Daily Archives: November 28, 2015

  • 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.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 3.2/10 (320 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 144 votes)
    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... 
    Read More →
  • 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

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 3.4/10 (205 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +16 (from 78 votes)
    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... 
    Read More →