European Parliament proposals for measures to support and promote the European olive sector

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MEP Ivan Jakovčić introduced last week two proposals for resolution in the European Parliament related to the sector of olive oil. Specifically, the documents refer to measures to support and promote the European olive sector; and to protect consumers and producers.

The first proposal calls on the European Commission to establish a new market category of extra virgin olive oil based on quality called Premium with those juices who meet strict criteria in terms of taste, aroma and nutritional value.

The measure is argued based on the growing awareness of citizens on food; and the increase of the demand for high quality EVOOs noticed by the International Olive Council (IOC).

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) mark et category, intended as the highest quality category, encompasses a wide range of olive oils, from the high-quality ones in terms of taste, aroma and nutrient values to those that barely meet the basic quality requirements.

Thus, producers of high-quality extra virgin olive oils are left mercilessly to compete on the market with the unfair prices of other oils in the same category that are undoubtedly of lower value in comparison with the high-quality characteristics of extra virgin olive oils. Therefore, with the establishment of this new category Premium EVOO producers will be protected.

The second proposal, meanwhile, calls on urgent measures supporting and promoting the European olive sector.

EU countries, together, are the world’s largest producer of top-quality olive oil, plus in 2014 the bad weather and the olive fruit fly, an insect whose larvae settle on olive trees, caused significant damage to the European olive oil sector, with a production decline in some European countries of over 50 % as compared to the previous year, as well as the damage suffered by European olive oil producers has led to a significant increase in prices and the competition of multinational companies, lead to this proposal.

Therefore, EU calls on need to take all the necessary measures to evaluate, protect and support the European olive sector, especially with respect to the adverse circumstances that occurred last year; and initiate the necessary measures to protect producers of extra virgin olive oil from unfair competition, thereby contributing to the protection of consumers of olive oil.

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