Monthly Archives: February 2016

  • Evoo producers in Italy is troubled by a draft legislative decree in Parliament

    For some of the 300 olive growers who toil here in the rolling hills of the Lazio region, making olive oil is a year-round labor of love.

    The olives are hand-harvested early in the fall, when they are still green, and are whisked to a cooperative-run mill so they can be cold-pressed within 12 hours.

    Nothing is added in the process, following precise standards that produce the extra-virgin olive oil that Italy vaunts as one of its most prized products, and most successful global exports.

    “We want people to buy the oil because it is a Colli Etruschi oil,” which is famed for its quality, said Nicola Fazzi, the director of the Colli Etruschi cooperative, founded in 1965.

    That is why Mr. Fazzi, like producers elsewhere in Italy, is troubled by a draft legislative decree under review in Parliament — with a decision expected on Tuesday — that would tinker with the penalties for passing off counterfeit olive oil and its origin.

    If the decree passes, critics say, commercial fraud and counterfeiting would no longer be considered a criminal offense. Instead, it would be punished by a relatively light fine, effectively incentivizing the wrongdoing, the producers say.

    Antonella Guastella bottled oil at the Colli Etruschi cooperative, known for its quality.Credit Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times

    “Much is said about promoting ‘made in Italy,’ but then they try to decriminalize adulterated oil,” Mr. Fazzi lamented, joining a chorus of critics, including trade associations and farm lobbies, who fear for the reputation of Italian extra-virgin olive oil if the decree passes.

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    For some of the 300 olive growers who toil here in the rolling hills of the Lazio region, making olive oil is a year-round labor of love. The olives are hand-harvested early in the fall, when they are still green, and are whisked to a cooperative-run mill so they can be cold-pressed... 
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  • European Union olive oil regulation at the heart of the case for a British EU exit

    Sadly, the opening salvos from the two most high-profile recruits to the Brexit cause—Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Mayor of London Boris Johnson—don’t bode well for the next four months.

    Both chose to put meddlesome European Union regulation at the heart of their case for a British EU exit, complaining that this unwarranted burden prevents the government from delivering on its promises. This may well be true. But many of the examples they gave don’t stand up to scrutiny.

    Mr. Gove’s lengthy statement setting out his position didn’t contain any examples of problematic regulations drawn from his personal departmental experience at the education and justice ministries. Instead, he highlighted an EU rule requiring olive oil to be sold in five-liter cans.

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    Sadly, the opening salvos from the two most high-profile recruits to the Brexit cause—Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Mayor of London Boris Johnson—don’t bode well for the next four months. Both chose to put meddlesome European Union regulation at the heart of their... 
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  • European Parliament backs more duty-free olive oil imports to help Tunisia

    To help strengthen Tunisia’s economy, hit not least by 2015 terrorist attacks, MEPs backed emergency plans to allow an additional 70,000 tonnes of its virgin olive oil to be imported duty free in the EU, in 2016/17. However, MEPs also inserted requirements for the EU Commission to do a mid-term assessment of the effects of the measures, update them if it turns out that they harm EU olive oil producers, and ensure that the imports are tracked from start to finish.

    The emergency quota was approved by 475 votes to 126, with 35 abstentions.

    “Tunisia has come a long way since the Arab Spring, as one of the rare countries which has truly achieved a democratic transition. Tunisia has been a target of terrorist attacks precisely because it is on its way to consolidating its democracy. These attacks had an awful impact on the tourism sector and the wider economy at a time when Tunisians were already battling a tough economic crisis, with a high unemployment rate among young and educated people. This is why it is crucial that the EU should express its solidarity with the Tunisian people. We want Tunisia to succeed, and must help with concrete measures that boost its economy immediately.”, said rapporteur Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE, FR), in the debate before the vote.

    More duty-free olive oil imports

    MEPs backed the proposed two-year temporary zero-duty tariff quota of 35,000 tonnes per year (70,000 tonnes in total) for EU olive oil imports from Tunisia, available for 2016 and 2017. This will not increase the overall volume of imports from Tunisia (the EU will discount duties on the olive oil that Tunisia is already exporting to the EU).

    To address the concerns of EU olive oil producers, MEPs inserted additional safeguards, such as a mid-term assessment and updating the measures if it turns out that they harm EU olive oil producers, a “tracking clause” obligation to ensure that all olive oil under the quota is obtained entirely in, and transported directly from, Tunisia. They also rejected the possibility of “contemplating” the extension of the emergency measure beyond the initial two years.

    New trade deal

    In a separate resolution, approved by 479 votes to 123, with 31 abstentions, MEPs welcome the free trade talks with Tunisia launched in October last year, and draw attention to economic difficulties faced by Tunisia, after terrorist attacks which led to the collapse of tourism in 2015. They advocate a “progressive and asymmetrical” agreement to “contribute to the stability of Tunisia, to the consolidation of its democracy and to the reinvigoration of its economy”.

    Next steps

    For emergency quotas: the text was sent back to the EP Trade committee to start trilogue negotiations with the Council on the final text.
    For deep and comprehensive trade deal with Tunisia: talks were opened in October 2015.

    Background for editors

    Following the terrorist attacks of 18 March 2015 in Tunis and 26 June 2015 in Sousse, tourist arrivals in Tunisia dropped substantially, hitting the already struggling economy hard, and the EU Council announced that it wants to take exceptional and temporary measures to support the Tunisian economy.

    The EU Commission proposed, as an emergency measure, to expand the duty-free quota for Tunisian olive oil imports by 35,000 tonnes annually, over a period of two years. Olive oil is Tunisia’s main agricultural export, and one-fifth of its total agricultural workforce depending on olive oil production

    Under previous trade arrangements with the EU, Tunisia already enjoys a 56,700 tonne annual duty free quota for virgin olive oil. The EU imported a total of 145,200 tonnes of Tunisian olive oil in 2014/2015 (provisional data), 32,000 tonnes in 2013/2014, and 111,400 tonnes in 2012/2013.

    The additional 35,000 tonne quota would apply once the regular annual quota is exhausted, which means keeping the olive oil imports within the current volume.

    The EU is world’s leading producer, consumer and exporter of olive oil. In the last five years the EU produced 69%, consumed 57% and exported 65% of the world’s olive oil. The total amount of olive oil produced yearly in the EU is 1,430,800 tonnes. The biggest producers are Spain (835,000), Greece (300,000), and Italy (220,000).

    Under the EU association agreement with Tunisia, the EU has not charged duties on its imports of Tunisian manufactured goods since 2008, but it does retain quotas for many fruits, vegetables and olive oil.

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    To help strengthen Tunisia’s economy, hit not least by 2015 terrorist attacks, MEPs backed emergency plans to allow an additional 70,000 tonnes of its virgin olive oil to be imported duty free in the EU, in 2016/17. However, MEPs also inserted requirements for the EU Commission... 
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  • Gourmet Spanish Food At Pintxo Pincho is made using only olive oil

    When a restaurant is really nice, you name it twice. That’s exactly what they did at Pintxo Pincho [PINCH-oh PINCH-oh]. Located on Main Street in Woburn, the cozy nook is the brainchild of longtime friends Chef Joaquin Jalan and Jose Pineiro – or Pinchoco and Pepe as they preferred to be called.

    The dimly lit dining room is decked out in all things Spanish, including a mural paying homage to Picasso and an octopus the chef painted himself, just outside the kitchen window.

    Every meal here should start out with a Spanish pincho, or small bites, which are usually on display in a refrigerated case at the bar. Pinchos are smaller than tapas, served in many restaurants and bars in Spain, where they typically come complimentary with a beverage.

    So you can snack on mussels served on a bed of peppers and onions tossed in vinegar, or Spanish olives stuffed with manchego cheese and white anchovies. The nutty Jamon Iberico is sliced straight from the source and is magic in your mouth. But the small bite with the biggest following is the simple but satisfying Pincho de Tortilla.

    “Pincho de Tortilla is a very famous dish from Spain,” Chef Pinchoco explained.

    “It’s basically potatoes, onions and eggs. Very tasty, moist and full of flavor. This is the best tortilla you can find around,” promised Pepe.

    Back in the festive kitchen, they’re cooking up authentic Spanish tapas made by Chef Pinchoco, who always seems to be smiling.

    “He’s always laughing. You see him making jokes in the back. Always laughing, and that’s why everyone is so happy in the kitchen,” Pepe said.

    In between giggles, they’re making some of the region’s tastiest Spanish eats, like crunchy Patatas Bravas served with a drizzle of spicy aioli, and garlicky chicken that has a fried crispy outside and a tender, juicy middle.

    “Pollo al Ajillo is very typical in Spain,” Chef Pinchoco said. “That is just cut up chicken, fried with olive oil and a lot of garlic. The garlic get attached to the meat itself and it’s very flavorful.”

    The top tapa to try has to be the Spicy Shrimp. The flavorful dish is made using only olive oil, garlic, shrimp and pepper, and it’s cooked in the clay cassoulet in which it’s served, so it comes to the table screaming hot. The smell is sensational.

    “Everyone is like, ‘ooh what’s going on? Let me try this,’” said Pepe. “The combination with the garlic and the pepper and the shrimp and the olive oil is fantastic.”

    Other tapas include crispy croquettes stuffed with spicy chorizo or chunks of lobster, and tender lamb chops topped with chimichurri. But it’s the beef tenderloin that explodes with flavor, served over bread with caramelized onions and blue cheese.

    “That combination is great. The sweetness of the caramelized onions, the bite of the blue cheese and the tender sirloin is fantastic,” Pepe described.

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    When a restaurant is really nice, you name it twice. That’s exactly what they did at Pintxo Pincho [PINCH-oh PINCH-oh]. Located on Main Street in Woburn, the cozy nook is the brainchild of longtime friends Chef Joaquin Jalan and Jose Pineiro – or Pinchoco and Pepe as they... 
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  • New study: benefits of EVOO in patients with type 1 diabetes

    New study by researchers of Universita’ degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy) shows that seasoning the food with extra virgin olive oil also reduces the glycaemic peak after a meal in people with type 1 diabetes.

    Extra virgin olive oil is a key feature of the Mediterranean diet and has already shown having beneficial effects on other cardiovascular risk factors, such as plasma lipids, insulin resistance, blood pressure and fatty liver. Now, a new study by researchers of Universita’ degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy) shows that seasoning the food with extra virgin olive oil also reduces the glycaemic peak after a meal in people with type 1 diabetes, an effect that was not observed when butter was used as a condiment instead.

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    New study by researchers of Universita’ degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy) shows that seasoning the food with extra virgin olive oil also reduces the glycaemic peak after a meal in people with type 1 diabetes. Extra virgin olive oil is a key feature of the Mediterranean... 
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  • Portugal expects record production of olive oil this season

    Portugal expects record production of olives this season for the production of olive oil up to 765,000 tons, the third largest record of the last 75 years, as reports the monthly bulletin of the Portuguese National Institute of Agriculture and Fisheries Statistics with data to January 31st.

    About to finish the harvest, the agency estimates a “significant” increase in the production of olives this year (+ 75%) regarding the previous year, which was less productive and reached a volume of 438,000 tons.

    However, the Institute stressed that this increase has not been uniform across all regions and it depends mainly on intensive olive plantations. In this sense, on the one hand, the lack of rain damaged the production of traditional dryland olive groves and on the other, it also lowered the pressure of fungal diseases wich has allowed irrigated olive groves to reach their full potential production, providing the best campaign of the last five decades.

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    Portugal expects record production of olives this season for the production of olive oil up to 765,000 tons, the third largest record of the last 75 years, as reports the monthly bulletin of the Portuguese National Institute of Agriculture and Fisheries Statistics with data to... 
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  • German Foodwatch Finds Half Of Tested EVOO Defective

    Once again, the issue of fraudulent or fake EVOO is making a stir, this time to this dismay of German consumers. Analysis conducted by the consumer protection organization in Germany, Stiftung Warentest (SW), found that of half of the 26 samples of “extra virgin” olive oil were found to be contaminated and misrepresented by their labelling.

    With the majority of olive oil in Germany being imported from Italy and Spain, Germans consider this olive oil to be most healthy, yet of these imported oils, only one was found to be “good”, many of the other samples tested were found to be defective.

    Olive oil at the moment has an image problem. That’s unfortunate because it’s actually a very healthy and tasty food. – Silke Schwartau, Hamburg consumer center

    According to The EU rules for the extra virgin grade, the requirements state that the taste and aroma must be flawless and there needs to be a minimum level of fruitiness. The rules set maximum levels of chemical residues and precise language, category and origin information on labels. The test conducted by SW, showed that for consumers, there’s no relying on any of that.

    Thirteen of the 26 samples scrutinized by the German consumer protection organization failed the extra virgin criteria. Five from Portugal and Greece were highly polluted with mineral oil hydrocarbons, possibly traceable to motor fumes, technical oils and pure paraffin (the EU allows paraffin as a plant protectant, including in organic farming). The testers also found plasticizers, pesticides (in 20 of the samples), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and styrene.

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    Once again, the issue of fraudulent or fake EVOO is making a stir, this time to this dismay of German consumers. Analysis conducted by the consumer protection organization in Germany, Stiftung Warentest (SW), found that of half of the 26 samples of “extra virgin” olive oil... 
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    World's Leading Trade Fair Biofach 2016 Awards

    Approximately 48,000 (2015: 44,624) visitors from 132 countries made sure they didn’t pass up the opportunity to come to Nuremberg between 10 and 13 February for Biofach, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, and Vivaness, the International Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care. 2,544 exhibitors, 245 of whom appeared at Vivaness, presented products and services to buyers from the food and cosmetics industries. In addition to workshops, presentations and tasting sessions, the programme included the annual Olive Oil Awards, where the best oils were recognised.

    The organic industry’s annual balance was also extremely pleasing: In 2015, German households spent around 11 % more on organic food and drink than in the year before, with sales amounting to over EUR 8bn according to the German Federation of the Organic Food Industry (BÖLW). More and more customers are investing in natural cosmetics as well. A general survey conducted by naturkosmetik konzepte, GfK, IRI, IMS Health and BioVista shows that over EUR 1bn were generated by the green beauty market in 2015, 10 % more than in 2014.

    Petra Wolf, a member of NürnbergMesse’s management board, said: “Vivaness celebrated its 10th birthday in 2016 and was congratulated by an industry that highlighted over the four days of the exhibition how involved, innovative, value-conscious and modern the organic market is nowadays. Natural beauty products and products created simply for users to enjoy were showcased, while expert knowledge and groundbreaking concepts were presented during the congress. We share the joy the industry takes from its success and are delighted that there was great atmosphere in the exhibition halls.

    Biofach and Vivaness Congress

    The trade fair duo’s specialist congress programme, which was both varied and fact-based, once again attracted roughly 7,000 participants in 2016. The main visitor magnets were the Biofach Forum and the Politics Forum, which had above-average participant figures. The congress revolved around the Organic 3.0 events, with the most popular VIVANESS components proving to be “Natural cosmetics: facts – figures – markets” and “Between luxury and naturalness: what moves customers”.

    Save the date: The next Biofach and Vivaness take place from 15 to 18 February 2017 in Nuremberg.

    You can check all the EVOOs awarded in Biofach 2016.

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    Approximately 48,000 (2015: 44,624) visitors from 132 countries made sure they didn’t pass up the opportunity to come to Nuremberg between 10 and 13 February for Biofach, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, and Vivaness, the International Trade Fair for Natural... 
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  • Last 2 weeks to register with Benefits on Terraolivo

    Terraolivo 2016 MIOOC is the most important international Olive Oil competition in the area of the eastern Mediterranean and Asia, It is because of the number of samples growing annually and growing production areas, last edition with more than 500 samples from more than 60 production areas.

    TerraolivoFurthermore, it is important for the quality of its international judges, who are the best specialists in Tasting Olive Oil around the world, and key personalities in their origin countries.

    Terraolivo is one of five Key Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competitions in the world where your EVOO can not miss the participation, to try to get the Terraolivo Prestige Awards.

    Terraolivo expects your Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
    TERRAOLIVO – MEDITERRANEAN INTERNATIONAL EVOO COMPETITION:
    e mail: mas @ terraolivo.org
    MANAGER DIRECTOR: Raúl C. Castellani
    INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: Moises A. Spak
    TERRAOLIVO – Website

    COST OF REGISTRATION TERRAOLIVO 2016

    REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT BEFORE 28 FEBRUARY 2016
    FIRST SAMPLE € 220 EUROS
    NEXT SAMPLES € 190 EUROS
    REGISTRATION IN DESIGN PACK € 000 EUROS

    REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT FROM MARCH 01, 2016
    FIRST SAMPLE € 250 EUROS
    NEXT SAMPLES € 220 EUROS
    REGISTRATION IN DESIGN PACK € 40 EUROS

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    Terraolivo 2016 MIOOC is the most important international Olive Oil competition in the area of the eastern Mediterranean and Asia, It is because of the number of samples growing annually and growing production areas, last edition with more than 500 samples from more than 60 production... 
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  • Labeling project aimed to highlight bottles with 100% Italian EVOO

    Aim to tackle growing threat from fake products Italian olive oil farming associations have developed a label that national producers of extra virgin olive oil can display on bottles to show that they are 100% Italian, aiming to fight a growing threat from fake foreign-sourced products.

    Fraudulent oil is estimated to cost the sector 1.5 billion euros per year. Last week Italian police said they had discovered a network of oil producers that sold 2,000 tons of Greek and Spanish oil in 2014 and 2015 as fully Italian, the latest in a string of similar cases in recent years.

    “Quality extra virgin olive oil is the jewel in the crown of our agriculture,” Dino Scanavino, president of Italian farming association Cia, told a news conference.

    “Olive oil pays a price beyond measure for a reputation threatened by instances of fraud and adulteration,” he said.

    The farming groups said the labeling project aimed to highlight bottles of Italian olive oil that met a list of specific conditions.

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    Aim to tackle growing threat from fake products Italian olive oil farming associations have developed a label that national producers of extra virgin olive oil can display on bottles to show that they are 100% Italian, aiming to fight a growing threat from fake foreign-sourced... 
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  • Can I drink wine if I'm suffering from kidney disease? "Yes with EVOO" study says

    Q: I have chronic kidney disease. Is it still OK for me to drink wine?

    A: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a degenerative condition in which kidney function worsens over time, eventually leading to kidney failure. The kidneys serve to filter waste from the blood, and when their effectiveness wanes, this waste can build up and eventually become fatal without dialysis or a kidney transplant.

    People with CKD can also experience chronic inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is a response to trauma or infection, but in some individuals, inflammation is triggered by their own immune system, causing tissue damage. Reducing a patient’s inflammatory response may prevent chronic issues like kidney and heart disease.

    With that in mind, researchers have studied whether certain foods and drinks can either contribute to or reduce inflammation, and it just so happens that wine, especially red wine high in resveratrol, can be a beneficial component of an anti-inflammatory diet. (However, a clinical trial for a resveratrol-based drug was halted in 2010 when it was shown to aggravate pre-existing kidney problems.)

    A 2014 study at the University of Colorado at Denver (further supporting a similar study in 2005) concluded that people who drank less than 1 glass a day were 37 percent less likely to develop CKD, and those who already had CKD were 29 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

    A May 2015 study from the University of Milan and Versilia Hospital in Italy found that white wine in conjunction with extra-virgin olive oil can lower plasma markers of chronic inflammation by considerable margins. This was a very small study, but it had promising results in the 20 participants, 10 of whom suffered from CKD. Participants were separated into two groups and given two periods of “treatment” of prescribed amounts of white wine and olive oil, some receiving just olive oil and some receiving a combination of both oil and wine. Researchers aimed to test the anti-inflammatory qualities of two key components of the Mediterrannean diet, which has been linked to a wide range of health benefits.

    In the Milan study, olive oil alone did not produce any anti-inflammatory effects, but the combined olive oil and wine treatment did have positive results. Researchers found that certain biomarkers for inflammation dropped 50 percent during the combined consumption of white wine and extra-virgin olive oil in the healthy individuals and 40 to 50 percent in the CKD patients.

    While some studies have indicated that a moderate wine diet may both decrease the likelihood of developing CKD and reduce the damage caused by CKD, it’s imperative that you consult your physician before adding wine to any treatment plan.

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    Q: I have chronic kidney disease. Is it still OK for me to drink wine? A: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a degenerative condition in which kidney function worsens over time, eventually leading to kidney failure. The kidneys serve to filter waste from the blood, and when their... 
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  • Movements in the prices paid to producers for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    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.

    Extra virgin olive oil: Producer prices in Spain started to rise in November 2014. After peaking at €4.23/kg in the third week of August 2015, they switched direction and began to drop, gathering momentum from the last week of September (Graph 1). This downward movement started later in Spain than in Italy. In recent weeks prices started to rally and were lying at €3.30/kg by the last week of January 2016. This is 1 pc higher than a year earlier and 68 pc higher than the low recorded in the third week of May 2014 (€1.96/kg), but 22 pc below the maximum (€4.23/kg).

    Italy: In the week from 10 to 16 November 2014, producer prices in Italy hit their highest level since the last decade, reaching €6.79/kg. After some fluctuations, they started to fall sharply, only to pick up to €3.47/kg by the end of January 2016, although this level was still 42 pc lower than a year earlier. Graph 2 shows how the monthly prices of extra virgin olive oil have behaved in recent crop years.

    Greece: In the last weeks of August and first week of September 2015, prices rose to period highs (€3.54/kg). After holding steady for a while, they dipped only to level off later at €2.96/kg at the close of January 2016, 2 pc down on the same period a season earlier.

    Tunisia: Producer prices peaked in the last weeks of August 2015 (€4.13/kg). Then, like elsewhere, they started to drop, but later switched back upwards. At the end of January 2016, they were lying at €3.28/kg, showing period-on-period growth of +12 pc.
    111

    222Refined olive oil: After peaking in August 2015, producer prices for refined olive oil followed in the footsteps of extra virgin prices. In Spain where they started to drop ahead of elsewhere, they fell sharply but started to rally in recent weeks to stand at €3.18/kg in late January 2016, showing an increase of 12 pc on the same period of the preceding crop year. The trend in Italy has been similar, with prices lying at €3.15/kg at the end of January 2016. This level was 11 pc higher than the same period the season before. No price data are available for this product category in Greece.

    At the end of January 2016, the price of refined olive oil (€3.18/kg) and extra virgin olive oil (€3.30/kg ) differed by €0.12/kg in Spain whereas in Italy the gap between the two categories was wider (€0.29/kg – Graph 3).
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    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... 
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  • WORLD TRADE IN OLIVE OIL AND TABLE OLIVES

    WORLD TRADE IN OLIVE OIL
    At the close of the 2014/15 crop year, which ran from October 2014 until September 2015, sales of olive oil [olive oils (customs heading 15.09) and olive pomace oils (15.10)] showed a season-on-season increase for Japan (+10 pc), where heavy import growth began in March 2015, steady levels in the United States and China and decreases in Russia (-33 pc), Australia (−21 pc), Brazil (-8 pc) and Canada (−7 pc).
    11At the season end, intra-EU acquisitions were down by 3 pc on the previous crop year whereas extra-EU imports showed a steep 293 pc rise. This situation was prompted by the heavy drop in production in Spain and Italy in 2014/15, which obliged these countries to look for supplies elsewhere, especially in Tunisia. As a result, Spanish imports from Tunisia soared by 1071 pc and Italian imports by 330 pc. As reported in the previous issue of this newsletter, this upward movement in imports from Tunisia began in December 2014 and stemmed from its record harvest in 2014/15, which positioned it as the world’s top exporter that season.

    Start of the 2015/16 crop year
    The new 2015/16 crop year opened with lower trading in olive oil and olive pomace oil in most of the eight markets listed below. In the first two months of the crop year (October and November 2015), the only exception was China where imports were up by 4 pc. The other markets showed large decreases of 38 pc in Brazil, 36 pc in Australia, 18 pc in Canada, 13 pc in Japan and 6 pc in the United States.

    Trade data for Russia were only available for the month of October and show a decrease of 58 pc compared with the same month of the previous season. This situation calls for close monitoring to check whether these negative results are merely one-off decreases or whether they are indicative of a trend.

    Preliminary analysis suggests that they may be due to various factors such as the repercussions of prices in the previous crop year, strategic purchasing by importers and the fact that new season oil was not yet ready for export. Whatever the case, it will be necessary to keep close tabs on the figures in the coming months. The October 2015 figures for EU trade1 reveal a decrease of 27 pc in intra-EU acquisitions but an increase of 161 pc in extra-EU exports versus the same period of 2014/15.
    22Start of the 2015/16 crop year
    In October and November 2015, the first two months of the 2015/16 crop year, table olive imports behaved differently in the six markets reported below, showing increases in the United States (+19 pc) and Canada (+17 pc) and decreases in Brazil (−26 pc) and Australia (−6 pc). Only October 2015 data were available for Russia and showed a decrease of 39 pc on the same month of the previous season.
    33The EU2 trade data for the first month of the season (October 2015) report an increase of 6 pc in intra-EU acquisitions and a decrease of 23 pc in extra-EU imports compared with the same period a year earlier.
    44Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 101 – January 2016

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    WORLD TRADE IN OLIVE OIL At the close of the 2014/15 crop year, which ran from October 2014 until September 2015, sales of olive oil [olive oils (customs heading 15.09) and olive pomace oils (15.10)] showed a season-on-season increase for Japan (+10 pc), where heavy import growth... 
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  • Trends in US olive oil imports: bulk and packaged

    Over the last two decades, US imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil have increased almost two and a half times, rising from 125 000 t in 1993/94 to 311 000 t in 2014/15 (Chart 1). In this month’s issue we will look at how imports have evolved over time in terms of the grades of olive oil imported and container type.

    In 1993/94, product packaged in containers < 18 kg accounted for 88 pc of US imports but by 2014/15 this share was no more than 58.2 pc. Sales of packed oils have therefore lost 29.8 points to bulk oils. Italy was the source of 72 pc of the 125,000 t imported in 1993/94, with imports split between virgin olive oil (22 pc), olive oil (50 pc) and olive pomace oil (1 pc). The remainder came largely from Spain (9 pc), Greece (3 pc) and Turkey (2.5 pc).

    In 2014/15, when US imports totalled more than 311 000 t, the trend had reversed and more olive oil was being imported in bulk than in bottles. Since 2000/01 there has also been a move towards quality among US consumers. This is shown by the fact that in 1993/94 virgin olive oil had a 32 pc share of total imports. In 2014/15 this share had expanded to 67 pc (Chart 2).

    Trends_in_US_olive_oil_imports__bulk_and_packaged___1As mentioned above, 58.2 pc of the oil imported into the United States in 2014/15 was in containers 18 kg, of which 19 pc was from Spain, followed by Tunisia (13 pc), Morocco (3 pc), Argentina (2 pc), Italy (1.6 pc), Chile (1.5 pc) and the rest of the countries. Virgin olive oil was the most popular grade for imports in this category of container (24 pc of the total, of which 17 pc extra virgin, 5 pc organic extra virgin and 2 pc virgin).
    2
    Thirteen per cent belonged to the olive oil grade and 4 pc was olive pomace oil. Chart 4 plots the trend of US imports of the two chief categories of product – virgin olive oil (150910) and olive oil (150990) – by container size over the past 20 crop years. Notably, until 2001/02, packaged olive oil was in greatest demand (150990 < 18 kg) but this trend then switched and packaged virgin olive oil (150910 < 18 kg) is now predominant.
    3
    The five-season trend of US imports by country of origin and container size between 2010/11 and 2014/15 is reported in Table 1. The picture that emerges is a 17.9 pc increase in bulk imports, contrasting with a loss in bottled shared (−0.41 pc). The four top suppliers of packaged product by order of volume are Italy, then Spain, Tunisia, Greece and Turkey. In the bulk ranking, Spain is the leader, followed by Tunisia, Morocco, Argentina and Italy. Spain therefore clearly dominates the bulk market and is making inroads in packaged product, which is still led by Italy although it has lost ground in volume terms over the period reviewed.

    Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 101 – January 2016

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    Over the last two decades, US imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil have increased almost two and a half times, rising from 125 000 t in 1993/94 to 311 000 t in 2014/15 (Chart 1). In this month’s issue we will look at how imports have evolved over time in terms of the grades... 
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  • A third of EVOO in Croatia does't meet the Quality Standards

    Out of twenty extra virgin olive oils, seven tested at production facilities and thirteen taken from retail stores, which were controlled last year by the Agricultural Inspection, six did not pass the quality standards, reported the Agriculture Ministry. Of the nine oils produced in Croatia, four did not meet the necessary parameters of quality, authenticity and testing, reports Vecernji List on February 7, 2016.

    Ivica Ljubenkov, president of the Croatian Association of Olive and Olive Oil Producers, says that the results of the inspection are the reason why more rigorous controls should be introduced. Even though the Agriculture Inspection took more than twice as many samples from the market as is the EU required minimum, Ljubenkov believes that systematic control system does not actually exist.

    Anyone who wants to put “extra virgin” olive oil for sale should submit it to a quality testing, but that is usually done only by more serious producers who care about their reputation and want to sell their oils for more than one year. Many of the smaller producers, particularly those who sell their products on street markets, still sometimes try to cheat. However, according to Ljubenkov, small producers are not the main problem, since they may not even know what standards extra virgin olive oils must meet. The bigger problem are large retailers who must know what they are selling and who are making great profits, claims Ljubenkov.

    Manufacturer of extra virgin olive oil Nikica Žampera from Žman on Dugi Otok claims he always submits his oils to a laboratory analysis. Last year, he produced only 150 litres instead of the usual 800 litres of oil, but the final product was high-quality and so he rightly set a high price for it – 150 kuna per litre. With a price below 120 kuna he would not be able to even cover his production costs, which are quite high due to climate change and various olive diseases. Even in industrial production, olive oil cannot be cheaper than 80 kuna, says Žampera, let alone 30 kuna which is how much certain retail chains ask for a litre of supposedly high-quality olive oil.

    Croatian olive producers say there is enough domestic olive oil for now. But, it seems that some of the neighbouring countries are facing shortages. Italy was last year devastated by an olive disease. A few days ago, Italian tax inspection seized two million litres of fake olive oil, which was being sold as a premium Italian product, but was actually made from cheap Spanish and Greek oils. It is hard to say whether any such oil – with the EU label – could appear in the Croatian market. Ljubenkov says that, if the Agricultural Inspection were to issue two or three heavy fines to producers who cheat and would publicly release their names, which is never done in Croatia, then people would think twice before trying to cheat.

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    Out of twenty extra virgin olive oils, seven tested at production facilities and thirteen taken from retail stores, which were controlled last year by the Agricultural Inspection, six did not pass the quality standards, reported the Agriculture Ministry. Of the nine oils produced... 
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  • Bring some of Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil into your home

    Pittsburgh-based Oilio, an importer of the best quality Greek extra virgin olive oil has launched a campaign, together with The Pappas Post, to offer consumers a chance to bring some of Greece’s “liquid gold” into their homes— while saving and supporting.

    When shopping Oilio’s premium Koroneiki extra virgin olive oil from their online shop, use the promo code “pappaspost” during check out (in the box called “discount” and you’ll receive 10% off your order. What’s even better is that your purchase, while saving you money, is also helping children far away in Greece.

    Oilio will give 10% of all sales to The Pappas Post’s fundraising campaign for Kivotos Tou Kosmou (Ark of the World) a non-profit center for abandoned children and at-risk Greek families based in Athens, with facilities on Chios island and near Ioannina in northern Greece.

    Oilio’s story goes back six generations to the foothills of Kalamata in southern Greece, where generations of the Liokareas family have been growing and harvesting their orchards and producing some of the region’s finest extra virgin olive oil that doesn’t need “organic” and “all natural” stamps— because this comes on its own.

    Visit Oilio’s online shop. Remember to use the discount code “pappaspost” to deduct 10% off your order. And for every order received, the company will donate 10% to Kivotos Tou Kosmou.

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    Pittsburgh-based Oilio, an importer of the best quality Greek extra virgin olive oil has launched a campaign, together with The Pappas Post, to offer consumers a chance to bring some of Greece’s “liquid gold” into their homes— while saving and supporting. When shopping... 
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  • Interview with Toshiya Tada, Chairman of the Olive Oil Sommelier Association of JAPAN

    Toshiya Tada, Chairman of the Olive Oil Sommelier Association of JAPAN (OSAJ), will be leading this quest of more than ten olive oil professionals.

    On the occasion of his upcoming visit to the WOOE, which will be held in IFEMA (Madrid) on the coming 2nd and 3rd of March, we offer an exclusive interview with this distinguished Japanese expert.

    Question: The olive oil market in Japan has undergone an impressive growth over the last years, and Japan has become the key market in Asia by far, and one of the most important markets worldwide. In your opinion, which are the main reasons behind this phenomenon?

    TOSHIYA TADA: The market expansion started in 2009, when one big product named “Econa”, which was artificially refined, stopped being sold. This product was very famous among the health-conscious consumers since it was a “New Dietary Food” and it reduced fat absorption. After this event, and since the promotion of olive oil as a healthy natural food became successful, a huge number of consumers started to switch from buying “Econa” to buying olive oil. So, in short, the market is expanding thanks to health-conscious people.

    Question: How have OSAJ and Olive Japan activities contributed to this?

    TOSHIYA TADA: We have made a huge contribution over the last 7 seven years. In 2009, OSAJ started its consumer education program, and since then we have trained more than 2.500 graduates. We not only educate people about quality and sensory analysis, but also about culture, history, cooking, food pairing and Health promotion from a nutritional point of view. This unique program is really well supported by many people, because it is a kind of “one-stop” school, where to learn olive oil in every possible way.

    We became the largest and most trusted organization in Japan, as we strongly maintain our standpoint the correct fare and a consumer oriented position.

    OLIVE JAPAN also contributed greatly. Thus, we intend a double-sided effect: on the one hand, the consumers in Japan should learn more and more about the quality of olive oil; and on the other hand, producers from Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia and all other producing countries should realize that there is a new great market: JAPAN.

    This assertion is supported by much evidence, for example: in our 2015 competition, we received 441 samples from 22 different countries, and at our OLIVE JAPAN Marche event in April 2015, had over 200,000 visitors.

    Question: What are the main challenges facing the future development of the olive oil market in your country?

    TOSHIYA TADA: There are two key challenges. The first one is correct education and promotion about the quality. A lot of defective oil still occupies the market. We need to develop a more consumer friendly and quality oriented market. The other key issue is food application, because there are still many people wondering how they can use olive oil in their daily life and meals.

    Question: Could you comment on the local olive oil production in Japan? Can it have a positive effect on market development?

    TOSHIYA TADA: At this moment, the domestic olive oil production is too small to have an effect on mass consumers. The total olive oil production in 2015 was only around ten metric tons. The interesting point is that there is an increasing number of olive growers over the last three years. Of course this is because the consumption volume is rising, but I also believe that many people are starting to feel there is good potential for olive oil production in JAPAN.

    Question: This year you will be attending the WOOE for the second time, which are your expectations regarding the 2016 edition?

    TOSHIYA TADA: My participation in last year’s WOOE was really exciting. The show has a nice size and a nice concentration of mainly Spanish growers. The presentation of the olive bar is very beautiful; and the food pairing / cooking demonstration was breathtaking. I would hear more seminars, for example, I liked a kind of “battle” discussion between a small boutique producer against a large scale commodity manufacturer, and the quality debate by the governmental authority and the IOC, etc… Overall, I felt there was much potential, and I think the Show is improving each year.

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    Toshiya Tada, Chairman of the Olive Oil Sommelier Association of JAPAN (OSAJ), will be leading this quest of more than ten olive oil professionals. On the occasion of his upcoming visit to the WOOE, which will be held in IFEMA (Madrid) on the coming 2nd and 3rd of March, we offer... 
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