three unique Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oils: a strong oil for gourmet palates, a softer oil for more delicate food, and a White Truffle oil, considered to be the most luxurious oil product on the market.

    MANNI oil is the olive oil of choice by the world’s top chefs, including Thomas Keller, Daniel Boloud, Pierre Gagnaire, Giorgio Locatelli and Heston Blumenthal and it is available at only 20 selected restaurants in the U.S., including Tre Monti Ristorante in Troy (the only restaurant in Michigan to be selected to carry the oil).

    Here is the recipe features on FOX 2 News Morning:

    RECIPE

    8 oz. of top quality spaghetti

    – 2 tablespoons MANNI Per mio figlio Organic Farming Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    – 6 level tablespoons of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

    – 3 teaspoons MANNI White Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    PREP INSTRUCTIONS:

    Drop the spaghetti into a large pot of boiling salted water and stir constantly for about a minute and occasionally thereafter. Five minutes after the pasta water returns to a boil, put a small ladle-ful of the water in a warmed serving bowl, stir in the Per mio figlio oil, and add half the grated cheese. Whisk vigorously to create a creamy sauce.

    When the spaghetti is “al dente”, drain it & save at least 2 cups of its water, then add the spaghetti to the sauce. Toss to mix well, incorporating the remaining cheese. If the sauce seems dry, add some of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time. Drizzle the truffle oil on top, give the spaghetti another quick toss, and ENJOY!

    recipe source FOX 2 NEWS

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    Armando Manni of MANNI Olive Oil comes to FOX 2 MANNI extra virgin olive oil is the only oil in the world to maintain its extra virgin quality and taste for three years, in a market where competitors can only sustain it for 12 months. With a production of only 3,000 liters per... 
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  • Palestine's First Fair Trade Olive Oil Industry

    Among the 650 olive trees within the terraced groves of Mahmoud’s Samara’s West Bank farm are some Rumi olive trees, a variety that has been cultivated in Palestine since Roman times. These particular trees have been passed down through generations of the Samara family, producing an olive oil that is full and pungent while providing the family with an important source of income.

    But, at the turn of the 21st century, during the second intifada, olive oil prices in the local market fell as low as eight NIS (about $1.75) per kilogram, bringing in less money than it cost to harvest. In addition, Samara says neighboring settlers were uprooting some of his Rumi trees and replanting them in Israel, claiming them as their own. While the agricultural sector’s contribution to the Palestinian GDP continued to drop, and the olive trees—an important symbol of Palestinian culture—were uprooted, it became increasingly difficult for Palestinian farmers to sustain a livelihood. Many left their lands.

    So when Nasser Abufarha, founder of the Palestinian Fair Trade Association (PFTA) and Canaan Fair Trade, approached Samara in 2004 offering him double the market price for his olive oil, Samara thought he was joking. He wasn’t. Samara sold his olive oil to Canaan Fair Trade for 16 NIS per kilogram when the market was offering him only eight NIS, and he became one of the first of 375 farmers in 13 village-based cooperatives to join the PFTA and Canaan Fair Trade in 2005.

    Although formed in partnership, the PFTA and Canaan Fair Trade are distinct organizations that collaborate to promote marginalized and isolated Palestinian farming communities.

    The PFTA is a non-profit that organizes Palestinian farmers into cooperatives, educating them on the concept of fair trade and organic produce, environmental accountability, and how to integrate new farming techniques into traditional methods so that they can increase the quality and yield of their product. Canaan, on the other hand, empowers small-scale farmers by virtue of being a commercial entity that produces, processes, packages, and exports Palestinian fair trade and organic foods to like-minded companies abroad.

    On entering the global market in 2005, however, Canaan found that it needed to create its own international fair trade olive oil standards; surprisingly, none yet existed. Following the models of the Fairtrade Labeling Organization International (FLO), Abufarha drew up his own fair trade olive oil standards. This move led Canaan to eventually become the first ever FLO-certified international supplier of fair trade olive oil. Today, Canaan is the largest supplier of fair trade olive oil in the world.

    “The whole idea of bringing the farmers into the modern economy is that it brings international awareness to the struggles that Palestinian farmers [experience],” Abufarha said.

    Even in the portion of the West Bank over which the Palestinian Authority (PA) allegedly maintains civil and military control, and where the majority of Canaan’s 49 current cooperatives exist, water management projects proposed by the PA must first, under article 40 of the 1995 Oslo Peace agreement, be approved by Israeli authorities.

    Since few proposed Palestinian water resource systems have received permits from the Israeli authorities, the number of Palestinian wells in the West Bank has declined from 774 in 1967 to 328 in 2005. Many farmers must rely on un-permitted wells to irrigate their crops. Samara, for instance, provides 30 different farming families with water from his un-permitted well. He says every day he fears it will be demolished.

    The Israeli government also creates difficulties for Canaan’s exportation of goods—every shipment costs around $1,000 extra because Canaan must comply with Israeli security requirements. Although products are shipped out of the country from the port city of Haifa in northern Israel, Canaan must travel out of the way to a checkpoint where their produce can be scanned, hire a second truck outside of the checkpoint to deliver their produce to port, and then employ the Israeli company, UTI Logistics, to ship the produce abroad.

    Even with all of these obstacles, the PFTA and Canaan Fair Trade give Palestinian farmers and their communities a glimmer of hope. In Canaan’s impact report, farmer Saleh Ayasi said, “I have great pride that my Palestinian product is reaching all over the world. Some people may not know about Palestine, but my product raises the spirit of Palestine. Canaan’s products make a name for Palestine.” In a way, Canaan Fair Trade gives Palestinian farmers the chance to promote the culture they feel Israel has appropriated from them.

    Now, nine years after its inception, the PFTA has grown to include approximately 1,700 small-scale Palestinian farmers in 49 West Bank cooperatives, including six women’s cooperatives, whose members collect and process sun-dried tomatoes, za’atar (thyme), couscous, capers, and soap.

    With the support of both the men and women’s cooperatives, Canaan today sources a variety of fair trade certified and organic olive oils, herbs, tapenades, dried foods, spices, spreads, and cosmetics to distributors in 15 different countries across five different continents. The social premium included in the price for Canaan’s products is reinvested into the farmers’ communities—used for community contributions such as farming equipment, paving village roads, and buying computers for schools.

    Today, Canaan rakes in 22 NIS per kilogram of olive oil for Samara. Rather than keep the money in his pocket, Samara plans to buy more land—and more trees. “The olive trees are like my children,” he said. “If anybody offers me 10,000 NIS to uproot one tree I would say no. Even 100,000. Here, in our traditions, the farmer doesn’t leave his trees until he dies.”

    Article source: Pulitzer Center

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    Among the 650 olive trees within the terraced groves of Mahmoud’s Samara’s West Bank farm are some Rumi olive trees, a variety that has been cultivated in Palestine since Roman times. These particular trees have been passed down through generations of the Samara family,... 
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  • Gov. signs off on Wolk's olive oil commission

    SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday established a state commission to help coordinate state growers and manufacturers to strengthen the competitiveness of the rapidly growing olive oil industry.

    Brown signed a measure by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to establish the commission.

    “Establishing this commission is a vital first step toward protecting consumers and providing California’s olive oil industry a fair playing field where they can grow and thrive. That’s why this bill received bipartisan support from day one,” said Wolk, chairwoman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Olive Oil Production and Emerging Products. “I applaud the Governor’s decision to sign this measure into law, and look forward to continuing to work with the state’s olive growers and olive oil producers to help ensure that Californians can be confident about the products they’re serving to their families.”

    SB 250 would create the Olive Oil Commission of California within the Department of Food and Agriculture to allow the industry to conduct research and establish product grades and standards through the Secretary of Food and Agriculture.

    There are currently 16 active, industry-funded agricultural commissions in California created to enhance their industries competitiveness through promotion, advertising, education, marketing research, scientific research, and the creation and regulation of quality standards.

    SB 250 is part of Wolk’s ongoing effort to address challenges facing state’s expanding olive oil industry, including competitors selling fraudulent and low-quality olive oil.

    A study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center found that 65 percent of imported extra-virgin olive oils bought off the shelves of California supermarkets failed to meet international standards for olive oil quality — concluding that many of the imported olive oils tested were falsely labeled as extra virgin grade.

    “Similar commissions have been very effective in advancing research and quality standards. SB 250 is an important step for the industry,” said Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center.

    “The COOC is delighted to hear the news of the signing of Senate Bill 250 by Governor Brown,” said Patricia Darragh, Executive Director of the California Olive Oil Council, one of SB 250’s supporters. “As the industry grows, our long standing commitment to quality and standards becomes a critical issue for consumers and retailers in the marketplace. Kudos to State Senator Lois Wolk for her vision and support of the California olive industry.”

    “Governor Brown has done a tremendous service for all those who enjoy the health benefits and culinary enhancement of world class extra virgin olive oil produced in California by signing SB 250 into law today. Thanks to the Governor’s actions and the tireless work of Senator Wolk to establish the Olive Oil Commission of California, consumers of California olive oil everywhere can continue to trust the exceptional quality of extra virgin olive oil produced there,” said Kimberly Houlding, Executive Director of The American Olive Oil Producers Association.

    dailydemocrat

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    SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday established a state commission to help coordinate state growers and manufacturers to strengthen the competitiveness of the rapidly growing olive oil industry. Brown signed a measure by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to establish the... 
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  • How something so mundane becomes so gourmet

    Olives face a reputation issue in America.

    We usually can find only two or perhaps three varieties in our stores: Common green, pimento or onion stuffed; canned blacks from California; and perhaps a costly Greek variety in brine, such as Kalamata.

    This hardly represents the olive world.

    Black olives are green olives left on the tree. Shiny black olives usually canned are picked green, cured with lye (no kidding) and oxygenated to speed up the ripening to black. They’re slick and squeak when bitten, not entirely appetizing.

    Kalamatas, in oil, are the eye-openers to the potential of olives. They’re strong, but their flavor holds up in cooking. Pit and chop some into your favorite meatball or meatloaf recipe.

    You’ll find scores of other olive types, ranging from the wrinkled, peppery Gaeta packed with herbs, from Italy, to the subtle, fragrant Nicoise, the brown beauty from France.

    In this company, green olives stuffed with pimentos seem mundane. You can end that easily:

    • Marinade a jar of large, pitted green olives overnight in a mixture of a clove of pressed garlic, 1/2 cup white wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove the pimentos, chop and mix them with cream cheese. Stuff the olives and serve with toothpicks. It’s a vast improvement, and you save about $8 over store-bought.

    • For cooking, go for dry-cured instead of the usual brine and vinegar varieties. They’re cured in salt, which dehydrates them and wrinkles their skin, like dried prunes. This concentrates the olive flavor, perfect for even a four-hour stew. The California blacks are mild compared to the more robust Moroccans.

    Once you’ve laid in a supply of olives, try the why-not cuisine genre. Why not use them in anything that sounds good?

    • In cold dishes, olives add bursts of flavor instead of an overall seasoning. Try slices in pasta or potato salad. Try some in your favorite white-bread recipe. Mince some black olives and add to your stuffing for roast turkey or chicken.

    Olives marry well with wild and white rice.

    • In warm dishes, olives offer more seasoning power and become less tart. Chop and add to scrambled eggs. Before baking your next meatloaf, cut it in half, stuff with olives and feta cheese, and replace the top. Be prepared for familial shock.

    Olives cut the acid edge of tomato sauce. Simmer a quarter cup of diced Kalamatas or dry-cured in a quart of sauce. They add a more complex flavor.

    OLIVE TAPENADE
    ◾1 pound assorted green and black olives
    ◾2 cloves garlic, peeled
    ◾3 T capers
    ◾2 T fresh parsley
    ◾4 T olive oil, extra virgin
    ◾2 anchovy fillets (optional)

    Pit the olives and place all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Chop until mixed but not pureed. It should be a coarse spread. Keep in a covered glass jar with a layer of olive oil on top to prevent oxidation.

    wickedlocal/Jim-Hillibish

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    Olives face a reputation issue in America. We usually can find only two or perhaps three varieties in our stores: Common green, pimento or onion stuffed; canned blacks from California; and perhaps a costly Greek variety in brine, such as Kalamata. This hardly represents the olive... 
    Read More →
  • Crete City of Rethymno Hosts Olive Oil Marketing Meet

    An interesting cross-border collaborative effort in between Crete and Cyprus is being held in the city of Rethymno on Crete Oct. 1. An all important workshop to “Promoting marketing of oil” will see formulators, mills, merchants and producers discuss how best to collectively upgrade their products.

    Organized by SEDIK, the Region of Crete and the Municipality of Rethymno, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of Cyprus, these meetups will greatly enhance cooperation between these top producing regions. Some 100 plus representatives are expected to take part in the workshop. Some topics of discussion include:

    The identification of problems and opportunities that currently exist in the marketing of olive oil in bulk, and standard
    Trends and perspectives formed today on the key foreign markets
    The presentation of the actions and effects of local and national institutions to promote exports of olive oil
    Development of the role of PDO / PGI and dietary patterns in olive oil exports.
    The analysis of quality requirements for exports of olive oil in EU and third countries
    The presentation of administrative and Banking operations and financial capabilities to export oil
    For those unfamiliar, Crete olives are world renown and have been an important export of the Island since the time of the Minoans in the Bronze Age. Of the roughly 150,000 tons of olive oil produced on Crete, only 10% is consumer on the Island. The rest of this key agricultural product is shipped around the world, and represents about one third of the gross annual incomes of Cretans.

    Participants in the workshop are to be offered copies of the book “Traditional Cretan Diet” , which was recently issued by the SEDIK. For more information on this olive oil marketing workshop readers may call: 28210 50800 or Email: info@Sedik.GR

    argophilia

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    An interesting cross-border collaborative effort in between Crete and Cyprus is being held in the city of Rethymno on Crete Oct. 1. An all important workshop to “Promoting marketing of oil” will see formulators, mills, merchants and producers discuss how best to collectively... 
    Read More →
  • Turkish Olives: 2013-2014 harvest

    The work of forecasting is carried out throughout Turkey in the five most important regions from the point of view of the production shows that the olive harvest should be 391,000 tonnes against 455,000 tonnes in the previous season, while the production of olive oil would fall to 141,000 tonnes this year, approximately 60 000 tonnes less than last year.

    Turkey is among the five largest producers of olives in the world. It exports olive oil to over 90 importing countries and olives to over 65 countries. Last season the Turkish export of this product had risen to 400 million dollars.

    blackseagrain

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    The work of forecasting is carried out throughout Turkey in the five most important regions from the point of view of the production shows that the olive harvest should be 391,000 tonnes against 455,000 tonnes in the previous season, while the production of olive oil would fall... 
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  • Miranda Kerr Shares Her Beauty Secrets: 'Olive Oil And Lemon Juice!'

    Supermodel says it’s the best cure for split ends.

    Miranda Kerr always looks her best, whether she’s been on a long haul flight, or just stepped off a catwalk, and now the Aussie babe has shared her beauty tips.

    The mother-of-one, who often tops ‘most beautiful’ lists around the world, has caught up with French Elle magazine, where she reveals that her family’s beauty tips are the best.

    “My grandmother has always been a natural beauty. When she smiles, she lights up the room. When it comes to beauty tips, my mother told me to smile as much as possible, it’s an easy trick that can completely change your demeanour,” Miranda said.

    The star, who is married to Orlando Bloom, has launched her own skincare range, Kora Organics, but actually thinks that some of the best beauty tricks are homemade.

    On her glossy hair, she said: ”Olive oil and lemon juice! At least once a week, I mix the two together and leave the mixture on my hair for as long as possible. It’s a home recipe my mother taught me and I have yet to find a better way to repair my split ends after a catwalk show.”

    The star, who was spotted supporting her husband’s new play on Broadway, Romeo and Juliet, last week added: ”I always have a hydrating spray with me and I go crazy with rose oil during the flight. Aside from giving me glowing skin by the time I land, it given me all the hydration I need.

    ”I also never travel without a healthy snack. Once I’ve reached my destination, I have a hot show then cover myself in moisturiser from head to toe.”

    Right… we’re off shopping!

    On the futured picture: Miranda Kerr at the Romeo and Juliet opening night on Broadway (Wenn)

    entertainmentwise

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    Supermodel says it’s the best cure for split ends. Miranda Kerr always looks her best, whether she’s been on a long haul flight, or just stepped off a catwalk, and now the Aussie babe has shared her beauty tips. The mother-of-one, who often tops ‘most beautiful’... 
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  • Quality standards for all olive oil types in India

    All varieties of olive oil will now have to conform to the quality standards laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

    The quality parameters, which were earlier applicable only to virgin olive oil, refined olive oil and refined olive-pomace oil, have been extended to extra virgin olive oil, ordinary virgin olive oil and olive-pomace oil with an objective to protect consumer health and to conform to international quality standards. The standards of quality for other forms of olive oil have come into force from July 2013.

    “Now, all types of olive oil need to match limits set to trace metals like copper and iron, insoluble impurities, refractive index, saponification and iodine value. Any variation can amount to violation of the norms of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and incur punishment,” said FDA joint commissioner (food) Shashikant Kekare.

    “The products covered under the provisions of this standard should comply with maximum permissible limit of lead and arsenic not exceeding 0.1mg/kg,” said Dilip Sangat, assistant commissioner (food), Pune division.

    By the end of March 2011, India’s total import of olive oil was 5,044 metric tonne (MT). In 2012, it grew to 7,163 MT, registering a growth rate of 42%. European olive oil types continue to dominate import with about 85% share with 48% coming from Spain and 36% from Italy, according to the Indian Olive Association.

    In the first three quarters of the last financial year, April-December 2012, India imported 8,000 MT, which is expected to increase to over 10,000 MT in the current year. According to Indian Olive Association data, imports of olive oil in India surged by 66% to 11,916.76 tonne in the fiscal ended on March 31, 2013.

    India is emerging as one of the fastest growing markets for olive oil, largely due to rising cases of diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases.

    Quality factors

    Refined olive oil: It is obtained from refining methods which do not lead to alteration in the initial glyceridic structure and it has a free fatty acid (FFA), expressed as oleic acid (which is a powerful anti-oxidant) of not more than 0.3 gram per 100 gram. (FFA is considered as an indicator of freshness and quality)

    Olive oil: A blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil suitable for human consumption and it has FFA of not more than 1 gram per 100 gram

    Extra virgin oil: Virgin olive oil with FFA of not more than 0.8gram per 100 gram

    Virgin olive oil: Virgin oil with FFA of not more than 2.0 gram per 100 gram

    Ordinary virgin oil: Virgin olive oil with FFA of not more than 3.3 gram per 100 gram

    Refined olive-pomace oil: Oil obtained from crude olive-pomace oil by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure and has a FFA of not more than 0.3 gram per 100 gram

    Olive-pomace oil: A blend of refined olive-pomace oil and virgin olive oil and it has a FFA of not more than 1 gram per 100 gram

    (Source: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India)
    timesofindia

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    All varieties of olive oil will now have to conform to the quality standards laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The quality parameters, which were earlier applicable only to virgin olive oil, refined olive oil and refined olive-pomace oil,... 
    Read More →
  • Greek olive oil producer has launched the competition REINSPIRE GREECE FROM THE YOUTH UP

    Given that currently 65% of Greece’s youth are unemployed, what can we do to help?

    Through the sale of this exceptional and organic extra virgin olive oil we aim to help young Greeks get back on their feet by supporting them in becoming an active part of society!

    In light of our profound belief that for our country to move forward we need to invest in the younger generation as well as in the opportunities that lie in the agribusiness sector, GAEA – the leading Greek olive oil producer – has launched the competition REINSPIRE GREECE FROM THE YOUTH UP.

    We would like to invite you to engage in the competition RE-INSPIRE GREECE FROM THE YOUTH UP which provides a business lifeline for crisis-hit young Greeks.

    This initiative aims to stimulate Greek youth to envision and set-up their own agri-business by offering to each of the 10 best business plans, the necessary seed capital of EUR 25,000 as well as invaluable mentoring and business support from GAEA’s panel of business angels and global distribution network, that will ensure the sustainability of their project.

    The initiative is funded by the limited sale of an exceptional extra virgin olive oil that has crossed the Atlantic all the way from the tiny island of Antiparos in the heart of the Aegean. “Agrilia Estate – Antiparos” olive oil is endorsed by celebrity Chef Cat Cora and is designed as a stylish gift that can be purchased at www.reinspiregreece.com for $30.00 and delivered exclusively in the United States.

    So buy a bottle of Antiparos olive oil, and help Greece move forward by allowing the talented young Greeks to pave their own path of opportunity and overcome the difficulties they are facing.

    Young Greeks, fresh out of high school, college or university and affected by the “crisis,” will present a business plan to a carefully selected judging committee who will choose the 10 most innovative, complete, and likely to succeed plans.

    The 10 selected business plans will benefit from:
    •A seed capital of €25.000 ($33.500) each, from Gaea
    •The option of a low interest soft loan from Pireaus Bank, for another €25.000 ($33.500)
    •Access to the extensive knowledge and expertise of the American Farming School of Greece
    •Free legal & financial advice from RSM International Greece, chartered accountants

    Find out more about initiative REINSPIRE GREECE FROM THE YOUTH UP

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    Given that currently 65% of Greece’s youth are unemployed, what can we do to help? Through the sale of this exceptional and organic extra virgin olive oil we aim to help young Greeks get back on their feet by supporting them in becoming an active part of society! In light... 
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  • Spain Expects Stronger Olive Oil Season

    Early estimates suggest Spain is set for a return to higher olive oil production in 2013/13 with a harvest of well over a million tons.

    After a slump to just under 615,000 this season — down 62 percent on the previous one — Carlos Cabanas. director general of Production and Agricultural Markets in the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, said this week the coming harvest stood to be a more “normal” one and in the realm of 1.2 million tons.

    read more oliveoiltimes

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    Early estimates suggest Spain is set for a return to higher olive oil production in 2013/13 with a harvest of well over a million tons. After a slump to just under 615,000 this season — down 62 percent on the previous one — Carlos Cabanas. director general of Production and... 
    Read More →
  • Recipe: Beef Stew with Aubergines Purée and extra virgin olive oil

    Ingredients

    – 1k beef (topside or brisket) cut in portions
    – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    – 2 red onions, finely chopped1 clove of garlic
    – 1 tablespoon tomato purée
    – 1 can (400g) tomatoes, finely chopped
    – ½ teacup of dry white wine
    – 1 bay leaf
    – 2-3 allspice berries
    – 1 teaspoon sugar
    – 2-3 sprigs of parsley
    – salt
    – freshly ground pepper
    – 5-6 medium sized plum aubergines, roasted
    – 500ml fresh milk
    – 2 tablespoons butter
    – 2 tablespoons flour
    – ½ small onion
    – 1 clovea pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

    Production Time
    2:05 hours

    How to Cook

    Warm the olive oil in a casserole-type pan and brown the meat on all sides for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and the finely chopped onion and stir fry them until they become translucent. Then smear the tomato purée on the bottom of the casserole. Pour in the wine and wait for the alcohol to evaporate, then, add the parsley, allspice, bay leaf and finely chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with the sugar, drizzle with very little water and season to taste. Add as little water as possible, during cooking, to help condense the flavours, so as to end up with a much tastier food. Put the lid on and simmer over a low heat until the meat melts in the mouth and the sauce thickens, that is for approximately 1h and 30 minutes.

    For the aubergines purée: Pin the clove in the halved onion and place it in a casserole along with the milk. Warm it up.Melt the butter gently in a saucepan and sprinkle with the flour. Stir with a whisker for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, discard the onion, then, add the milk, a little at a time, constantly stirring. Put back on heat and simmer gently until the sauce thickens. When ready remove from heat and add the salt and the nutmeg. In the meantime peel the roasted aubergines and mash their flesh in the food processor. Add them in and combine everything well. To serve, place the purée on a plate, top it with the meat and pour the rich sauce over.

    source: argiro

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    Ingredients – 1k beef (topside or brisket) cut in portions – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil – 2 red onions, finely chopped1 clove of garlic – 1 tablespoon tomato purée – 1 can (400g) tomatoes, finely chopped – ½ teacup of dry white... 
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  • Extra virgin export

    Greece is primarily what economists call a domestic demand-oriented economy, meaning most products are geared to the domestic market. It has the lowest ratio of exports to gross domestic products, or GDP, in the European Union, just 27% (compared to the EU-wide average of 45%). Most experts think Greece should be selling more abroad — much more.

    And olive oil, given the high quality of Greek production, should have a big role to play. Keep in mind that about three-quarters of all the oil produced in Greece is extra virgin — unlike Italy, for instance, where extra virgin accounts for a little less than half, or Spain where it is barely a third of total oil production.

    Most of this extra virgin comes from modest family farms, the backbone of the country’s agricultural economy. But such small enterprises find it difficult to compete on the international scale, lacking both investment capital and marketing skills necessary to play the game.

    The statistics surrounding Greek olive oil production are amazing. First off, Greeks consume more olive oil per capita, by far, than any other people in the world — 18 kilos or nearly 40 pounds per person annually, according to the European Commission. (By comparison, Italians consume a little less than 11 kilos — about 24 pounds — each, while the U.S. is still less than a measly kilo).

    A third of all Greek oil is exported to other countries, mostly extra virgin, mostly to the European Union. But 90% of that is sold in bulk to Italian and Spanish packagers who either bottle and rebrand the oil or blend it with more expensive home-produced oil to make the kind of cheap, indifferent oils found in supermarkets all over the world. Only 10% of this remarkable product is exported in branded bottles.

    For consumers aware of the price commanded by a bottle of premium quality Italian, French or Spanish oil, or for anyone who has experienced the quality of top Greek olive oils, there is something inherently odd about such high-quality extra virgin oil being sold off as a cheap bulk commodity. True, no one is forcing Greek producers to sell in bulk, but the olive oil market, like most agricultural niche markets around the world, is deeply conservative. The Italian market for Greek oil has always been there, going back probably several millennia, so why change things now? In short, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Reed more: zesterdaily

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    Greece is primarily what economists call a domestic demand-oriented economy, meaning most products are geared to the domestic market. It has the lowest ratio of exports to gross domestic products, or GDP, in the European Union, just 27% (compared to the EU-wide average of 45%).... 
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  • Check for a Seal of Approval Before Buying Expensive Olive Oil

    Have you ever wondered what exactly you’re getting when you purchase a bottle of olive oil? Extra virgin? Pure?

    “Pure,” explains Dan Flynn of the University of California Davis Olive Center, “which is such a great word from a marketing standpoint, indicates to a lot of consumers that they’re buying the very best olive oil. But in fact, it’s a lower grade.”

    Extra virgin is the highest grade for olive oil.

    Flynn, the olive center’s executive director, and his associate Selina Wang, its research director, recently released a study called “Consumer Attitudes on Olive Oil.” It revealed problems with consumers’ notions of this product that would make lovers of great olive oil, or those knowledgeable about it, cringe.

    Only one in four of us understands olive oil grades, the report found. Eighty percent cited flavor as an important factor in buying olive oil, yet earlier studies have shown that a majority of imported oils have off flavors or are already rancid. Rancidity negatively affects the human body by forming free radicals and depleting certain B vitamins. If you’re using olive oil for your health, ingesting a rancid one will not bear the valuable antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and viable polyphenols.

    Consumers also did not think that the terminology olive oil professionals used to convey positive attributes, such as “grassy,” “peppery” and “fruity,” made the product sound tasty. They were also confused by the term “refined.”

    “It doesn’t mean elegant or high class,” Flynn said. Typical of labeling that intends to mislead, refined means just the opposite. Refined olive oil has been processed with solvents to mask off odors and flavors. This do-over is done because the oil might have started out with olives of questionable quality, or it’s a blend of low-grade oils gushing around the Mediterranean from Turkey, Greece or Spain, or it’s been cut with other oils, such as hazelnut or safflower. In these cases, that’s all got to be covered up.

    Wang designed the consumer study. She is originally from Taiwan, where olive oil is not so familiar. “It probably took me several months to figure out all the terminology and nomenclature,” she said. “It’s very confusing.”

    20130920-203546.jpg
    Olive oil label.

    The conclusion is there is much work to be done to better communicate what’s in the bottle instead of focusing on devising language that masks unscrupulous practices.

    So how do you read an olive oil label to make sure it’s the best extra virgin you can afford?

    There are six things to do. With advice from Orietta Gianjorio, a UC Davis Olive Oil Taste Panel member who grew up in Rome and is familiar with these terms we’ve inherited from Europe, here are some clues about how to read a label. In general, look for the term extra virgin. But don’t take it for granted.

    Turn the bottle over. Where is the oil from? Just because it was packed or produced in Italy doesn’t mean the oil’s Italian. Oils come from all over the Mediterranean — Tunisia, Spain, Greece and Turkey — to Italy just to be packaged. That’s a lot of traveling. To impress you, the label may even brag that the oil has come from many countries. But now that you’re becoming an expert, you’ll know that the longer the time between harvest and processing, the better the chance the oil has of degrading.

    Look for the harvest date. Remember that olive oil is the opposite of wine. It is not meant to age. Think of it as fresh fruit juice. Olive oil is good for about two years if stored in optimum conditions, which means in a dark, room-temperature cupboard. “If the back of the label doesn’t have the harvest date, you may consider putting that bottle back on the shelf,” Gianjorio advised.

    Look for seals of approval. Many California olive oils are sent, for a fee, to the California Olive Oil Council’s panel of trained tasters. If the oil passes, the producer is given permission to place the COOC seal on the label. Most often, this is placed on the back of the bottle. However, many fine California oils from small producers are never sent to the COOC because of costs. Usually, these bottles show a harvest date.

    Smell it and taste it. Because you can’t very well take a swig at the store, Gianjorio said that as soon as you get the olive oil home, smell it and taste it. Ideally you won’t encounter the off odors, which Gianjorio described as wax, bad salami, old peanut butter, baby diaper, manure or sweaty socks.

    Take it back. “This is America. You take everything back,” Gianjorio said. Tell the store manager that the oil is rancid and return it. If the manager is unable to lead you to a better product, find a shop that specializes in fine olive oil, or look for good olive oil online.

    Favor domestic oil. First, this is not an us vs. them: There are high-quality producers all over the world. Olive oils made in the U.S. consistently score higher in quality than imports. California furnishes 97% of the olive oil produced in the U.S. If there’s a shorthand way of looking for quality, reach for olive oil from the Golden State.

    Top photo: Olive oils line shelves at Corti Brothers in Sacramento, Calif. Credit: Elaine Corn

    Zester Daily contributor Elaine Corn is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and food editor. A former editor at the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Sacramento Bee, Corn has written six cookbooks and contributed food stories to National Public Radio.

    zesterdaily

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    Have you ever wondered what exactly you’re getting when you purchase a bottle of olive oil? Extra virgin? Pure? “Pure,” explains Dan Flynn of the University of California Davis Olive Center, “which is such a great word from a marketing standpoint, indicates to a lot of... 
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  • South Africa: New olive oil entrant scoops top awards

    A new entrant into SA’s olive oil industry has scooped top awards in just its second season of operation and has substantially increased the country’s production.

    De Rustica Estates, situated near the Karoo village of De Rust at the foot of the Swartberg mountain range, produced 120000 litres of olive oil last season and expects to increase this to 200000l this year. It will constitute about 10% of South Africa’s total production, placing it at around third place among producers in terms of volume. The target is to produce 500000l/year in the next five years.

    With South Africa consuming about 6m litres of olive oil every year, while producing just 2m litres, the farm’s production provides a ready substitution for imports.

    De Rustica owner Rob Still says though South Africa’s olive oil industry is small, it punches above its weight in terms of quality.

    “We produce high-quality olive oil in this country. South Africa wines, for example, are highly regarded internationally but they are not truly great. Our olive oil, on the other hand, can compete with the very best from anywhere in the world.”

    Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity , which is about the global olive oil industry, gives credence to Still’s assessment, rating the best South Africa oil as “in the top 1% of 1% of the world”.

    Still says the farm’s capture of three gold medals at the South Africa Olive awards, including that of top oil in the intense category, is “very encouraging”. Olive oil is categorised as delicate, medium and intense, and De Rustica won awards in all three categories.

    “The farm is young and our production will increase substantially in coming seasons. But to enjoy the success we have so early into the venture is really because we are a premium producer and we are focused on quality. The more commercial farms do mechanical harvesting, which reduces quality and eliminates job opportunities.”

    The farm has 125ha of plantings, but the plans are to increase this over time. De Rustica employs “30-odd” people permanently and about 150 on a seasonal basis during the harvesting season, which takes place from mid-March to early July.

    “This region is the best climatic area in the country for olives, with colder winters and mild summers, and pure water off the Swartberg that contains no salt,” Still says.

    Describing himself as “originally a mining man”, he says a motivation for the venture into olive oil was his desire to “do something” for the region, whose mainstay, the ostrich industry, has suffered a decline in recent years. The venture, he says, has provided an alternative for the region’s farmers, most of whom are involved in ostrich farming to at least some extent.

    Marketing manager Rhys Ralph stresses that the awards were “a huge achievement”.

    “No other big commercial farms – those producing more than 100000l/year – won awards. Besides our oils, all the others in the top five in each category came from small boutique farms. We have shown that volume does not have to compromise the highest quality.”

    De Rustica’s managers are also proud of their labour and community initiatives, which include the refurbishment of a school and paying the fuel costs of transporting learners there and back home. A programme on foetal alcohol syndrome to educate pregnant women at local clinics has also been instituted.

    In addition, Still has set up a fund to contribute R200000/year to causes in the local community that uplift the environment and promote tourism.

    Nick Wilkinson, chairman of industry body South Africa Olive, welcomes De Rustica into the sector. He confirms that SA’s olive oil fits into “the top end of the quality profile” and says the industry’s main challenge at present is its battle with fraudulently labelled produce originating mainly in the EU.

    In line with claims in Mueller’s book, Wilkinson says: “Most of the product from the EU is cheap, nasty, adulterated oil with no credibility that can be attached to the claims on the labels. On top of that, EU olive oil producers – the main ones are Spain, Italy and Greece – are subsidised by their governments so that they can keep the industry’s jobs for themselves.”

    Wilkinson, who is also the owner of Rio Largo olive farm in the Cape, says one problem is that no import certificates are required for olive oil. Also, inspections are not as thorough as they should be.

    Article source financialmail

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    A new entrant into SA’s olive oil industry has scooped top awards in just its second season of operation and has substantially increased the country’s production. De Rustica Estates, situated near the Karoo village of De Rust at the foot of the Swartberg mountain... 
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  • Two new extra virgin olive oils from Greek island Crete will soon in UK stores

    UK based company Candiasoil will launch two extra virgin olive oils in UK Tesco stores on 14 October 2013. New Olive Oil products are produced on Greek island Crete.

    oi1 Peza is produced from Koroneiki olives grown in the green, fertile region of Peza in central Crete. The oil is a smooth and slightly fruity extra virgin olive oil ideal for drizzling over cooked red meat, vegetables and homemade dressings.

    oi1 Viannos is produced from Koroneiki olives, but these are grown in the mountainous and costal region of Viannos in southern Crete, which gives this extra virgin olive oil a more robust, fruity, peppery taste.

    £6.35 for each 500ml bottle.

    Why CandiaSoil olive oil is one of the best

    The olive oil we provide is exclusively from the “Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Crete” category. However, the “Extra Virgin” label, which is awarded to all olive oil with an acidity level below 0.8%, is not enough for us. Those involved in olive oil know that this limit can also be achieved by mixing various olive oils of various acidity levels (from very low to very high), so that the average may be a figure within the acceptable range limits. There are also cases of extra virgin olive oil emerging from the mixing of oils from various regions or countries, even different olive varieties or different crops (mixing older with fresher oils). Such olive oil mixtures will be good, but not the best, as they are the result of mixing olive oils with different personalities.

    The olive oil that makes a difference and is a cut above all olive oils distributed in the mass market of extra virgin olive oil has the characteristics of family-produced, artisanal olive oil: it originates from the same olive-producing region, i.e. from olive groves of the same soil and climate, it is extracted by the same olive oil mill, it is stored and preserved in the same way. This is the only olive oil that interests us and the only olive oil we sell.

    CandiaSoil

    The vision and philosophy of our company are expressed through its very name: CandiaSoil* : the olive oil of the Cretan land of Greece.

    Growing up on the Greek island of Crete and working in its olive groves, we have had unique experiences of flavour and tradition that we wish to share with you. For us, olive oil is our culture. It is integrally linked with the history of this land, with its residents’ struggle for survival, with the scents of the island.

    Having thought long and hard, we created CandiaSoil and are now in a position to offer the best olive oil produced on the Greek island of Crete. This is not merely an extra virgin olive oil; it is the most authentic olive oil, coming from a single geographical region, and offers unique scent, flavour and healthy properties.

    For us, the venture has been an enormous challenge, as we chose to distance ourselves from the modern trend of adapting olive oil as a low-price product at the expense of its quality. On the contrary, we decided to take a risk and focus our activities on only one kind of olive oil: the best. Our top goal is for the olive oil that will reach your table to be nothing but the natural juice of the olive.
    __________

    *Candia was the name of Crete during the period of Venetian rule.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    UK based company Candiasoil will launch two extra virgin olive oils in UK Tesco stores on 14 October 2013. New Olive Oil products are produced on Greek island Crete. oi1 Peza is produced from Koroneiki olives grown in the green, fertile region of Peza in central Crete. The oil... 
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