Daily Archives: December 10, 2014

  • Virgin Group wages trademark war against olive oil

    Over the last four decades, Richard Branson has turned music retailer Virgin Records into a global conglomerate that includes Virgin airlines, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Mobile and dozens of enterprises under that brand. Now anyone else trying to get into the virgin business had better watch out for Branson’s trademark lawyers.

    Since 2012, Branson’s company has opposed or delayed at least 64 trademark registrations in the U.S., taking on craft breweries, romance novelists, and a host of companies and nonprofits whose products and services don’t obviously overlap with those of the multinational giant.

    Virgin Group often stops short of suing other virgins, preferring to fight its battles at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It’s tried to prevent companies from trademarking phrases that include the word “virgin” or logos consisting of the letter V. Some of these cases can veer toward the absurd. In 2013, Virgin sought to block a Chilean company called Valle Grande that was seeking a U.S. trademark for a phrase that included the words “extra virgin olive oil” because Valle Grande was actually selling vinegar.

    Extra virgin olive oil and vinegar are two separate, distinct types of substances,” Virgin’s lawyers wrote in a filing. (They had a valid point, and Valle Grande ultimately dropped its application; still, it’s not every day that a multibillion dollar company assigns lawyers the task of ensuring that consumers don’t buy the wrong ingredients for salad dressing.)

    Win or lose, there are good explanations for Virgin Group’s vigilance. Branson’s entrepreneurial aspirations are so wide-ranging — Virgin Galactic is working on commercial space travel — and there are probably few markets the company wouldn’t at least consider entering in the future. The brand is “Virgin Group’s single biggest asset,” Fox says.

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    Over the last four decades, Richard Branson has turned music retailer Virgin Records into a global conglomerate that includes Virgin airlines, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Mobile and dozens of enterprises under that brand. Now anyone else trying to get into the virgin business had... 
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  • European Parliamentary Research Service in Olive oil sector

    The European Union (EU) is the largest producer (accounting almost three quarters) and consumer (accounting two thirds) of the olive oil in the world. Olive growing is a feature of sociocultural life in many Mediterranean regions. Olive trees are grown in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Cyprus, Slovenia and Malta. About 95% of the olive production in the EU is concentrated in Spain, Italy and Greece. Olive oil production and consumption is rising in the world driven by a public positive image.

    To enhance this public image and to strength the olive oil industry and the position of the EU olive sector in world markets, the Commission presented to the Agricultural Council meeting an action plan for the EU olive oil sector in June 2012. The action plan looks into six areas:

    – International Olive Council (IOC);
    – Quality and control;
    – Restructuring of the sector;
    – Structure of the industry;
    – Promotion;
    – Competition with third countries;

    The action plan describes the findings and outlines the actions to be taken in each of the thematic areas. Most of these actions are covered in the reformed Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020. The objective of this EPRS key source is to show sources of information related to the topics set in the action plan for the EU olive oil sector.

    Overviews

    Present and future of the Mediterranean olive sector / N. Arcas… (et al.). Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ-CIHEAM) and the International Olive Council (IOC), July 2013. 182 p.
    This reports shows that olive cultivation constitutes a key element of the Mediterranean agricultural sector, and Mediterranean countries dominate world olive oil and table olive production and consumption. Production has increased dramatically in the last decades, partly due to the establishment of intensive olive plantations using new production systems. Nevertheless, traditional olive production systems should not be forgotten, as these systems are multifunctional and contribute to rural development, landscape conservation and protect the environment against erosion and desertification. Consumption of olive products has followed similar patterns, and non-traditionally consuming countries are becoming important consumers and importers.

    Economic analysis of the olive sector / European Commission, Directorate General Agriculture and Rural Development, July 2012. 10 p. This brief is also available in Spanish , French and Italian .
    This brief analyses the situation in the sector (production, structure of farms, area, yields and production, consumption, trade, stocks, olive industry, qualitative aspects and price) the analysis of supply/demand based on a medium-term view of oil production in the EU, the analysis of the economic situation of olive farms.

    Read full research

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    The European Union (EU) is the largest producer (accounting almost three quarters) and consumer (accounting two thirds) of the olive oil in the world. Olive growing is a feature of sociocultural life in many Mediterranean regions. Olive trees are grown in Greece, Italy, Spain,... 
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  • Olio Officina Food Festival 2015

    This cultural event created by Luigi Caricato, writer, expert in EVOO and author of several books dedicated to extra virgin olive oil, hold its fourth edition in the Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan between 22 and 24 January.

    Following the success of previous years Olio Officina Food Festival continues gaining strength through its main objective: to change the habitual vision of olive oil and revolutionize the way we think and perceive this food. In fact, this event will focus its next edition in the “erotic side” of olive oil.

    Olio Officina Food Festival features a wide range of activities that address the use of olive oil in the kitchen and will include panel discussions, interviews, tastings, exhibitions of woodcuts and various cultural initiatives and an educational space with games for the children.

    The art of blending, EVOO in a dairy diet, flavored oils, balsamic vinegar and olive as an inspiration in fashion are some of the many topics that focus this festival since its birth in 2011.

    International Packaging Competition and Innovation
    Also, Olio Officina Food Festival will host the second edition of the International Packaging Competition and Innovation “Olio Officina-forms of EVOO”.

    The aim of this event is to highlight the importance of packaging as a powerful tool for extra virgin olive oil companies as a differentiating factor that adds value to this product and encourages companies to improve both product quality and appearance of their packaging, inviting the final consumer to consider and assess not only the quality of the oil, but also the aesthetics and functionality of packaging in this product.
    erotic oil
    The unparalleled inventiveness of Valerio Marini, this time played with the official tasting glass oil. The oil feeds Eros.
    For further information:
    www.olioofficina.com
    E-mail: posta@olioofficina.com
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    This cultural event created by Luigi Caricato, writer, expert in EVOO and author of several books dedicated to extra virgin olive oil, hold its fourth edition in the Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan between 22 and 24 January. Following the success of previous years Olio Officina... 
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  • Fair SIAL Canada will host a new edition of the Olive d'Or

    The International Fair SIAL Canada, to be held in Toronto from 28 to 30th April 2015, will host a new edition of the Olive d’Or, the International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Award, which in 2014 was attended by over 110 EVOOs from 14 countries.

    The Olive d’Or Award is the only contest in north America to offer access to nearly 14,000 food professionals, of which 44% are from the retail industry and 27% from food service (figures from SIAL Canada 2013).
    sial canada 2015Participants must determine in which category they want their olive oil to be presented in. There are 4 different categories:
    Ripe fruitiness, Light Fruit Flavour, Medium Fruit Flavour, Strong Fruit Flavour.

    How to classify?
    Ripe fruitiness: a set of olfactory sensations characteristic of the oil produced from healthy, fresh fruit that’s harvested later in the season. The oil is sweet, with little or no bitterness or pungency and with an aroma of
    ripe fruit, dried fruit, yellow or red fruit, as well as floral notes.

    Light Fruit Flavour: little or no sharpness or bitterness, mild taste, subtle and sweet flavor.
    Medium Fruit Flavour: sharp, with moderate bitterness, strong vegetable notes, with a long finish.
    Strong Fruit Flavour: strong, sharp and bitter (peppery), intense vegetable notes (artichoke, tomato, tomato plant, green banana, etc.), long and refined finish, a smooth, oily feeling on the palate, with a long aftertaste.

    Each participant can register one or several products. However, only two products per participant per category are allowed.

    The selection of winners will be held under the rules and ethics of International Olive Oil Council (COI) by an independent jury.
    The result s will be announced during the SIAL Canada show. 1st selection will take place from 26 to 27 April.

    Product reception deadline is April 10th.

    OLIVE D’OR 2015 – TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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    The International Fair SIAL Canada, to be held in Toronto from 28 to 30th April 2015, will host a new edition of the Olive d’Or, the International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Award, which in 2014 was attended by over 110 EVOOs from 14 countries. The Olive d’Or Award is... 
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  • Recipes: Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Alternatives with Olive Oil

    For vegetarians, Christmas can be a bit of a nightmare.
    Surrounded by turkeys, pigs in blankets and vegetables cooked in all kinds of fats, it’s nigh-on impossible not to end up with some sort of animal protein in your face.
    But, as all veggies and vegans know, there’s more to Christmas than turkey.
    We’ve pulled together some of our favorite recipes to help you celebrate the festivities meat free…
    Let us know what you think in the comments below.

    Veggie Wellington
    (Courtesy of Andy Waters, via Great British Chefs)

    Ingredients:

    Veggie Wellington

    2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm chunks
    1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked
    1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked
    2 red onions, peeled and sliced
    100g of chopped peeled chestnuts, optional
    2 slices of sourdough bread
    3 garlic cloves, peeled
    1 lemon, zest and juice
    10g of butter
    250g of button mushrooms, finely sliced
    200g of baby spinach
    50g of pine nuts
    500g of puff pastry
    1 egg
    2 tbsp of milk
    200g of curly kale
    2 1/2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
    3 pinches of salt
    2 pinches of pepper

    Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
    Serves: 10

    Method:
    • Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
    • Put the sweet potato in a large roasting tray along with a splash of olive oil.
    • Grind together the rosemary and thyme lightly for 1-2 minutes with a pestle and mortar. This helps to release the flavor. Then scatter over the sweet potato.
    • Make sure the tray with the sweet potato is covered with tin foil and place in the oven for approximately 45 minutes until soft. Once soft, remove from oven and leave to cool.
    • In the meantime, heat olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onions along with a pinch of salt and pepper for flavoring.
    • Gently cook the onions until lightly brown and soft.
    • Add the crumbled chestnuts to the lightly brown onion and cook for further 2 minutes.
    • Toast the sourdough bread until dark and golden. Tear the toasted bread into small chunks and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
    • Add the toasted bread to the pan with the onions and chestnuts. Once combined, add the lemon zest and remove the pan from the heat.
    • To prepare the mushrooms, begin by melting the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid from the mushrooms has cooked off.
    • Squeeze in a little lemon juice to the mushrooms. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the contents into a blender and blend into a paste.
    • To prepare the kale, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tear the kale into small pieces and add to the water for 2 minutes. Then add the spinach and cook for another 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.
    • Use a large bowl to mix the kale and spinach with the pine nuts, a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
    • To assemble your Wellington, roll out the puff pastry on a sheet of baking parchment until approximately 40cm x 30xm. Once equally rolled, spread out the mushroom paste on top.
    • Mix together the spinach, sweet potato and onion-bread mixture. Use a spoon to place it in a thick line down the middle of the rolled pastry, on top of the mushroom paste, leaving a gap at either side so you can join up the edges of the Wellington.
    • Hold one side of the baking parchment and lift it, with the pastry, towards the center of the Wellington so the filling is half covered.
    • Peel the baking parchment back, leaving the pastry in place and then repeat this process with the other side. The pastry should overlap in the middle when complete.
    • Beat the egg with the milk and brush it over the folded pastry to seal the join.
    • Fold up the ends of the pastry so the filling doesn’t leak out, then carefully roll the Wellington onto a baking sheet, with the seal underneath. Brush all over with the remainder of the egg mix.
    • Put in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes until puffed up, golden brown and hot through the middle.

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    For vegetarians, Christmas can be a bit of a nightmare. Surrounded by turkeys, pigs in blankets and vegetables cooked in all kinds of fats, it’s nigh-on impossible not to end up with some sort of animal protein in your face. But, as all veggies and vegans know, there’s... 
    Read More →