- Graph 1 tracks the weekly movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil in the three top EU producing countries plus Tunisia while Graph 3 shows the weekly changes in the producer prices for refined olive oil in the three main EU producers. The monthly...
Graph 1 tracks the weekly movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil in the three top EU producing countries plus Tunisia while Graph 3 shows the weekly changes in the producer prices for refined olive oil in the three main EU producers. The monthly price movements for the same two grades of oil are given in Graphs 2 and 4.
It is not the place of the IOC to judge whether these price levels reflect an adequate balance between production costs along the supply chain and the prices that consumers are prepared to pay to continue consuming olive oil but they are a concern that all the players will no doubt take into account for the long-term sustainable equilibrium and development of the sector (see comments in section I.1 regarding the December 2014 import figures for several countries).
Extra virgin olive oil: Producer prices in Spain started to rise constantly in the second half of 2014. After breaking the three-euro barrier in the second week of December 2014, they continued on their upward trajectory to peak at €3.29/kg in the second week of February 2015. After hovering around this level with intermittent upturns, prices stood at €3.27/kg at the end of March 2015, 64 pc higher than a year earlier and 67 pc above the low recorded in the third week of May 2014 (€1.96/kg) (Graph 1).
Italy: In recent months, producer prices in Italy have been on a very clear upward trend. In the week from 10 to 16 November 2014, they hit the highest level of both the period under review and the last decade, reaching €6.79/kg. After a small dip in the second last week of December 2014, prices switched back upwards and then leveled off, lying at €6.01/kg at the end of March 2015, equating with an increase of 84 pc on a year earlier and 128 pc compared with the low recorded in the second week of December 2013 (€2.64/kg). Graph 2 shows how the monthly prices of extra virgin olive oil have changed in recent crop years.
Greece: Lately, prices have been high, breaking the three-euro/kg barrier in the third week of January 2015; however, since then they have inched down to €2.94/kg at the end of March 2015 (+15 pc on the same period a season earlier).
Tunisia: At the end of December 2014, producers were paid €2.73/kg for their extra virgin olive oil. Prices held steady for a few weeks but then started to move upwards and peaked at €3.10/kg by the end of February. However, in recent weeks they have dipped, reaching €3.03/kg at the end of March 2015, equating with period-on-period growth of +24 pc.
Refined olive oil: After moving upwards, producer prices for refined olive oil in Spain and Italy seem to shifting away from the previous highs. In Spain they have dipped slightly to €2.78/kg at the end of March 2015, but still up by 53 pc on the same period of the preceding crop year. In Italy prices stood at €2.91/kg at the end of March 2015, translating into a period-on-period increase of 48 pc which places Italian prices in their usual position above Spanish prices. No price data are available for this product category in Greece.
At the end of March 2015, the price of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil in Spain differed by €0.49/kg, with €2.78/kg being paid for the first category and €3.27/kg for the second. In Italy, the difference in price between the two categories is considerably wider than in Spain (€3.10/kg – Graph 3).
Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 92 – March 2015VN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- Food and drink research firm Campden BRI has been chosen by the Rural Payments Agency to carry out authenticity testing of olive oil. Authenticity of food and drink products and ingredients has become steadily more important to the consumer – and hence to regulatory authorities...
Food and drink research firm Campden BRI has been chosen by the Rural Payments Agency to carry out authenticity testing of olive oil.
Authenticity of food and drink products and ingredients has become steadily more important to the consumer – and hence to regulatory authorities – in recent years.
Ingredient substitution can be classified as a fraudulent activity and is defined, by the Food Standards Agency, as: “The deliberate placement on the market, for financial gain, with the intention of deceiving the consumer, covering two main types of fraud. These include the sale of food which is unfit and potentially harmful, as well as the deliberate mis-description of food, such as products substituted with a cheaper alternative.”
In food testing, typical quality control questions asked include: is the rice basmati, is the burger really beef, and is the fish finger really cod?
These types of questions require a range of different techniques to determine the answers – including chemical and biochemical analysis, DNA fingerprinting, and various forms of spectroscopy and microscopic evaluation.
Authenticity is important because certain food characteristics, such as their origin and exact nature, are indicative of higher quality.
For example, the authenticity of olive oil has always been very important. EU olive oil regulations are coming into force in the UK to help ensure that olive oil is marketed correctly and to provide a deterrent against fraud.
Campden BRI will help enforce these regulations via chemical testing at its laboratories in Gloucestershire.
Head of chemistry and biochemistry at Campden BRI Julian South says: “The chemical analytical techniques that we will be using include methods and all sound quite familiar, but much of the skill lies in the interpretation of results which demands experience and understanding.
“We are responsible for all the testing of Extra Virgin olive oil, Virgin olive oil, olive oil composed of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils, and olive pomace oil imported into the UK.”
South says the contract is to analyse batches of olive oil for a range of lipid components which are used to categorise it into different grades.
“These results, in collaboration with sensory analysis to be undertaken by a laboratory approved by the International Olive Oil Council, will be used to determine whether the grade declared on the product label is genuine,” South says.
Source LaboratorytalkVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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