Monthly Archives: November 2015

  • Greek debate over the EC proposal to increase duty-free imports of Tunisian olive oil

    Greek unionists and politicians have belatedly begun to debate the European Commission (EC) proposal to increase duty-free imports of Tunisian olive oil into the EU.

    After months of relative silence on the European Commission (EC) proposal to increase duty-free imports of Tunisian olive oil into the EU by 35,000 metric tons per year in 2016 and 2017, Greek unionists and politicians have begun to debate the issue. The question is not whether to support the proposal, since almost no one does, but whom to blame for supporting it.

    Since late November, two lines of argument have dominated the debate. One side claims that the increased import quota benefits the olive oil standardization industry of Italy and Spain by reducing oil prices with an infusion of cheaper olive oil from Tunisia, thus harming Greek (and other European) farmers.

    This side opposes the quota increase and criticizes the Greek government for allegedly failing to oppose it, arguing that Greek farmers are already struggling enough with an economic crisis, delayed EU subsidy payments, and the expectation of drastic tax increases.

    The president of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Heraklion, Crete, Andreas Stratakis, has gone so far as to call for the removal of the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Evangelos Apostolou, whom many blame for either allegedly supporting or at least failing to strongly oppose the proposal.

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    Greek unionists and politicians have belatedly begun to debate the European Commission (EC) proposal to increase duty-free imports of Tunisian olive oil into the EU. After months of relative silence on the European Commission (EC) proposal to increase duty-free imports of Tunisian... 
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  • Recipe: Flakey Roasted Turkey & Vegetable Pot pie with EVOO

    Ingredients:

    2Tbsp. extra-virgun olive oil
    1½ c chopped onions
    3 medium carrots (Small Dice)
    2 Ribs Celery (small Dice)
    2 clove garlic
    ? c parsley
    3 tbsp all-purpose flour
    1½ c Turkey Stock
    1 c cream
    1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
    salt
    Freshly ground pepper
    2½ c shredded leftover roasted turkey breast meat
    1 c frozen peas
    1tsp chopped thyme
    1 tsp. finely chopped sage
    6 sheets phyllo
    Olive oil cooking spray

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, then add carrots and garlic. Cook until onions are brown and carrots are just tender. Stir in parsley and cook for 1 more minute.

    Sprinkle vegetables with flour and cook, stirring, until flour turns golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add broth, milk, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste; then increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 6 minutes. Stir in turkey, peas, and chopped sage. Evenly divide mixture among six 1-cup ramekins.

    Place 1 phyllo sheet horizontally on a work surface lightly sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Cut vertically into 3 pieces, then stack. Cut in half to create 2 squares, stack again, then place a sage leaf between top 2 layers. Top 1 potpie with phyllo squares and lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray. Repeat for remaining 5 phyllo sheets. Place potpies on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

    recipe source

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    Ingredients: 2Tbsp. extra-virgun olive oil 1½ c chopped onions 3 medium carrots (Small Dice) 2 Ribs Celery (small Dice) 2 clove garlic ? c parsley 3 tbsp all-purpose flour 1½ c Turkey Stock 1 c cream 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard salt Freshly ground pepper 2½ c shredded leftover... 
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  • Antitrust: new European Commission Guidelines on joint selling of olive oil

    The following press release was issued by the European Commission on November 27, 2015 11:45 am.

    The European Commission has adopted new Guidelines on how specific agricultural derogations from EU antitrust rules apply to the sale of certain agricultural products. The Guidelines will help explain to farmers how, if certain conditions are fulfilled, they can jointly sell olive oil, beef and veal, and arable crops in compliance with EU competition rules. The European markets for these three products are worth more than €80 billion annually. An explanatory factsheet is available here.

    Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “These Guidelines are a manual explaining to farmers how to organise themselves in order to be able to jointly sell olive oil, beef and veal, and arable crops, while still fully respecting EU competition rules. The objective is to ensure that European farmers can work together to remain competitive and benefit from bargaining power towards the buyers”.

    Phil Hogan, Commissioner for agriculture and rural development, said: “The guidelines are about strengthening farmers’ collective position in the food supply chain by setting out clear and practicable rules. They help farmers to counter-balance the effects of increasing concentration at the processing and retailing stages of the chain. This is an important step towards workable conditions of competition on agricultural markets and the full use of the available tools in the new CAP.“

    The new Guidelines complement the 2013 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform that introduced a number of changes to the rules on how EU farmers can cooperate. The aim of the CAP reform measures is to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of EU farmers and strengthen their bargaining power vis-à-vis buyers, while still preserving a market-oriented approach.

    The EU’s standard competition rules ban agreements to set prices or other trading conditions or to share markets unless the agreements improve production or distribution while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU). These standard competition rules apply to the agricultural sector subject to certain specific derogations as set out in the Common Market Organisation Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 – the “CMO Regulation”).

    These Guidelines are about three efficiency-based derogations that allow producers of olive oil, beef and veal, and arable crops to jointly sell and set prices, volumes and other terms through recognised organisations, if they fulfil certain conditions (Articles 169, 170 and 171 of the CMO Regulation).

    In particular:

    – such organisations must make farmers significantly more efficient by providing them with supporting activities other than sales (e.g. storage, transport, distribution); and

    – the volumes marketed by a given organisation must not exceed certain thresholds (20% of the relevant market for olive oil and 15% of the national market for beef and veal, and arable crops).

    The new Guidelines help farmers to comply with these requirements. They will also help competition authorities and judicial authorities in the Member States to apply the new rules. In particular, they:

    – provide a clear definition/indication of the type of activities that can create the significant efficiencies required to benefit from the derogation and give specific examples of situations in which such activities can create significant efficiencies;

    – give guidance on how to calculate the volumes marketed by farmers’ organisations and how to check that they do not exceed the thresholds, taking into account notably natural variations over time;

    – explain how exceptional circumstances, e.g. a natural disaster, can be taken into account when calculating the volumes marketed by farmers’ organisations; and

    – clarify the situations in which the national competition authorities and the Commission may apply the safeguard clause foreseen by the CMO Regulation. This safeguard clause allows competition authorities, in exceptional circumstances, to decide that joint sales of a farmers’ organisation should be either reassessed or should not take place if the overall market is negatively affected.

    The Guidelines will be published in the EU Official Journal in the coming days.The full text of the Guidelines will be available here.

    Background

    Between January and May 2015 the Commission carried out a public consultation on the draft text of the Guidelines. Further to this, the European Parliament and the competition authorities of the Member States were consulted. All the replies to these consultations are available here.

    Successive reforms have made the CAP increasingly market-oriented. Today, European agricultural producers compete on a daily basis in many markets, where they face specific challenges:

    – increasing consumer demands, for better, sustainable and traceable products;

    – global competition from non-European imports;

    – business partners who are often larger and financially stronger, be it processors, manufacturers or retailers, as the majority of the agricultural holdings in Europe are very small.

    The Commission’s impact assessment in the context of the latest CAP Reform pointed out the need to improve the functioning of the food supply chain and to create the right conditions for the agricultural sector to become more competitive and innovative. In particular, this implies encouraging cooperation between farmers through producer organisations and associations of producer organisations while ensuring competition in the sector.

    The above press release was issued by the European Commission on November 27, 2015 11:45 am.

    Copyright European Commission.

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    The following press release was issued by the European Commission on November 27, 2015 11:45 am. The European Commission has adopted new Guidelines on how specific agricultural derogations from EU antitrust rules apply to the sale of certain agricultural products. The Guidelines... 
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  • The Six Health and Beauty Benefits of Olive Oil

    Olive oil has been a staple ingredient in Mediterranean diets for thousands of years. Today it is commonly used in a wide variety of recipes. It is equally delicious in salad dressings, as a deep frying oil or as a dip for a good crusty bread. Not only is it tasty, it is also known and appreciated for its health and beauty benefits. However, it does not always need to be consumed in order to obtain those benefits.

    Remove Makeup and Wrinkles

    Olive oil provides a double benefit when used at night to remove makeup. Even stubborn eye makeup can be removed easily, without scrubbing, and the gentle oil will not sting eyes. Because the oil absorbs easily into the skin, it will not leave the face feeling greasy or looking shiny, and its benefits will not be ruined by rinsing off the face afterwards. Its moisturizing capabilities and high level of Vitamin E make it perfect for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Best of all, it is non-comedogenic, so it will not clog pores.

    Remove Makeup and Wrinkles

    Naturally Treat Dry Skin

    Extremely dry skin and eczema flare ups are uncomfortable and can be difficult to remedy. Moisturizers and creams often contain perfumes or other ingredients that cause stinging and may irritate the skin even more, and even the best facial cleansers may still dry out especially sensitive faces. But when used with olive oil, certain cleansers can create a gentle yet powerful means of relieving dry skin. It can reduce redness and irritation within a very short time. Additionally, allergic reactions to olive oil are extremely rare. It can be applied day and night in the same manner as any lotion, or by adding raw egg white to the oil, a mask can be created. This can be applied and allowed to sit and dry before washing off to focus the benefits on a particularly dry section of skin.

    Remove Stubborn Stretch MarksRemove Stubborn Stretch Marks

    The same high level of Vitamin E that makes olive oil perfect for treating wrinkles and fine lines, also helps to fade away stretch marks. When used from the beginning of a pregnancy it can prevent stretch marks from even appearing. By applying the oil directly to the areas where the stretch marks are located, the lines will begin to fade and become less noticeable. It does take time, so users should expect to need to apply the product twice a day for a couple of weeks before results will begin to show.

    Eliminate an Itchy ScalpEliminate an Itchy Scalp

    Olive oil has been used as a natural remedy for centuries to eliminate dandruff. This product will not harm the hair the way commercial products might. In addition, it does not need to be used every day, but only once to thoroughly cleanse the skin and allow the scalp to finally heal itself. By applying the oil to the hands and massaging it into the scalp, it will immediately begin to release flaky patches and moisturize the skin underneath. Leave the oil on the head overnight by covering with a shower cap. Plan on washing the hair twice in the morning to eliminate any oily residue. If dry scalp does reoccur in the future, just perform the same treatment again.

    Enjoy Shiny Thick HairEnjoy Shiny Thick Hair

    A healthy scalp will help hair to grow faster and reduce hair fall, but this is not all olive oil can do for the hair. The oil can be warmed or applied cold. Massage throughout the hair, paying extra attention to the roots and ends. Allow the oil to remain in the hair for about 15 minutes and then shampoo and condition as usual. Hair will instantly be shinier, tangle less and be less prone to breakage. Over time many users discover their hair has become thicker and fuller as well.

    Nourish the Whole BodyNourish the Whole Body

    If you spend a significant portion of your day taking on the corporate world from the seat of an office task chair, then you probably don’t have all much time left over to focus on your physical health. The fat in olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid. This means it can help people to balance their insulin levels, and raise their good cholesterol numbers. It can help to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack and reduce blood pressure. It can also improve circulation, improve metabolism and may even reduce the risk of breast cancer. There have been studies that show it may assist with treating pancreatitis and ulcerative colitis and may prevent cell damage in the liver. Since beauty and good health go hand-in-hand, it is a smart decision to include this product in every diet.

    Olive oil is a versatile and affordable health and beauty product. Not only can it replace less healthy oils in nearly any recipe in the kitchen, it can also eliminate some of the clutter on the bathroom vanity as well. People can feel good using it too, because as a natural product it contains no chemicals and is a sustainable and environmentally safe product.

    Article written by Paisley Hansen

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    Olive oil has been a staple ingredient in Mediterranean diets for thousands of years. Today it is commonly used in a wide variety of recipes. It is equally delicious in salad dressings, as a deep frying oil or as a dip for a good crusty bread. Not only is it tasty, it is also... 
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  • EU regulators say farmers can form cartels under certain conditions

    Farmers can set up cartels to jointly sell olive oil, beef and veal without flouting antitrust rules as long as their market share does not exceed 20 percent, EU competition regulators said on Friday.

    The European Commission said the new guidelines would strengthen farmers’ competitiveness in a sector worth more than 80 billion euros (£56.3 billion) annually in Europe.

    In addition to sales, the groups must also provide storage, transport and distribution facilities to the farmers, the EU executive said.

    It said the volumes marketed by the groups must not exceed 20 percent of the market for olive oil and 15 percent of the national market for beef, veal or arable crops.

    “The objective is to ensure that European farmers can work together to remain competitive and benefit from bargaining power towards the buyers,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

    The new rules were drafted following a consultation from January to May this year.

    Source

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    Farmers can set up cartels to jointly sell olive oil, beef and veal without flouting antitrust rules as long as their market share does not exceed 20 percent, EU competition regulators said on Friday. The European Commission said the new guidelines would strengthen farmers’... 
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  • Canada's biggest Olive Oil Contest Olive d’Or 2016

    The Olive d’Or competition takes place within the framework of SIAL Canada, the largest food industry fair in this country on the North American continent.

    The olive oils entering the contest should come from a homogenous batch of at least 1,000 liters, and not be distributed under a generic brand. Each participant can register various products, but only two per category.

    During the fair all the olive oils entering the contest are displayed at the Olive d’Or space, which is especially designed to highlight the qualities of each of the oils (origin, information on the producer and distributor, classification), and these can be sampled by the visitors at the event.

    Participating olive oils must respect the following criteria:

    Extra virgin olive oil
    Contain less than 0.8% of oleic acid
    Be issued from a minimum homogenous lot of 1.000 L
    Participants 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.

    Each participant can register one or several products.

    COMPETITION

    The selection of winners will be held under the rules and ethics of International Olive Oil Council (COI) by an independent jury. The jury’s decision is final and without appeal. The results will be announced during the SIAL Canada show. No explanation will be given.

    1st selection: April 11th, 2016
    Date of jury: April 12th, 2016

    PACKAGES

    Package 1: Participation at 2016 contest + showcase your product in the Olive d’Or area + get referenced in the official showguide.

    Package 2: Package 1 + sampling of your product in the Olive d’Or area during the 3 days of SIAL Canada 2016 + get the list of potential buyers who visited this space.

    Tasting session in the Olive d’Or area
    By choosing Package 2, your product will be offered for tasting to all visitors of the Olive d’Or area. Tasting sessions will be driven by a professional hostess. This hostess will scan the badge of each visitor in order to retrieve their contact information. The list of these professional buyers or potential business partners will then be sent to participants who choose Package 2.
    As a reminder, SIAL Canada’s attendees are potential buyers from the retail and foodservice sectors.

    Participants will not be allowed to promote their products themselves in the Olive d’Or area.

    SAMPLE SHIPPING

    Product reception deadline: March 30th, 2016

    QUANTITY:

    If you choose Package 1: please send 3 bottles
    If you choose Package 2: please send 6 bottles (3 for the jury tasting sessions and 3 for the tasting in Olive d’Or area).
    All bottles must be of one of the following formats: 500ml or 750ml. If in your country, formats are different, 375ml formats can be exceptionally accepted. Tinted or transparent glass bottles are accepted.

    ADDRESS:
    OLIVE D’OR – SIAL CANADA
    Expo Canada France Inc.
    To Magalie Moreau
    2120 Sherbrooke Est, # 901
    Montréal (Qc) Canada H2K 1C3

    Download brochure

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    The Olive d’Or competition takes place within the framework of SIAL Canada, the largest food industry fair in this country on the North American continent. The olive oils entering the contest should come from a homogenous batch of at least 1,000 liters, and not be distributed... 
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  • Uncover sources of future market growth for the Olive Oil in Eurasia

    After the decrease in consumption of oils and fats in 2013, 2014 recorded positive results. The devaluation of the national currency led to a shift towards less expensive products and larger bottles. Moreover, locals usually have wide range of oils at home for various purposes, such as sunflower oil for cooking, better quality vegetable or seed oil for salads or snack preparation, butter for sandwiches and margarine for baked goods.

    During the forecast period oils and fats will likely be more carefully analysed by customers and a switch towards healthier products is expected to take place. Consumer education, the improving quality of life, and the growing trend towards health and fitness will drive a more careful selection of oils and fats.

    Olive oil is set to benefit from these trends and the expected increase in consumption over the forecast period is the highest among all oils and fats.




    Olive oil market in Kazakhstan

    The olive oil market in Kazakhstan is still young, growing faster than other oils. This country does not have its own production and the market feeds directly of imports, as shows a report by ICEX Spain Export and Investment.

    The major exporters to this market are Spain, Turkey, Italy, Lithuania and Greece, with Spain as undisputed leader in sales with a market share of 67.32% in 2014.

    According to this study, the consumption of olive oil is still limited, and that ignorance is high and usually has specific uses (salads, special meals…).

    At the product level, olive oil has a “great presentation” in the market, with strong positioning in commercial areas, a large variety of brands and products closely identified with its origin.

    The main sales points are hypermarkets and supermarkets along with Premium stores. The study shows that olive oil is rarely found in classical markets and bazaars or if so there are greater risks of falsification and fraud regarding low quality products.

    Speaking about the perception of the Spanish product, the report indicates that it is considered of high quality and a very good choice because of its good quality-to-price ratio, although the main problem of this market is that product knowledge is still very limited.

    Increased growth
    The report also highlights that the oil market has been having the highest growths among the other oils with an increase of 31% in 2014.

    Therefire, the Westernization of the population, the increase of modern sales areas, higher knowledge about quality olive oil and the development of a gastronomic education make this market more and more relevant lately.

    One of the biggest problems of the Kazakh market is the logistics and geographical distance. Market access has to be performed under the standards of the Customs Economic Union, in which Kazakhstan is involved.

    As ICEX highlights, this country is a challenge for olive oil exports and presents difficulties, although this should not discourage the companies to enter in it, as it presents interesting opportunities.

    Article sources: mercacei, Euromonitor

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    After the decrease in consumption of oils and fats in 2013, 2014 recorded positive results. The devaluation of the national currency led to a shift towards less expensive products and larger bottles. Moreover, locals usually have wide range of oils at home for various purposes,... 
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  • A team of European scientists has developed a portable analyzer of pollutants in oil

    Biofos is a specific-target research program (STREP) co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program.

    A team of European scientists has developed a portable analyzer of pollutants in oil, milk, nuts and dried fruit. The system, based on biosensors, photonics and microfluidics, seeks to simplify the analysis process providing instant results with a “simple and inexpensive” tool.

    The aim of Biofos is to develop a simple, fast, low-cost, sensitive, portable and reliable, screening tool for in-situ detection of food contaminations. The reusable biosensing system will be based on optical interference and lab-on-a-chip (LoC) technology. By combining the most promising concepts from the photonic, biological, nanochemical and fluidic parts of LoC systems, the BIOFOS system is targeting in the specific and highly sensitive detection of antibiotics, mycotoxins, insecticides and heavy metals in milk, olive oil and nuts.

    Thus, as reported by the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA), the developed device uses biosensors to identify, for the moment, seven contaminants in food sectors analyzed: metals (copper) pesticides (phosmet) in oil, antibiotics (penicillin and Aflotaxina M1) and lactose in milk; and mycotoxins (aflatoxin B1, ochratoxin A) in nuts.

    The system integrates several characteristics of a LoC (“Lab on a chip”), a small size device that allows several tests, so that a single device can detect various pollutants when functions.

    According to IRTA, the LoC also provides significant advantages over other techniques used until this date: it does not require hazardous reagents, in fact the biosensor can be reused up to 30 times and does not require specialized personnel.

    The project, which began in late 2013, is formed by a consortium of 10 partners from institutes and European companies specializing in research and innovation in photonics, biochemical and electrical engineering, and other technical specialties.

    IRTA participates as an expert in the product definition for end users, providing the link between scientific research and industry, as well as the validation of the technique at the analytical level. It is expected that by 2016 it will have a prototype to prepare the release of the Biofos system.

    In its opinion, the flexibility offered by this system can help improve food security, facilitating the control of contaminants throughout the production chain, especially in the buying and selling of raw materials and processing industries.

    Article source

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    Biofos is a specific-target research program (STREP) co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program. A team of European scientists has developed a portable analyzer of pollutants in oil, milk, nuts and dried fruit. The system, based on biosensors, photonics... 
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  • EVOOLEUM WORLD'S TOP100 EVOO Competition is now open for registration

    Competition, sponsored by Mercacei and AEMO, is already running. From today until January 25th 2016 individual producers, producer associations and production companies around the world can submit their EVOOs of the 2015/16 Campaign to participate in a Contest that will choose the best 100 extra virgin olive oils around the world. This competition has been created with the intention of becoming the best and most rigorous international contest regarding quality of extra virgin olive oils.

    But this is only the beginning. The best 100 EVOOs in the world, sorted according to their score in the competition, will be presented at the EVOOLEUM Guide. WORLD’S TOP100 EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS, published in English and of annual periodicity, which will be distributed at major fairs and events in the olive sector, as well as gourmet and delicatessen stores, bookstores and specialist outlets spread around the five continents.

    EVOOLEUM WORLD’S TOP100 EVOOs Competition will have two distinguishing factors: Rules that guarantee the most objective, rigorous and independent process of valuation and classification of samples; and Tasting Panel formed by the most prestigious international experts.

    The different categories established in the contest will allow consumers to know which are the best EVOOs in the world attending to their organoleptic characteristics, origin, olive varieties, Protected Designation of Origin or packaging, without forgetting the organic oils.

    Therefore, the following awards in different categories will be established: Award for Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which will be the one who obtains the highest absolute score; EVOO TOP 3, the best three EVOOs in total score (whose image will serve to illustrate the cover of the Guide); Best Green Fruitiness and Best Ripe Fruitiness (as the category of fruitiness); Best Intense Fruitiness, Best Medium Fruitiness and Best Light Fruitiness (as the intensity of fruitiness); Best of each country, considering only those countries presenting five or more samples (depending on the origin); Best Monovarietal, also considering only those olive varieties that have five or more samples; Best Southern Hemisphere and Best Northern Hemisphere; Best Ecologic Oil in the categories of Intense Fruitiness, Medium and Light; Special Award for the Best Protected Designation of Origin, which will be the one whose three best oils add up more points than the rest of PDOs; Award for Best packaging, in the following categories: Best Design EVOO Premium (gourmet segment), Best innovative Design and Best Design in Retail (those oils oriented to the market sales in the retail area). In each of the three categories Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded.

    The EVOOs submitted should come from a batch of at least 2,500 liters, stored in the oil mill and the candidate must maintain the oil in their facilities until at least 30 days after the closing of the competition notice. Each candidate may submit only one sample per trademark or type of oil.

    How to register
    The competition has its own website with versions in Spanish and English, www.evooleum.com/en, notable for its elegant design, simplicity, cleanliness and clarity. In it those interested can find detailed information about the competition and the contest as well as the registration form and composition of the Tasting Panel.

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    Competition, sponsored by Mercacei and AEMO, is already running. From today until January 25th 2016 individual producers, producer associations and production companies around the world can submit their EVOOs of the 2015/16 Campaign to participate in a Contest that will choose... 
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  • Olive Oil Lucca’s centuries-old traditions

    Beyond the medieval brick walls that enclose the Tuscan city of Lucca, the rolling rural hills are blanketed with acres of silver-leaved olive trees. The arrival of late autumn here signals the season of the olive harvest, as it has since the 1300s, when the city’s noble families first built vacation homes with farms and groves on the fertile slopes of the province, supplying their households with olive oil, wine and firewood throughout the year.

    There’s something persuasive about Lucca’s centuries-old traditions: Most of the area’s farmers are deeply committed to the land and to organic and biodynamic agriculture. “We’re returning to the old-fashioned techniques,” says Barbara Chelini, one of the four siblings running the Colle di Bordocheo farm. “In Lucca, we try to preserve everything as best we can.” She was born 100 yards from where her pickers rake olives from the trees into nets that cover the ground underneath, to be gathered up and cold-pressed under a mill wheel the same day. This season, Chelini is bottling around 2,000 liters of oil, most of which will sell immediately to local specialty stores and restaurants, to visitors to the farm and to locals placing Christmas orders.

    The oil of Lucca — grassy, herbaceous, with notes of artichoke and a peppery finish — is among the most prized in Italy, but limited production means that very little makes its way beyond the region. There are only small-batch farmers here, and their natural methods reduce output and carry more risks. Chelini sprays her plants with copper-infused water to prevent fungus — but that method proved an impotent defense against the olive fly invasion last year, which left every organic and biodynamic farm fruitless. This year’s warm, dry summer and the plentiful harvest that followed were cause for relief and celebration.

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    Beyond the medieval brick walls that enclose the Tuscan city of Lucca, the rolling rural hills are blanketed with acres of silver-leaved olive trees. The arrival of late autumn here signals the season of the olive harvest, as it has since the 1300s, when the city’s noble families... 
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  • Recipe by Marc Jacobs’s personal chef: Celeriac Soup with Olive Oil

    As the brisk winds of fall ease into winter, we begin to crave warmth—and one tasty solution comes in the form of a hot, hearty soup. It can be tough, however, to strike the right balance between richness and nourishment, which is why we turned to Lauren Gerrie, cofounder of BigLittle Get Together and Marc Jacobs’s personal chef, for her expert advice.

    “Soups are kind of limitless and so versatile,” says Gerrie, who’s been cooking professionally for 10 years now. “People are realizing how satisfying a good soup can be when it’s jam-packed with protein, fiber, and greens.” Jacobs, for his part, loves a hearty chicken and vegetable soup—“I make it for him all the time!”—and Gerrie often seasons her broths with fresh herbs, chilies, and spices, which bring added nutrition “and generate heat in these cold, cold months.”

    Though all her soup stocks are painstakingly made from scratch, Gerrie happily shared three quick and easy recipes, each one Marc Jacobs tested and approved. From a creamy carrot ginger to a clever faux pho, these three healthy recipes are sure to keep you warm—and fashionably fed—all season long.

    Celeriac Soup

    “This recipe can be done with any type of nondairy milk: coconut, rice, cashew, et cetera. It can also be done with dairy milk or water—just adjust the seasoning to your own liking.”

    Ingredients:
    1 large celery root
    5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
    2 Kaffir lime leaves
    1 bay leaf
    Almond milk
    Salt
    Pepper
    Extra-virgin olive oil

    Instructions:
    1. Clean the celery root by slicing off the exterior skin, then cut it into large cubes.

    2. Place the cubed celery root and garlic in a medium-size pot and add almond milk to cover.

    3. Add the Kaffir lime and bay leaves and a couple of generous pinches of salt and pepper, then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.

    4. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until fork-tender.

    5. Strain over a bowl, keep the cooking liquid, and discard the leaves.

    6. Puree the mixture in a Vitamix or other high-power blender, adding more almond milk as needed. The less milk you use, the thicker the soup or puree.

    7. Add salt and pepper to taste. For a richer soup, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and blend again.

    Recipe source

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    Rating: 3.4/10 (306 votes cast)
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    As the brisk winds of fall ease into winter, we begin to crave warmth—and one tasty solution comes in the form of a hot, hearty soup. It can be tough, however, to strike the right balance between richness and nourishment, which is why we turned to Lauren Gerrie, cofounder of... 
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  • Recipe: Chelsea La Valle's Walnut Crusted Monkfish with Great Northern Bean Puree and EVOO

    INGREDIENTS

    For the Monkfish
    1 cup walnuts
    1 pound monk fish fillets
    salt and pepper
    ½ cup butter

    For the puree
    1 can Great Northern Beans, drained
    Zest of 1½ lemons
    Juice of one lemon
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    ¼ cup heavy cream
    ½ cup chicken stock

    For the fettuccine
    3⅓ cups all-purpose flour
    4 whole eggs, 1 yolk
    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon water

    For the Italian Sausage and Bell Pepper Skhug Sauce
    4 slices prosciutto
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    ¾ pound loose Italian sausage
    2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch strips
    1 yellow bell pepper, cut into ½-inch strips
    1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon pepper
    4 tablespoons fresh basil, slice into thin strips, chiffonade, separated
    6 tablespoons skhug
    Zest of 1 lemon
    ⅔ cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese

    DIRECTIONS


    For the walnuts: Place 1 cup walnut pieces in dry skillet over medium heat. Cook until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool. Chop until fine; set aside.

    For the fish: Trim fish and cut into portions. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Place fish pieces into pan and sauté, turning half way during cooking process, and basting with butter in pan approximately 10 minutes, or until fish is no longer opaque and cooked through.

    Remove from pan and drain on plate. Brush fish fillets generously with bean puree and top with toasted walnuts.

    For the Great Northern Bean Puree: Combine beans, lemon zest and juice, salt, olive oil and cream in blender and puree until smooth. With motor running, gradually add chicken stock. Adjust seasoning to taste.

    For the pasta: Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add eggs and egg yolk. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape. The dough will come together in loose mass when about half of the flour is incorporated. Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands, and incorporate remaining flour. Form dough into a ball adding a little water as necessary; dough should be elastic and a little sticky.

    Pour olive oil in a medium size bowl and coat sides. Place dough in bowl, cover with a dish towel, and set aside for 20 minutes to rest at room temperature.

    Section the dough into approximately 8 pieces and roll each section with rolling pin to approximately ¼-inch thickness. Using a pasta roller (in my case a KitchenAid mixer pasta roller) begin feeding dough through machine, adjusting thickness as appropriate. The final feed should be at the number 3 setting.

    Dust flattened sheets with a little flour and carefully roll by hand into a log form. Using a sharp knife, cut roll into fettuccine sized width. Unroll and separate individual noodles.

    Add uncooked noodles to rapidly boiling salted water and cook 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the size of your pasta.

    For the sauce: Slice prosciutto into slices and fry in small skillet until crispy. Set aside for garnish.

    In large skillet, heat olive oil. Add peppers, onions, salt and pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Add sausage to pepper mixture, stirring frequently in order to break sausage into small pieces, until browned approximately 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons fresh basil, skhug, and stir to combine and simmer 10 minutes. Add heavy cream and mascarpone, stirring to thoroughly incorporate. Add cooked pasta, stirring to coat pasta with sauce.

    To plate: Place a generous portion of pasta and sauce in center of plate, swirling pasta. Top with monkfish fillet that has been brushed with bean puree and topped with toasted walnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with crunchy prosciutto and basil chiffonade.

    Recipe source

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    Rating: 3.2/10 (370 votes cast)
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    Rating: -1 (from 139 votes)
    INGREDIENTS For the Monkfish 1 cup walnuts 1 pound monk fish fillets salt and pepper ½ cup butter For the puree 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained Zest of 1½ lemons Juice of one lemon 2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup heavy cream ½ cup chicken stock For... 
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  • The Renaissance of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    California olive oil producers are hard at work these days, with the olive harvest season currently under way. An unprecedented production of 4 million gallons of extra virgin olive oil is estimated for this year’s harvest, almost double what was produced last year.

    A sign that the California olive oil industry is here to stay – and grow. More than 75 olive varieties are grown in California over 35,000 acres, with an estimated 3,500 new acres to be planted each year through 2020, according to the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), the non-profit organization representing most of the roughly 400 olive oil producers in California. “California produces some of the best olive oil in the world,” said Patricia Darragh, the executive director of the COOC, whose mission is to promote the consumption of certified California extra virgin olive oil through consumer education. “With a perfect climate and modern technology, along with creativity and innovation, California olive oil can match or exceed the best.”

    Olive oil has been produced for millennia – not just as food, but also as medicine and beauty aid. Its health benefits are recognized worldwide. The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin; it was brought to California in the late 18th century, when Spanish missionaries planted olive trees at the missions they established between San Diego and Sonoma. By the mid-19th century, the California olive oil industry was thriving; however, it was dormant throughout much of the 20th century. In the last 15 years, the growing demand of Americans for quality extra virgin olive oil has boosted the industry, which can now position itself alongside the world’s leading producers of extra virgin olive oil in terms of quality.

    Vincent Ricchiuti, owner of Enzo Olive Oil Company. Photo credit: James Collier.
    “We’re entering the same competitions that Italian producers are entering – and we’re winning,” said Vincent Ricchiuti, the owner of Enzo Olive Oil Company, which, in just four years, has collected 67 awards for the quality of its extra virgin olive oil. Based in Madera, in the heart of California’s central San Joaquin Valley, the company, founded by Ricchiuti’s Italian grandfather in the early 20th century, planted its first olive trees in 2008 and collected its first harvest in 2011. All the equipment comes from an Italian company in Bari. “Approximately 98% of olive oil consumed in the U.S. is imported,” Ricchiuti said. “But not all the good olive oils from Italy make it to the U.S. We thought that if we could make a high-quality product, we could tap into the domestic market. Plus, we’re Italians, we have family and friends who make olive oil in Puglia, and love to have this connection to our roots.”

    Despite the recent accolades received by California extra virgin olive oil, many consumers appear reluctant to give it credit as they still associate authentic olive oil with the Mediterranean area, and especially Italy, known for producing some of the best extra virgin in the world. “I think we should be more inclusive,” said Rome-born Orietta Gianjorio, a member of the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel, whose job is to make sure that the olive oils submitted to the COOC every year within a few months of harvest are free of defects in order to qualify as extra-virgin. “It is not a matter of California vs Italy; it is a matter of high quality vs low quality. California has been producing fantastic olive oils for years and it deserves respect by the international olive oil community. I think we (Italians) should give credit where credit is due. Italy has produced high-quality olive oils for centuries. In the last few decades, California has invested energy and has acquired state-of-the-art equipment to produce high quality olive oils. One thing does not exclude the other. To me, this is actually exciting! Inclusive and diverse, this is how the market should be.”

    Having options is especially important when you consider that extra virgin olive oil is one of the most widely counterfeited products, meaning it is often mixed with colorants and other less expensive oils – but the label does not tell you that. A widely cited 2010 report by the University of California at Davis (Olive Center) has found that 69% of imported “extra virgin olive oil” is not extra virgin at all, while only 10% of California is not. “When looking for a high quality olive oil, a bottle with the COOC seal is a guarantee of quality,” Darragh said.

    Here is where educating consumers and educating oneself can make a difference. “Consumers only have to put a little effort into reaching out to us and getting educated about what they feed to their family,” said Gianjorio. “This is not the time in history when one can buy food without researching. And, as the world of olive oil grows, I have one more tip for consumers: make sure you get educated, but also research the source of your information.”

    This year’s crop at Enzo Olive Oil is going to be the biggest, confirming predictions for a record production year. “If you take very good care of the tree, of the mill, of the harvest process, you’re going to make great olive oil,” Ricchiuti told me before getting back to its harvest. “The more we study and practice, the better we can be. This is just the beginning.”

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    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 100 votes)
    California olive oil producers are hard at work these days, with the olive harvest season currently under way. An unprecedented production of 4 million gallons of extra virgin olive oil is estimated for this year’s harvest, almost double what was produced last year. A sign... 
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  • Olive oil exports in Turkey fall by 33 percent due to skyrocketing prices

    Turkey’s olive oil exports have declined by 33 percent because of higher prices compared to European market prices, figures by Aegean Exporters’ Associations revealed, as reported by Anadolu Agency.

    While big olive oil producers had their worst year in more than a decade, Turkey was unable to turn this situation to its advantage despite increasing production, as some merchants stockpiled their oil, causing prices to rise dramatically, a sector representative said to daily Hüriyet.

    According to figures, the country only earned $66 million from olive oil exports between Nov. 1, 2014 and Oct. 31, 2015, compared to $100 million earned in the 2013-14 crop year.

    Figures also showed that the country exported 14,856 tons of olive oil from Nov. 2014 to Oct. 2015, nearly half of what it exported last year during the same period (26,343 tons).

    The deputy head of the Union of Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters, Emre Uygun, told Anadolu Agency that the 2014-15 crop year was not good for Turkish olive oil exporters.

    “Olive oil prices in Turkey are higher than in Europe. That’s why our exports have declined,” Uygun said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.

    The association said in January that Turkish olive oil prices (3.62 euros) are a euro higher than those in other European markets.

    “The new crop year which started in Nov. 1 will produce enough oil for domestic consumption. This shows that exports will decline further in coming months,” Uydun added.

    Spain, which accounted for half the world’s production of all grades of olive oil last year, had a mediocre year due to a toxic cocktail of scorching temperatures, drought and bacteria. The same reasons hampered France and Italy’s productions, whereas Turkey, a leading producer, increased its production by 12 percent compared to last year. Meanwhile, the total world production of olive oil decreased by one-third.

    In spite of all the obstacles, France, Italy and Spain increased their prices only by 25 percent, while Turkey, despite the escalation in production, raised its prices by 60 percent, making the oil in Turkey the most expensive in the world.

    The main reason prices rose so dramatically is because producers arrested their supplies while companies buying the products stockpiled them, both sides expecting the prices to further increase, according to sector representatives.

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    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Turkey’s olive oil exports have declined by 33 percent because of higher prices compared to European market prices, figures by Aegean Exporters’ Associations revealed, as reported by Anadolu Agency. While big olive oil producers had their worst year in more than a decade,... 
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  • Morocco wants to export olive oil to Brazil

    A delegation made up of government authorities and business owners of the sector from the Arab country is in the city of São Paulo to promote the product and close deals with local importers. This Monday (16th) in the São Paulo state capital, they took part in a product presentation and tasting and in business matchmaking. The event had the support of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

    “The olive and olive oil sectors are cornerstones of our economy. There were significant investments made by the private sector, with the government’s support, to have an important exportable supply”, said Abdellah Janati, general manager of the Autonomous Authority for the Control and Coordination of Exports (EACCE, in the French acronym), an agency linked to Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries.

    Currently, Morocco is the world’s sixth largest olive oil exporter, with Spain leading the rank. Brazil, however, doesn’t import the Moroccan product. “The goal in the next five years is to plant 1.2 million hectares [of olive trees]. Currently, we already went beyond 1 million hectares. In 2020, we will produce 2.5 million tons of olives, which will take us to be among the world’s five largest olive producers”, said Janati.

    The executive pointed out that Brazil is a large consumer of olives and olive oil, a fact that awakened the interest of Moroccan producers and exporters. “The goal of these meetings is to create a partnership. This partnership could even generate investments in Morocco in the form of partnerships made with the private operators”, he said.

    According to Janati, Morocco already exported 34,000 tons of olive oil this year, while its own domestic market already consumed from 150,000 to 200,000 tons of the product in the period. In the olives exports ranking, Morocco currently shows in third place worldwide, with sales of 70,000 tons per year.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    A delegation made up of government authorities and business owners of the sector from the Arab country is in the city of São Paulo to promote the product and close deals with local importers. This Monday (16th) in the São Paulo state capital, they took part in a product presentation... 
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  • #PrayForParis: Show Support For Paris Victims

    People around the world are expressing support over social media.
    Thousands of heartfelt messages poured out across social media Friday night, in response to the deadly attacks and explosions across Paris. Horrified observers around the world began rallying around the hashtag #PrayForParis as a way to express thoughts and prayers during the tragedy.

    In French, #fusillade, #13novembre and #Bataclan, the name of the concert venue where it is believed more than 100 hostages may be held, were also being used by people hoping show their support for the more than 100 who died. #Porteouverte was being used by Parisians to offer a safe space or shelter, while #vendredi13—Friday the 13th in French—has taken on an eery new meaning on Instagram and elsewhere.

    support  over social mediaThe terrorist attack Paris endured Friday night was the deadliest to strike the Western world in more than a decade.

    The reported death toll in Paris, which was struck by several coordinated attacks, has now hit at least 127 people, with another 200 injured. That is the highest number of people killed in any terror attack in the West since March 11, 2004, when 191 people died and more than 1,800 were injured in bombings on commuter trains in Madrid. A terrorist group inspired by but not working directly with al-Qaeda was later determined to be behind that attack. A little more than a year later, in July 2005, four suicide bombers linked to al-Qaeda killed 52 people on public transportation in London. Hundreds more were wounded.

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    Rating: -8 (from 158 votes)
    People around the world are expressing support over social media. Thousands of heartfelt messages poured out across social media Friday night, in response to the deadly attacks and explosions across Paris. Horrified observers around the world began rallying around the hashtag... 
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  • Tunisian Olive Oil to Be Labelled From 2016

    Tunisia’s flagship product, olive oil will be officially labelled from 2016, Director at the Technical Centre of Food Industry (CTAA) Narjes El Hammar said on Thursday.

    Speaking at a national seminar on olive oil held in Tunis, she added that the label will allow a better valuation of the olive growing sector and bring greater added value to the Tunisian product.

    It will also provide a comprehensive traceability system so as to impose the application of regulations and strengthen the confidence of olive oil consumers and buyers.

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    Tunisia’s flagship product, olive oil will be officially labelled from 2016, Director at the Technical Centre of Food Industry (CTAA) Narjes El Hammar said on Thursday. Speaking at a national seminar on olive oil held in Tunis, she added that the label will allow a better... 
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