• Greek Olive Oil Promoted Abroad

    Α project of a total budget of 5,922,129.14 euros for the promotion of Greek olive oil to the markets of the USA, Canada, Australia and Norway, is going to run after the contract signed between SEVITEL and the Alternate Minister of Rural Development and Food, Maximus Charakopoulos.

    This program is a continuation of the “program of informing and promoting European olive oils in third countries outside the EU – Great Olive Oil”. The first annual phase of the co-funded project by 50% of the EU is implemented.

    “We continue to support quality Greek olive oil. We aim at the entrance of the standard Greek olive oil in the international markets, ” Charakopoulos said, noting that,” We have to stop exporting bulk products. Only the branded products have an identity and can be established in consumer preferences both in the domestic market and in third countries.”

    greekreporter

     

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    Α project of a total budget of 5,922,129.14 euros for the promotion of Greek olive oil to the markets of the USA, Canada, Australia and Norway, is going to run after the contract signed between SEVITEL and the Alternate Minister of Rural Development and Food, Maximus Charakopoulos. This... 
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  • Researchers Recommend Vegetable Oils High in Omega 6

    U.S. researchers reviewed 15 studies and said they could find no evidence that a diet high in linoleic acid (omega-6) had any links to inflammation in the body. “Our evidence does suggest that you can achieve a heart-healthy diet by using soybean, canola, corn and sunflower oils instead of animal-based fats when cooking,” they noted in their review that was published in the Journal of the Academy of Food and Nutrition (formerly known as the Journal of the American Dietetic Association).

    Canola oil was included in the list of recommended vegetable oils even though it is not such a rich source of omega-6 compared to other vegetable oils, with 20 percent of fatty acids being from linoleic acid, compared to 60 percent in corn oil.

    Olive oil was not mentioned anywhere in the study.

    Olive oil is in fact, low in linoleic acid with an average of 10 percent of fats coming from this particular fatty acid. For this reason it is recommended for cooking since it helps keep a balanced ratio of the two fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-3.

    Most researchers agree that there are too much omega-6 fatty acids in western diets and not enough omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 and Omega-3 are both essential fatty acids, which means that our body needs to get them through our diet. Both fatty acids have beneficial qualities, though they need to be somewhat in balance in our diet.

    Currently in most western diets the amount of omega-6 fatty acids is 15 to 50 times higher than omega-3. This is problematic as omega-6 fatty acids compete for some of the same enzymes as omega-3, and interfere with the health benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids.

    The high intake of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet appears to come mainly from the consumption of processed foods, which contain several types of vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids such as linoleic acid. Omega-6 has been associated with inflammation in some studies but not in others.

    Important points:

    As the researchers mention, the studies they reviewed were small, with the largest one having 60 participants and some having only 6.
    The studies included only healthy subjects.
    The research was funded by ILSI (International Life Sciences Institute North America Technical Committee on Dietary Lipids), a nonprofit science organization whose members are mainly food and beverage, agricultural, chemical, and pharmaceutical companies. Members of the specific committee include Monsanto (creates corn, canola and soybean seeds among others) as well as other large food companies.
    The main researcher G. H. Johnson provides a statement of conflict of interest that he has provided consulting services to the Monsanto Company and Bunge Limited during the past 5 years.
    .
    Apart from a potential conflict of interest in the study, the reality is that western diets contain too many omega-6 fatty acids and to suggest using vegetable oils such as soybean and corn oil that are also rich in omega-6 fatty acids would be compounding the problem.

    A high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with increased risk of prostate and breast cancer, increased risk of Alzheimer’s and depressive symptoms as well as problems with reproduction.

    The Mediterranean diet is an example of a diet that has a healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, most likely due its use of fresh food (very low intake of processed food products), olive oil as the main source of fat (low in linoleic acid), and high intake of fatty fish rich in omega-3 such as sardines and anchovies.

    Sources:

    Effect of Dietary Linoleic Acid on Markers of Inflammation in Healthy Persons: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
    International Life Sciences Institute North America Technical Committee on Dietary Lipids
    The Importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases
    Depressive symptoms, omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids, and inflammation in older adults
    A Low Dietary Ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Delay Progression of Prostate Cancer
    The Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio and Dementia or Cognitive Decline: A Systematic Review on Human Studies and Biological Evidence
    Do both heterocyclic amines and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids contribute to the incidence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women of the Malmö diet and cancer cohort?
    Modulation of prostate cancer genetic risk by omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

    By Elena Paravantes
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Athens

     

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    U.S. researchers reviewed 15 studies and said they could find no evidence that a diet high in linoleic acid (omega-6) had any links to inflammation in the body. “Our evidence does suggest that you can achieve a heart-healthy diet by using soybean, canola, corn and sunflower... 
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    Value of Greek exports increased by 13.6%

    The total value of exports-dispatches for the 12-month time period of May 2012 – April 2013 increased by 12,0% compared to the corresponding 12-month time period of May 2011 – April 2012, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced.

    The total value of imports-arrivals for the 12-month time pe riod of May 2012 – April 2013 decreased by 1,2% compared to the corresponding 12-month time period of May 20 11 – April 2012. The total value of exports-dispatches in April 2013 amounted to 2476,7 million euros against 2180,3 million euros in April 2012, recordi ng an increase of 13,6%.
    The total value of exports-dispatches for the 12-month time period of May 2012 – April 2013 increased by 12,0% compared to the corresponding 12-month time period of May 2011 -April 2012.

    source: Capital.gr

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    The total value of exports-dispatches for the 12-month time period of May 2012 – April 2013 increased by 12,0% compared to the corresponding 12-month time period of May 2011 – April 2012, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced. The total value of imports-arrivals for... 
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  • Moroccan olive oil

    Moroccan olive oil producers say Spain should not be so scared of a wider EU-Morocco free trade deal – at least for now – because the United States market is their main target.

    Spain’s olive oil sector is in furor over the plan, which would eliminate an EU customs duty (currently about €1.25 per kilo) on Moroccan olive oil and restrict to 2000 tons the amount of EU oil allowed to enter Morocco tariff-free.

    The European Parliament ratified the proposal earlier this month by 369 votes to 225, with most of its Spanish members voting no. There is now talk of a Spanish appeal to Europe’s Court of Justice.

    Under the heading, “Andalusian oil at the crossroads,” national newspaper El País reports that the Andalusian Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Enterprises (FAECA) described the agreement as a “disaster” for the Spanish olive oil sector. Another agricultural organization, the UPA, said it would cause the loss of thousands of jobs and farms.

    “It will be Moroccan imports that determine the competitiveness, prices and future of farmers in Andalusia because we won’t be able to compete with the slave wages in Morocco and…breaches of plant protection and food safety regulations,” claimed Agustín Rodríguez, UPA general secretary for Andalusia.

    But from Casablanca, Othmane Aqallal, managing director of Atlas Olive Oils, told Olive Oil Times that the US, not Europe, was the main export destination of Morocco’s bulk olive oil.

    “The free trade agreement will not hurt European producers much in the short term. Moroccan exports to Europe have been low these last four years. We did not export more than 4000 tons per year to Europe. Morocco’s real export market for olive oil is the US, where last year it exported around 30,000 tons. However, in the long run, Europeans may suffer, relatively, if Morocco continues to expand its olive plantation surface like it did in the last five years,” Aqallal said.

    As for bottled olive oil, the agreement would have very little impact because Morocco exports less than 5 percent of its olive oil in this format, Aqallal said. “Also, Morocco’s main exports of bottled olive oil are intended for the ethnic Arab market. So with or without this free trade agreement, the ethnic market is the traditional buyer of Moroccan olive oil.”

    Moroccan production soaring

    According to International Olive Council (IOC) forecasts, Morocco was set to double its olive oil production to 150,000 tons in 2010-11 while world-leader Spain was expected to weigh in with 1.37 million tons.

    Morocco plans to achieve olive oil production of 340,000 tons by 2020. It is among the world’s biggest exporters of table olives and ranks about sixth or seventh for olive oil, with Italy one of its main buyers. In recent years some Spanish supermarket chains have faced criticism for sourcing some of their store brand olive oil – often used as a loss leader – from Morocco.

    United States

    Last year the San Francisco Chronicle reported the concerns of Californian olive growers over US agricultural aid to Morocco. Local growers told the paper that California had been “battling Morocco and Spain for the black table olive and olive oil markets in this country for more than a decade.”

    Morocco already has a free-trade agreement with the US.

    Sources:

    Spanish newspaper El País (in Spanish)
    European Parliament
    San Francisco Chronicle

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

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    Moroccan olive oil producers say Spain should not be so scared of a wider EU-Morocco free trade deal – at least for now – because the United States market is their main target. Spain’s olive oil sector is in furor over the plan, which would eliminate an EU customs duty... 
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  • World olive oil forecasts presented at IOC Economic Committee meeting

    World olive oil forecasts presented at IOC Economic Committee meeting held in Madrid, Spain, on 28 May 2013

    World production saw the best crop year ever in 2011/12 when it reached 3 377 500 t, but in the current 2012/13 season it looks set to be 26 pc lower, dropping to a similar level as in 2002/03. This drop in aggregate output is primarily due to a decrease of 1 006 600 t in Spain’s production, down by 62 pc from the season before. As a result, the production figure of the EU/27 countries taken as a whole is 919 500 t lower (-38%) although Greece shows an increase of 22 pc. Among the other member countries of the IOC, Tunisia stands out with a 22 pc rise in output in 2012/13. With a 30 pc increase in its level of production, Chile is noteworthy among the non-IOC member countries.

    Estimated at 2 954 000 t, world consumption in 2012/13 is expected to be 5 pc lower than the previous crop year. The biggest drop is located chiefly in the EU countries, where the estimated aggregate decrease is 12 pc. Consumption looks poised to fall by 15 pc in the chief producing countries of the EU (Spain, Italy and Greece) and by 10 pc in Portugal. Turkey is the country where consumption increases the most among the IOC Members. Outside the IOC countries, the expected 4 pc increase in U.S. consumption by the end of the season is noteworthy.

    Looking at the data available for 2012/13, world imports are expected to expand by 3 pc versus 2011/12 to reach 790 000 t. This level may be even higher, judging by the major importers’ data for the first six months of the season. Lower production in 2012/13 is forcing the EU countries, Spain particularly, to import from outside the EU. Imports by the United States account for 40 pc of total world imports in 2012/13 and already show 4 pc growth on the season before.

    World olive oil exports hit an all-time high in 2011/12 when they reached 801 500 t, with Spain in the lead in terms of both intra- and extra-EU exports, but they are expected to go down by 1 pc (793 000 t) in 2012/13. Notably, IOC member countries account for 96 pc of world exports. As only to be expected due to its lower output, exports by Spain are expected to go down in 2012/13 from season-before levels.
    End-of season stocks are estimated to be 45 pc lower.

    Extra virgin olive oil: Prices in Spain started to climb sharply in late July 2012, reaching €2.64/kg by the third week of September. They then switched course in the second week of October, dropping until the second week of December when they reached €3.02/kg. They continued to oscillate around this level until the second week of March, at which point they started to descend again. They now lie at €2.74/kg, thus showing 54 pc growth on year-ago prices. In Italy, they rose from the low of €2.61/kg recorded in the last week of November to €3.25/kg in the last week of May 2013, at which point they dipped to €3.16/kg, where they held steady. This translates into 33 pc growth on the same period a season earlier (see Graph 1).

    Prices in Greece did not experience a similar range of increase from July 2012 onwards, probably because of higher expected production. They went up from €2.04/kg to only €2.36/kg between the last week of December 2012 and the last week of May 2013, equating with a 28 pc rise. Prices in the three markets (Spain, Italy and Greece) decreased in recent weeks but seem to be steadying.

    Reed complete report at internationaloliveoil

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    World olive oil forecasts presented at IOC Economic Committee meeting held in Madrid, Spain, on 28 May 2013 World production saw the best crop year ever in 2011/12 when it reached 3 377 500 t, but in the current 2012/13 season it looks set to be 26 pc lower, dropping to a similar... 
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  • U.S. Continues to Dominate World Olive Oil Imports

    The United States docked two in every five tons of olive oil imported globally in the first six months of this season, according to the latest market newsletter from the International Olive Council.

    And the huge American market continues to swell – with total imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil for October 2012–March 2013 in line to rise four percent on last season.

    The U.S. imported 33,208 tons in March alone, compared to 6,592 tons in Brazil – currently the world’s second biggest non-European olive oil buyer – where imports are up 16 percent, and 4,184 tons in Japan, where they’ve grown 29 percent.

    The Chinese market, which unloaded 1,766 tons in March, is up 17 percent, and there’s been growth of five percent each in Canada and Russia but a five percent slump in Australia.

    Overall, total world imports are expected to expand three percent on 2011/12 to reach at least 790,000 tons.

    Global production

    The IOC said that due mainly to the 62 percent collapse in Spain’s production, total world production this season is expected to be down a quarter on 2011/12’s record 3 .77 million tons, and the season to end with 45 percent less in stocks.

    Production is up, however, in Chile, by 30 percent, and by 22 percent each in Greece and Tunisia.

    Global consumption

    World consumption of 2.95 million tons is forecast for 2012/13, five percent less than last season.

    The European Union (E.U.) is headed for the biggest drop – an expected overall decline of 12 percent. Individually, consumption looks poised to fall 15 percent in the chief E.U. producing countries – Spain, Italy and Greece – and by 10 percent in Portugal, the IOC said.

    “Turkey is the country where consumption increases the most among the IOC Members,” it said.

    Table olives

    Midway through the 2012/13 crop year, table olive imports are up 13 percent in Canada, 11 percent in Russia, eight percent in Australia, seven percent in Brazil and one percent in the U.S.

    Sources:

    IOC Market Newsletter May, 2013

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

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    The United States docked two in every five tons of olive oil imported globally in the first six months of this season, according to the latest market newsletter from the International Olive Council. And the huge American market continues to swell – with total imports of olive... 
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  • Olive Oil quantity and quality are highly dependent on the olive variety

    High quality extra virgin olive oils are usually made from a blend of olive varieties in order to balance the flavour components with shelf life. Oil quantity and quality are highly dependent on the olive variety. The best oil varieties in the world have developed their reputation over centuries of production for fruit yields, oil content, flavour, keeping quality, maturity date, and ease of harvest.

    Most olive cultivars range in oil content from 10 to 35 percent of their fresh weight at full maturity. Growing olive varieties with an average oil yield of less than 20 percent ~ 45 gallons of oil per fresh ton of fruit are not usually profitable to use for oil. Of the majorolive varieties grown in California, Manzanillo, Mission, Sevillano, Ascolano, and Barouni, only Mission contains a high enough oil content to plant for oil. The quality of oil made from all of these olive varieties can be excellent, but is generally regarded as inferior because they are compared to specific oilvarieties with tradition, name recognition, and marketing perception. This is similar to recognized wine varietals in the world.

    Flavour components within each cultivar come from the water-soluble flavenoids, phenols, polyphenols, tocopherols, and esters that make up the bitter flavor of fresh olives. These compounds are also naturally occurring antioxidants that extend oil shelf life by reducing rancidity.The most prominent oil varieties in the world are Piqual, Empeltre, Arbequina, Frantoio,Coratina, Aglandaou, Picholine, Leccino, Chemlali, and Koroneiki. Oils with high polyphenol content have longer shelf life and are generally more bitter and pungent. I would prefer to choose a lighter flavored oil according to the the variety and harvest time, such as a late harvest Arbequina rather than buy a refined oil.

    Information source amazingoliveoil

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    High quality extra virgin olive oils are usually made from a blend of olive varieties in order to balance the flavour components with shelf life. Oil quantity and quality are highly dependent on the olive variety. The best oil varieties in the world have developed their reputation... 
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  • Trade Dispute with China Would Impact Europe’s Olive Oil Exports

    The world’s biggest olive oil exporter to China – Spain – fears being caught in the crossfire if a trade battle breaks out over the European Union’s punitive tariffs on Chinese solar panels announced Tuesday.

    China waited just a day to launch an anti-dumping probe into E.U. wine imports, a move which suggests a tit-for-tat trade war looms, the South China Morning Post reports.

    And the European Voice says rumors suggest Beijing may also target “olive oil, steel tubing, and part of the chemicals industry.”

    Similarly, ARN Digital says exporters fear Spanish olive oil could suffer some of the worst collateral damage because if China and the E.U. don’t reach a deal to resolve their dispute in the next two months, “China will impose barriers not just on wine but also on olive oil.”

    The country supplies nearly 60 percent of China’s olive oil imports and in the first quarter of this year its olive oil exports there enjoyed 80 percent growth year-on-year, to reach €35 million, ARN Digital said.

    Two-month window to seek solution on panels

    E.U. Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht announced on Tuesday that the European Commission had decided to impose provisional tariffs on solar panels imported from China “in order to counter the dumping of these products on the European market.”

    A provisional 11.8 percent tariff now applies on all Chinese solar panel imports but this is to rise to an average of 47.6 percent from August 6. However, De Gucht said he would “prefer a negotiated solution, and quickly.”

    China’s Ministry of Commerce announced the wine probe in a statement the following day which also called for the EU to show “more sincerity and flexibility” on the solar dispute.

    “We have noted the quick rise in wine imports from the EU in recent years, and we will handle the investigation in accordance with the law,” the ministry statement said, according to South China Morning Post.

    E.U. itself the target of anti-dumping moves

    The E.U. has itself already been subject to various dumping claims over subsidies for olive oil production.As reported in Olive Oil Times in April, South Africa is the latest country to seek a countervailing duty to apply on E.U. olive oil imports.

    Peru had applied such an anti-subsidy duty on imports of Italian and Spanish olive oil until a tribunal there quashed the duty earlier this year on finding there had not been proof of injury to the olive oil sector in Peru.

    Sources:

    Remarks by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on the decision to impose provisional anti-dumping measures on imports of solar panels from China
    China launches anti-dumping probe into EU wine imports
    De Gucht’s big gamble
    España será la más perjudicada por la guerra comercial entre China y la Unión Europea

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

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    The world’s biggest olive oil exporter to China – Spain – fears being caught in the crossfire if a trade battle breaks out over the European Union’s punitive tariffs on Chinese solar panels announced Tuesday. China waited just a day to launch an anti-dumping probe into... 
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  • Greeks Still World’s Top Olive Oil Guzzlers

    Greece still leads the world in per capita olive oil consumption, with each person consuming nearly 18kg yearly, according to figures from the European Commission.

    In a table of per capita olive oil consumption in the European Union for 2011/12, Greece is at the top with 17.9kg, followed by Spain with 12.6kg, Italy 10.9kg, Cyprus 7.5kg and Portugal 7.4kg.

    And the just over half a million people who live in Luxembourg, one of the world’s financial capitals, lapped up an average of 2.7kg of olive oil each, to slip in next, ahead of the French and Maltese, who averaged 1.7kg per person.

    Demand down in Spain

    Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Spanish Olive Oil Agency (AAO) show that domestic consumption in Spain continues to slide and is down 22 percent for the first seven months of this season (Otober 2012 to April 2013) compared to the same period last season, and 18 percent compared to the average for the four previous seasons. Exports are also 28 percent and 19 percent lower respectively.

    According to the AAO’s market report, Spain had olive oil stocks of 757,000 tons at the end of April, after producing 612,900 tons this season – down 62 percent on 2011/12 – and importing 68,100 tons.

    Producer prices in Spain

    According to Spain’s POOLred price observatory, the average ex-mill price for olive oil in Spain for the last week of May is €2.51 a kilo, down from €2.69 for the last week of April, and €2.83 in the last week of March but nearly 85 cents above that of the middle of last year, when prices started to recover there.

    Spanish olive oil producer Rafael Muela told Olive Oil Times he expected little movement in the spot price for olive oil in the next few months as people waited to see how the next crop would be.

    “The flowers are increasing very fast and based on the appearance of some small fruit it looks like next year will be a very good one,” he said.

    It that outlook held, prices would probably fall towards the end of the year, he said.

    “We were afraid at the start of the year (when grower prices were about $3/kg), because we felt that even international consumption would fall.”

    “We are comfortable at the current price nationally as at this level farms are profitable,” he said.

    “We would sell a little bit more at a lower price but we have to take care of our farmers. We don’t need to drop down to the prices of last year or two years ago or we’ll lose farmers.”

    “Maintaining them at the level now we make for a healthier sector and not only in Spain but these prices will also be good for farmers in California and other places.”

    Muela, co-owner and senior marketing vice-president of Córdoba-based Mueloliva, said he did not think sales would pick up in the national market if the current price level held but at least they would be maintained or perhaps rise a little internationally.

    Olive__oil__consuption
    Sources:

    Market report to April 30, 2013, from Spanish Olive Oil Agency (in Spanish)
    POOlred price observatory

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

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    Greece still leads the world in per capita olive oil consumption, with each person consuming nearly 18kg yearly, according to figures from the European Commission. In a table of per capita olive oil consumption in the European Union for 2011/12, Greece is at the top with 17.9kg,... 
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  • Australian Company Fined for Deceptive Olive Oil Labeling

    A product prominently labeled ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil’ and ’100% Olive Oil’ — but that was 93 percent canola oil — has resulted in two fines totaling AU$20,400 (US $19,850) for misleading claims by MOI International, an Australian subsidiary of Malaysia-based MOI Foods.

    According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Queensland-based MOI International imported the ‘Mediterranean Blend’ oil from Malaysia and sold 3L tins of the oil in 2012 and 2013.
    Fine print on the side of the container revealed the oil was 93 per cent canola oil and just seven percent extra virgin olive oil.

    Read more at Olive Oil Times

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    A product prominently labeled ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil’ and ’100% Olive Oil’ — but that was 93 percent canola oil — has resulted in two fines totaling AU$20,400 (US $19,850) for misleading claims by MOI International, an Australian subsidiary of Malaysia-based MOI... 
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  • Olive Oil Production in the Mediterranean

    Over 750 million olive trees are cultivated worldwide, 95% of which are in the Mediterranean region. Most of global production comes from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Near East.
    Of the European production, 93% comes from Spain, Italy and Greece. Spanish province of Jaén is well known for the biggest olive groves in the world.

    Spain is the country with the highest number of olive trees (more than 300 million), and is nowadays the world’s leading olive and olive oil producer and exporter. Of the 2.1 million hectares (5.19 million acres) of olive groves, 92% are dedicated to olive oil production. The average annual production varies due to the cyclical nature of the harvest, but typically runs between 600,000 and 1,000,000 metric tons, only 20% of which is exported. About 80% of the crop is concentrated in Andalusia, (Jaén), the biggest olive growing area on the planet.

    In Andalusia, the most important olive oil producing areas are in the province of Jaén, where the main olive type is Picual, and other authorised varieties include Verdala, Real, and Manzanilla de Jaén, and in the province of Córdoba, where the authorised DO olive varieties include Picuda (a.k.a. Carrasqueña de Córdoba), Picual, Lechín, Chorrío, Pajarero, and Hojiblanco. DO certified Andaluz olive oils tend to be full bodied and tasty; class “A” oils have a maximum acidity of 0.4%, while class “B” oils have up to 1% acidity.

    Catalonia also produces olive oil, which tends to be on the lighter side. The principal cultivation and production areas are Les Garrigues, in the province of Lleida, and Siurana, very nearby, in the province of Tarragona, where the Arbequina variety is the main olive grown, but where other DO authorised varieties include Real [Royal], Verdiel and Morrut olives.

    Italy is the second European producer; two-thirds of the production is represented by extra-virgin oil with 37 DOP (Protected Origin Appellation) widespread on all the national territory. In Italy there are about 6.180 olive oil mills and the overall amount of processed olives in 2006/2007 was about 3.500.000 t with a production of about 600.000 t of oil. 90% of the entire oil production comes from Southern Italian Regions: Sicily, Calabria and Puglia. The introduction of new mills has increased the productivity and has decreased the need for manpower, heightening the problem related to the disposal of olive mills’ wastes due to an increased production of wastes themselves. In Italy more than 2000 t/year of olive oil wastes are produced and half of them come from Puglia Region.

    Greece devotes 60% of its cultivated land to olive growing. It is the world’s top producer of black olives and has more varieties of olives than any other country. Greece holds third place in world olive production with more than 132 million trees, which produce approximately 350,000 tons of olive oil annually, of which 82% is extra-virgin . About half of the annual Greek olive oil production is exported, but only some 5% of this reflects the origin of the bottled product.

    Greece exports mainly to European Union (EU) countries, principally Italy, which receives about three-quarters of total exports. Olives are grown for oil in Greece, with Peloponnese being the source of 65% of Greek production, as well as in Crete, the Aegean Islands and Ionian Islands.

    The most prized Greek olive variety for oil production is the Koroneiki, originating from the area of Korone in Messenia, Peloponnese. This variety grows well on mountain slopes and produces very small fruit; the high ratio of skin to flesh giving the oil its coveted aromatic qualities.

    The variety is also suited to the production of agourelaio, oil from olives that are slightly unripe. When crushed in presses that are not capable of grinding the stone, this oil is entirely free of acidity and possesses top-tier organoleptic characteristics. Because not crushing the stones reduces oil yield, production of agourélaio is limited to “boutique” presses run by entrepreneurs and small cooperatives.

    Among the many different olive varieties or cultivars in Italy are Frantoio, Leccino Pendolino, and Moraiolo; in Spain the most important varieties are the Picual, Alberquina, Hojiblanca, and Manzanilla de Jaén; in Greece, Koroneiki; in France, Picholine; in California, Mission; in Portugal, Galega; in Croatia, Oblica and Leccino. The oil from the varieties varies in flavour and stability (shelf life).

    Australia now produces some of the world’s finest olive oils, primarily due to the remarkably good growing conditions, rich soils and lack of traditional pests and diseases. Many Australian producers only make premium oils, whilst a number of corporate growers operate groves of a million trees or more and produce oils for the general market. Australian olive oil is exported to Asia and Europe where the consistent high quality is respected.

    In North America, Italian and Spanish olive oils are the best-known, and top-quality extra-virgin oils from Italy, Spain, Croatia and Greece are sold at high prices, often in “prestige” packaging. A large part of US olive oil imports come from Italy, Spain, and Turkey. The US imported 47,800,000 US gallons (181,000 m3) of olive oil in 1998, of which 34,600,000 US gallons (131,000 m3) came from Italy.

    The Republic of South Africa also produces extra virgin olive oil, with production increasing to meet demand. (From Wikipedia : Olive Oil)

    Explanation of Olive Oil Grades terms

    International Olive Oil Council

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    Over 750 million olive trees are cultivated worldwide, 95% of which are in the Mediterranean region. Most of global production comes from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Near East. Of the European production, 93% comes from Spain, Italy and Greece. Spanish province of Jaén... 
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  • 1

    Olive Oil Futures Market

    The Olive Oil Futures Market (MFAO) booked a €213,000 ($280,000) loss last year despite a 28 percent spike in the number of contracts negotiated in it. But its fortunes turned around in the first quarter of this year – as movements in olive oil prices sparked even more trade – seeing it end April with a profit of nearly €136,300 ($180,000).

    The market closed 2012 with nearly 98,000 contracts negotiated, up about 21,000 on 2011, and with August and December by far the busiest months.

    The average price last year was €2,083/t and the total value negotiated was nearly €204 million, up from €1,660 and €76 million in 2011.

    The Olive Oil Futures Market (MFAO) booked a €213,000 ($280,000) loss last year despite a 28 percent spike in the number of contracts negotiated in it. But its fortunes turned around in the first quarter of this year – as movements in olive oil prices sparked even more trade – seeing it end April with a profit of nearly €136,300 ($180,000).

    The market closed 2012 with nearly 98,000 contracts negotiated, up about 21,000 on 2011, and with August and December by far the busiest months.

    The average price last year was €2,083/t and the total value negotiated was nearly €204 million, up from €1,660 and €76 million in 2011.

    Futures market a “useful hedging tool”

    Manuel León, president of the Jaén-based market, told Spanish media that the vast majority of 2012’s trade took place in the last half of the year, when ex-mill prices for olive oil were rising and the outlook was poor for the next harvest.

    He said the increase in the number of contracts reinforced the market’s role “in providing a hedge against price volatility.”

    “It’s a useful tool for the industry and good price observatory,” he said.

    Those most active in the market were big companies. Many smaller companies were still unaware of the advantages of being active in the MFAO, León said.

    First quarter recovery

    The busiest month in the most recent quarter was January, when 18,000 contracts were negotiated, though leaving the market’s record for the most trade in a month still standing at 23,115 contracts, from January 2010.

    The total for the first quarter this year had reached 44,000 by April 23.

    More activity online

    The MFAO is also enjoying a spike in activity on its web site. Its trading screen received a record (since 2005) number page views – 7.9 million – in 2012, up from 1.4 million in 2011.

    The only market in the world where futures contracts on olive oil can be traded, it opened in February 2004 and made its first profit, €116,000, in 2010, but 2011’s flatline prices – reducing the need for buyers or sellers to hedge against price swings – sent it back into the red with a €300,000 loss.

    Sources
    Olive Oil Futures Market (MFAO – Mercado de Futuros Aceite Oliva)
    Mercado de Futuros Aceite Oliva aumenta 28% número contratos respecto a 2011
    Mercado de Futuros registra 136.000 euros de beneficio en el primer trimestre

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

     

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    The Olive Oil Futures Market (MFAO) booked a €213,000 ($280,000) loss last year despite a 28 percent spike in the number of contracts negotiated in it. But its fortunes turned around in the first quarter of this year – as movements in olive oil prices sparked even more trade... 
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  • Olive Oil Queries in Google

    dear olive oil enterpreneurs and producers, dear consumers and people interested in olive oil,
    what is people actually searching for olive oil?

    This is a question that could take pages and pages for an answer, months of research and investigation. Surely, there is not an unique answer but several, depending how do you interpret the former generic question.

    Here we present one of the many interpretations: we gave a look on what kind of web-based researches people made in the last years on google.com, using key words as “olive oil”, “organic olive oil”, “extravirgin olive oil”, etc. Why? Just to grasp what people is looking for on the web, how much do they search (or did), what are the latest more issued news about olive oil. Just keep reading and you will learn more.

    In the last month (referring to the date of this post), in the entire world, there were 49,500 queries (only on google.com) that used the (ENGLISH) words “extravirgin olive oil” (read carefully, “extravirgin” is one word).

    The whole number of the queries containing the words “extravirgin olive oil” and “extra virgin olive oil” (including “evoo”), alone or combined with others, summed up to 1,629,467, in the last month. Quite interesting. Interesting is also that many other words were associated to refine the search, words that for us speak about what could be the interest of the person searching. For example, there were 659 different kinds of web search (meaning key words combinations) that included our three magic words.

    For example, the only “extra virgin olive oil” queries were 110,000, and those somehow including also the word “organic” were 5,883 quite few compared to the rest (respectively .36% and 5.35%).
    Why should we care? Just to know what people is interested in when looking (and then thinking) to extra virgin olive oil.

    Looking below, you can see how the numbers of queries changed over time during the last year and since 2004.

    Article source iobooo and updated 02.06.2013

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    dear olive oil enterpreneurs and producers, dear consumers and people interested in olive oil, what is people actually searching for olive oil? This is a question that could take pages and pages for an answer, months of research and investigation. Surely, there is not an unique... 
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  • Imports of olive oil by Brazil showed 9 pc growth

    20130602-195902.jpg

    In 2011/12 imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil by Brazil showed 9 pc growth on 2010/11 levels, reaching 71 004 t. European Union countries were the suppliers of 88 pc of this tonnage, split between Portugal (57 pc), Spain (25 pc), Italy (6 pc) and Greece (1 pc). The remaining 12 pc came from Argentina (11 pc) and Chile (1 pc). Table I reports the import figures for the last five.

    Reed report Olive and Olive Oil Imports: focus on Brazil by internationaloliveoil

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    In 2011/12 imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil by Brazil showed 9 pc growth on 2010/11 levels, reaching 71 004 t. European Union countries were the suppliers of 88 pc of this tonnage, split between Portugal (57 pc), Spain (25 pc), Italy (6 pc) and Greece (1 pc). The remaining... 
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  • Consumers want Olive Oil facts

    Consumers in the United States are enthusiastic about the flavor and potential health benefits of olive oil but still a bit hazy on how to select, evaluate and describe this ancient but increasingly popular food product, according to a new survey released this week by the Olive Center at the University of California, Davis.

    A survey report, which also suggests opportunities for olive oil producers to better package and market their products, is available from the Olive Center.

    The study showed consumers need more information to help them understand choices in olive oil.

    “The survey revealed that consumers clearly need more information that will help them understand the choices in olive oil that are available to them,” said Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center and a co-author of the study. “With the olive oil industry in the United States now experiencing a renaissance, this is the perfect time for producers to help consumers better appreciate the flavor contrasts between fresh extra virgin olive oil and substandard oils,” Flynn said.

    The survey, which probed the perceptions and attitudes of more than 2,200 individuals during spring 2012, was conducted online in two phases. The survey revealed that more than 70 percent of the respondents were using olive oil for a variety of culinary purposes, including making salad dressings and dips, grilling, finishing or drizzling, and also baking. A surprisingly large number—86 percent—of the respondents indicated that they also were using olive oil to sauté and deep fry foods. “This was particularly interesting, because conventional wisdom has long held that olive oil has a low smoke point,” Flynn said. “Olive oil, in truth, has a high-enough smoke point for most cooking applications, and it’s gratifying to see that consumers have discovered that on their own.”

    Olive oil is usually marketed in the United States as three different grades: extra virgin, pure, and light or extra light. No more than one out of four survey participants demonstrated an accurate understanding of these grades. For example, many respondents thought the term “pure” indicated the highest quality oil, when in reality it is applied to lower-grade olive oil blends. Extra virgin is the term for the highest quality olive oil.

    Similarly, most respondents incorrectly thought that refining was done to make good olive oil even better; the process is actually used to make inferior olive oils edible. And most respondents incorrectly assumed that olive oil color is an accurate indicator of quality. Flavor was the primary reason for selecting olive oil over other oils, according to 80 percent of the survey respondents.

    The survey coordinators noted that this result is significant, because earlier studies have indicated that two-thirds of the top-selling olive oil brands analyzed by the UC Davis Olive Center were found to have rancidity and other defects. The researchers suggest that consumers may be developing an affinity for substandard flavors, and that olive oil producers would be well advised to develop strategies for introducing more consumers to the flavor of high-quality extra virgin olive oils.

    Eighty percent of the respondents also indicated that they chose olive oil as a healthier alternative to other oils and fats. Because of the importance of health benefits to consumers, olive oil producers may want to conduct research on the comparative healthfulness of the various grades of olive oil, survey coordinators suggested. When asked to describe desirable olive oil flavor, nearly 80 percent of the respondents agreed that “fresh” was a good descriptor—which is in sync with industry standards. However, the terms “fruity,” “peppery” and “grassy”—also common terms use to describe high-quality olive oil—did not resonate with most of the survey respondents.

    These findings suggest that olive oil producers might want to highlight freshness over other lesser-understood terms in their packaging and marketing efforts. Flynn collaborated on the survey and report with lead researcher Selina C. Wang, research director for the UC Davis Olive Center, and Ben Moscatello, a senior business analyst and alumnus of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

    The UC Davis Olive Center was founded in 2008 as the first university-based olive research and education center in North America. As a self-funded university center, it continues the university’s century-old effort to assist California’s olive producers and processors as their industry enters a renaissance, with novel farming techniques and rising consumer interest in olive oil and table olives. The center’s collaborative efforts have produced research in food chemistry, mechanical harvesting, olive fruit fly control, olive processing and sensory evaluation of olive oil. This research provides opportunities for graduate students to receive scientific training and earn advanced degrees.

    About UC Davis

    For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of nearly $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

    Article source UC Davis Olive Center

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    Consumers in the United States are enthusiastic about the flavor and potential health benefits of olive oil but still a bit hazy on how to select, evaluate and describe this ancient but increasingly popular food product, according to a new survey released this week by the Olive... 
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  • Council Says New Chemical Limits Will Improve Olive Oil Quality

    Tougher chemical parameters for virgin olive oils are among a range of measures approved this week by the main decision-making body of the International Olive Council (IOC).

    Passed by the IOC’s Council of Members, most of the changes are designed to improve quality control.

    An increased tolerance for campesterol — the limit will rise from 4 to 4.5 percent — will help prevent the exclusion of genuine virgin oils with naturally higher levels of the sterol.

    IOC Members finally conclude 100th session

    According to an IOC press release, the 100th session of the Council concluded on Monday, having passed a range of recommendations from various advisory committees that had been pending since the Council’s last meeting, in November, lost quorum when delegates from Israel and Turkey walked out.

    The new standards, which would apply from the 2013/14 season (starting in October) will continue “the ongoing improvement of the quality control of virgin olive oils,” it said.

    Parameters changing

    Among the measures are most of the changes to chemical parameters and tests that European Union Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloș had urged the IOC to expedite as part of his action plan for the E.U. olive oil sector.

    They include:

    – Stigmastadienes limit: to be reduced from 0.10 to 0.05mg/kg for virgin and extra virgin olive oils. (The Cioloș plan said this would improve detection of other vegetable oils in olive oils.)

    – Alkyl esters: the maximum level will fall from the current 75 mg/kg for the sum of ethyl plus methyl esters to 40mg/kg for only ethyl esters for 2013/14, then to 35mg/kg for 2014/15, and 30mg/kg from the start of 2015/16. (The Cioloș plan said a lower limit would further restrict use of deodorised oils.)

    – The global method for detecting extraneous oils in olive oils will be adopted.

    – Wax content: will introduce a new limit of 150 mg/kg for the sum of C42, C44 and C46. (Wax content was said to be a key indicator of quality and purity.)

    – Myristic acid: the limit will be lowered from 0.05 percent to 0.03 percent. (The Cioloș plan said this would improve detection of palm oil.)

    The IOC said other changes include:

    – Provisional adoption of the method for the determination of alkyl esters and waxes with 3g of silica

    – Adoption of the method for the determination of the composition and content of sterols and triterpene dialcohols

    – Adoption of a revised sensory evaluation method. (No detail was given.)

    Campesterol

    Australia, with support from Argentina, the United States and New Zealand had unsuccessfully pushed for a 4.8 percent limit for campesterol in the context of this year’s meeting of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils.

    The IOC Council didn’t go that far but it did agree to a rise to 4.5 percent, under the condition that three decision trees are used to ensure the authenticity of those virgin or extra virgin olive oils with levels of 4-4.5 percent, for example requiring they have a stigmasterol level of no more than 1.4 percent.

    Uruguay is joining the IOC and Palestine wants to

    On Tuesday, the Council also noted a membership application from Palestine and asked the IOC’s executive secretariat to provide a legal opinion on the matter.

    The IOC said that on Wednesday the Council received the legal advice – without saying what it was – and that “many members then expressed their position in favor of this membership.” A decision on the application would be taken at the latest at the Council’s 101st session, in November, it said.

    Meanwhile, the members also noted the imminent membership of Uruguay.

    Other business included harmonization of custom codes

    The IOC said that among the highlights from an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Members on Tuesday and Wednesday were:

    – A group will be set up to study the possibility of harmonizing customs tariff codes between IOC members countries in order to obtain more detailed data on international trade under the current general virgin olive oil heading (150 910).

    – Another group will study a method for comparing the cost of growing olives for olive oil in different countries.

    – The results of promotion campaign in the U.S. and Canada in 2012 and planned activities for one in Brazil this year and next year were reviewed.

    – A proposal from Turkey to add “light green fruitiness” to the categories for the Mario Solinas extra virgin olive oil awards was approved.

    – There was debate over the agreement on “autocontrol” of the quality of imported oils.

    – The IOC’s financial rules were modified so that from next year some initiatives in non-member countries may be eligible for IOC funding.

    IOC back to business as usual

    Since its budget for this year had not yet been approved when the Council’s sitting last November was aborted, the IOC has until now had to operate with a clamp on its financial activities.

    “The adoption of the IOC budgets for 2013 will allow a return to the normal rhythm of activity,” it said.

    On Thursday the first meeting of the working group on the IOC’s future will be held in the lead-up to the expiry of the IOC’s current governing agreement at the end of next year.

    Among issues on the table for the next agreement is allowing countries where olive oil is consumed but not produced to join the IOC.

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
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    Tougher chemical parameters for virgin olive oils are among a range of measures approved this week by the main decision-making body of the International Olive Council (IOC). Passed by the IOC’s Council of Members, most of the changes are designed to improve quality control. An... 
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  • Survey Reveals Surprising Views Toward Olive Oil

    Despite conventional wisdom that olive oil should not be used for cooking, consumers do it anyway, according to a UC Davis Olive Center report.

    The report was based on a survey designed to discover consumer attitudes and perceptions towards olive oil. Among six areas surveyed, Executive Director Dan Flynn was most surprised by consumer responses about cooking with olive oil.

    Research shows that olive oil’s smoke point, the temperature at which it gives off smoke and degrades in quality, is high enough to support most cooking, but the “media, cookbooks and celebrity chefs tell people not to cook with olive oil,” said Flynn. Consumers “apparently did it anyway and found the sky didn’t fall.”

    More than 2,200 consumers responded to the Olive Center’s online survey. After analyzing the results, researchers concluded that “consumers believe that they know more about olive oil than they actually do.”

    As an example of the disconnect between perceived and actual knowledge, no more than 25 percent of survey respondents correctly answered questions testing their understanding of “extra virgin,” “pure,” and “light” grades, even though the majority indicated that they knew the differences between the grades.

    Nearly half of the participants thought that the label “pure” designated the highest quality oil, and many consumers believed that olive oil labeled “light” pertained to its calorie count, when it actually means that the oil was refined and is more neutral in flavor than higher grades.

    The survey showed that flavor was the top factor affecting consumer purchases of olive oil, but descriptive words used by the industry to describe the positive taste attributes of olive oil, do not always have a corresponding impact on consumers. Consumers agreed that that the word “fresh” describes good-tasting oil, but the words “fruity,” “peppery,” and “grassy,” did not resonate well as indicators of tastiness.

    The report also revealed that consumers choose olive oil over other fats because they perceive it as healthier and tasting better, even though a large percentage of responders did not think that olive oil is good for consuming as it is. Many make their olive oil selection based on “best before date,” although a UC Davis Olive Center study showed that the date bears little correlation to quality.

    Flynn believes that the report provide insight that producers or industry associations could use to improve marketing and to help consumers better understand olive oil.

    Although the survey focused on U.S. customers, it “would be interesting to see how the results would compare to other countries,” said Flynn.

    Flynn is particularly interested in doing more research on conventional wisdom. In one example, a standard piece of advice to prevent oxidation is, “don’t put olive oil in a clear bottle.” Flynn says the advice is good, but research could determine if clear bottles could safely be used if they were mostly covered by a label. He would like to do a research project simulating supermarket conditions with shelves, overhead lights and bottles placed on different shelf levels to “see what would happen.”

    By Nancy Flagg
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Sacramento

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    Despite conventional wisdom that olive oil should not be used for cooking, consumers do it anyway, according to a UC Davis Olive Center report. The report was based on a survey designed to discover consumer attitudes and perceptions towards olive oil. Among six areas surveyed,... 
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