News & Articles

  • Olive Oil Beneficial for Elderly

    Spanish researchers evaluated the effect of adding olive oil to the diets of healthy elderly. The results showed that extra virgin olive oil reduced total cholesterol, but also increased HDL levels also known as the good cholesterol.

    The study, published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics included 62 participants aged 65-96 years. They were divided into two groups; the control group maintained their current diet, while the olive group consumed EVOO as the only added fat and a daily dose of 50 ml, which corresponds to about three tablespoons.

    After six weeks the researchers found a significant reduction of total cholesterol, but also an increase in the HDL (the “good” cholesterol). In addition, the olive group had a higher plasma Total Antioxidant Capacity compared to the control group. The researchers concluded that nutritional intervention with EVOO improves the antioxidant status in healthy elderly people.

    These findings that olive oil can improve antioxidant status as well as lipid profile in the elderly adds to recent research that is pointing to the Mediterranean diet as the ideal diet for the elderly. Three new studies have shown that a Mediterranean style diet can positively affect several side effects of aging.

    Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago concluded after following over 3,500 men for 7 years, that the annual rate of developing depressive symptoms was 98.6 percent lower among persons in the highest tertile of a Mediterranean-based dietary pattern compared with persons in the lowest tertile group.

    Another new study published in Neurology which used information from over 17,000 individuals over the age of 45, concluded that closer adherence to a Mediterranean style diet resulted in a lower risk of memory loss, while a third study by Spanish researchers showed it improves vascular dysfunction and can play a role in the protection against the chronic diseases related to aging.

    Sources:

    – Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) consumption and antioxidant status in healthy institutionalized elderly humans
    – Endothelial Aging Associated with Oxidative Stress Can Be Modulated by a Healthy Mediterranean Diet
    – Mediterranean diet and depressive symptoms among older adults over time
    – Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of incident cognitive impairment

    By Elena Paravantes
    Olive Oil Times Health Editor | Reporting from Athens

     

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    Spanish researchers evaluated the effect of adding olive oil to the diets of healthy elderly. The results showed that extra virgin olive oil reduced total cholesterol, but also increased HDL levels also known as the good cholesterol. The study, published in the Archives of Gerontology... 
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  • 9th International High-end Health Edible Oil & Olive Oil (Shanghai) Expo 2013 /10/20-22

    The International High-end Health Edible Oil & Olive Oil (Beijing) Expo at China International Exhibition Center attracts more than 300 companies to attend and the total space is over 10000 square meters. More than 20 embassies in China, and leaders from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Commerce, State Forestry Administration, Development

    Research Center of State Council and over 30000 visitors from 26 countries together witnessed this grand feast. Industry giants gathered here, and the international olive oil association and pavilion of Argentina, Spain, Greece, Italy, Tunisia, Turkish hand in hand here. This fair gets high praise of exhibitors and visitors, and said the organizing work is of a great success. It plays an important role in trade service and public brand’s creation.

    Comply with the demand of the market, and the request of the exhibitors, from 2013 the Global Oil Exposition , it will be held in spring in Beijing, and autumn in in Shanghai, in order to set up nationwide sales platform. At present, China is the world’s largest oil consumer market along with economic development and improvement of living standards, the consumers’ demands for edible oils show a trend of diversification. Most consumers when buying oil, not only to compare prices, also put health as an important indicator.

    Download 2013 Shanghai Invitation letter

    9th International High-end Health Edible Oil & Olive Oil (Shanghai)
    Expo 2013 /10/20-22

    Organizing CommitteeBeijing Shibowei International Exposition Co., Ltd
    Address: Room 904, Cell 4, Building 1, No 69 (Fortune street), Chao Yang Road, Chao Yang District, Beijing, China, 100123
    Tel: 0086+10-85785006/7/8-621
    Fax: 0086+10-51413308
    Contact: 赵海凤(Cathy, zhao
    Mob: 008615011005702
    E–mail: sbwfair@hotmail.com   
    Website:
    www.oilexpo.com.cn

    NEXT:
    10th International High-end Health Edible Oil & Olive Oil (Shanghai)
    Expo 2014 /04/ 8-10

                             

     

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    The International High-end Health Edible Oil & Olive Oil (Beijing) Expo at China International Exhibition Center attracts more than 300 companies to attend and the total space is over 10000 square meters. More than 20 embassies in China, and leaders from Ministry of Health,... 
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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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  • Madrid in a bid to create a new ‘super’ oil

    The Spanish capital has carried out olive oil tastings in shopping centers throughout the city to determine what locals consider to be best characteristics of extra virgin olive oil , all in a bid to create a new ‘super’ oil.

    After six years of research, The Madrid Institute for Research and Rural Development, Agriculture and Food have prepared a variety of coupages, or mixtures, of extra virgin olive oils from the region, made with different varieties of olives, harvested at their prime. A multidisciplinary team made up of biologists, chemical engineers and agronomists were responsible for the selection of the best produce available in the 25 thousand hectares of olive fields located in the Community of Madrid to make up the five mixed varieties. All the mixtures on offer for tasting included the Cornicabra olive variety as a base, which is produced by the majority of farms in the region.

    Local consumers from a variety of socioeconomic and age profiles were given the opportunity to taste and give their opinion on the characteristics of each mix, in order to determine the olive oil sensory profile which was the most popular and therefore the most likely to be purchased among the Spanish population. Tasters had the opportunity to sample oils of both mild and stronger intensity that varied in color, some of which also had a spicy quality, with results indicating that overall the mild-flavored oils were deemed the most popular.

    The research was designed with the idea that, from mixes of single varietal olive oils produced locally, a new ‘super’ olive oil could be created based on the preferences of local consumers, which will hopefully become a best seller around Spain. The recipe for the unique oil will have specifically controlled collection times and strict parameters for the olive varieties and qualities that have been used in the primary oils before mixing so as to produce a uniform product and to give the consumers what they want, every time. Based on the consumer research, it seems likely that the new variety will have a mild flavor when it hits supermarket shelves.

    Sources:

    El Mundo
    ABC Espana
    Comunidad de Madrid

    By Naomi Tupper
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Santander

     

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    The Spanish capital has carried out olive oil tastings in shopping centers throughout the city to determine what locals consider to be best characteristics of extra virgin olive oil , all in a bid to create a new ‘super’ oil. After six years of research, The Madrid Institute... 
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    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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  • EU bashing and olive oil

    A tale of Euroscepticism, political opportunism and a European Commission ‘own goal’.

    In the aftermath of the last European Union summit, one of the many provisions proposed by the European Commission within the framework of its action plan for the olive-oil sector unexpectedly gained global attention.

    The provision, which had already won member states’ backing, would have required that restaurants serve olive oil in sealed, clearly labelled and non-reusable containers, instead of relying on refillable containers. The UK’s prime minister, echoed by his Dutch counterpart, publicly attacked the Commission’s adopted proposal by dismissing it as “exactly the sort of area that the European Union needs to get right out of”. While Dacian Ciolos?, the European commissioner for agriculture, initially defended the proposal as a way to promote quality olive oil and to protect consumers from fraud, he rapidly withdrew the measure, declaring that the ban was “not formulated in such a way as to assemble widespread support”.

    The tale of the proposal captures many of the misperceptions surrounding the EU’s work, but also reveals how a rule that has the member states’ blessing can be overturned by a minority.

    First, it illustrates the lack of understanding of the scope of the regulatory authority granted to the EU. While the Commission proposes around 60-70 legislative acts, it adopts – together with the member states – around 2,000 measures implementing previously agreed legislation every year. The olive-oil proposal fell into the latter category.

    Second, it confirms politicians’ tendency to fuel misinterpretations of the EU to suit their immediate political calculus. In particular, it shows how easy it is to turn the public against the EU by depicting a rule supposedly aimed at consumer protection as the umpteenth attempt to over-regulate EU citizens’ lives. As such, it illustrates once more the cynicism of leaders who blame the Union for systematically over-reaching the exercises of the very same regulatory powers that they have entrusted to the EU.

    Hence, the trivial, yet frequent, claim that the EU, at times of economic difficulties, had better things to do than regulating bottles of olive oil carries limited credibility. Denying multi-tasking ability to a political system is like suggesting that when one of us breaks a leg she should not breathe anymore.

    More remarkably, this story teaches us that even once a rule has gained the majority support of member states (even though not a qualified majority vote) and has been adopted, it is still possible to get it withdrawn if political leaders of the countries that were left in minority are capable of spinning that story as the latest EU attempt at ‘regulating everything’.

    The most pernicious effects of this approach are made possible by widespread ignorance and a profound lack of understanding of the EU’s basic functioning. Attacked by the disease of Euroscepticism generated by a few political leaders, public opinion behaves like a human body whose immunity system is deficient. By not having the right antibodies, public opinion does not react to the disease, allows it to gain ground, and even accelerates its spread.

    It is the task of the Commission, as the holder of the monopoly of legislative initiative, to promote the development of the right antibodies against this manipulation of public opinion.

    To do so, the Commission should systematically engage in EU-wide stakeholder consultations while assessing the impact of its proposed rules.

    Unfortunately, in this case there was no impact assessment of the contested provision. As Ciolos? conceded, the Commission therefore could not effectively illustrate the merits nor prove the possible effects of the rule. What is more, he could not claim to have consulted with all relevant stakeholders.

    This explains why the Commission, which proposed the rule and mobilised a majority of member states in support of this measure, eventually did not stand by its own proposal.

    Only a highly formalised, evidence-based and participatory decision-making process could provide the right antibody against politically driven Euroscepticism. At a time of growing disaffection with the EU, this should be the lesson learned for the Commission from the olive-oil tale.

    Alberto Alemanno is a Jean Monnet professor of EU law and risk regulation and director of the HEC-NYU EU Regulatory Policy Clinical Programme.
    Article source: europeanvoice

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    A tale of Euroscepticism, political opportunism and a European Commission ‘own goal’.In the aftermath of the last European Union summit, one of the many provisions proposed by the European Commission within the framework of its action plan for the olive-oil sector unexpectedly... 
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  • Under the Olive Tree makes finding the perfect olive oil easier

     

    VIENNA, Va, May 29, 2013 — The quest for olive oil perfection continues and a Virginia purveyor Under the Olive Tree in Tyson’s Corner Mall aids in that quest.

    Since olive oil’s popularity burst upon the scene some time ago and aficionados as well as experts shared with the public the technicalities in using the best types — pure, virgin, or extra virgin — selling it only in dark glass bottles to protect taste and aroma, clear glass totally prohibited, we have been schooled in what to look for when purchasing the best product.

    Keeping it in a cool, dark place, not keeping it on the shelf longer than suggested, all of these aspects of “olio d’ oliva” have been brought to our attention via television and newspapers alike. And it doesn’t take five minutes to ascertain what a bad oil tastes like.

    Now a new procedure has been announced, and the Marcel Bernaud family at the Tyson’s store is proud to have been selected to participate.

    Standards for olive oil have been modified through the last few decades, one of the last being in 2010 when the International Olive Oil Council, an intergovernmental organization based in Madrid, Spain, further defined the standards.

    The United States does not belong to this 23-member group, instead relying on the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to assure quality and authenticity, adopted in 1948 prior to the IOC coming into existence, and governmental certification is available from the USDA on a fee-for-service-basis.
    It appears to judge basically only on the level of free fatty acid content and little more. Purists and those who really appreciate the oil are interested in a more stringent approach.

    Veronica Foods, a national supplier that was founded in 1924, has launched a national certification program to ensure certain extra virgin olive oils to be of “premium” quality, compared to the heretofore mentioned existing standards set forth by the IOOC.

    The Tyson’s store was chosen to pilot the certification program on the East Coast, hoping that certification will spread nationwide and even beyond our borders. This certification would assure normal consumers and purchasers on what they should be looking for when they purchase extra virgin olive oil, the most popular of the types used in food. This supplier hopes to end up with a higher quality standard for the oil than presently exists.

    The new category of Ultra Premium was created by Veronica Foods to separate high quality extra virgin oils from what dominates the so-called “gourmet” oils and “premium” oil markets as well as the broader category sold in mass markets everywhere under thousands of brands and private labels.

    The average purchasing consumer would have to read extremely fine print on labels to definitively ascertain whether the “extra virgin oil” he purchases came from Italy, Spain, Greece, California or any other oil-producing entity. And one name does not mean the same in varying producing countries!

    To be able to use this Ultra Premium designation with its distinctive UP label, the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO to its more knowledgeable purchasers) must meet or exceed a comprehensive set of production, storage, transportation, testing, chemistry, and organoleptic requirements. If it sounds impressive, it really is, but it will affect the taste and texture of the final product in a positive and satisfying manner.

    The certification program is handled through the Modern Olives Laboratory in Australia, which conducts chemical testing on the oil to measure quality. The results or certifications of the oils that exceed the normal standard set by the IOOC then go to the supplier, providing the retail store direct access to these certification figures. The supplier normally does not buy oils which do not meet the UP standards.

    This, in the final analysis, allows the retailer to place a special tag on the bottles as well as proper documentation on the fustis, which assures their quality in the same way that “Organic” assures quality in foods with that label, almost like a culinary Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

    The Bernaud family: Marcel, Fabiana and Marie Clare, take pride in the fact that they will be able to mark their oils with the highest type label it can have.

    For newcomers, these oils come in a wide variety of flavors including blood orange, basil, Tuscany, chocolate, and some 30 others. All culinary folks out there will find there is something for everyone at the little niche store on the lower floor of Tyson’s, and tasting is definitely allowed.

    Article source: washingtontimes

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      VIENNA, Va, May 29, 2013 — The quest for olive oil perfection continues and a Virginia purveyor Under the Olive Tree in Tyson’s Corner Mall aids in that quest. Since olive oil’s popularity burst upon the scene some time ago and aficionados as well as experts shared... 
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  • Nein to olive oil and United EU

    Germany and its northern allies could not tolerate that olive oil, the product of southern Europe, would finally find its proper place that is in sealed branded small containers on the restaurant, hotel and café table. Very much resembling a coup, the legal process that had been going over the last months through all intermediate stages and had overcome all opposition including that of WTO, was overthrown. So, at the very moment that the amendment of Reg. 29/2012 should be making its way to the Official Journal in Brussels, the Great Powers intervened.

    The Regulation therefore changes and small containers will not be mandatory, but will lie to the discretion of the establishment. In other words the old regime still holds well and the proverbial “vinaigrette” bottles, which leave olive oil vulnerable to enemies such as heat, light, humidity and fraud and which most of the time, contain old product remain unchallenged. It is the first time as far as I can remember (over the past 33 years) in the history of the EU (but also the EC) that the political power of certain countries imposes, in such an inelegant fashion, their interests, slashing at one of the three pillars, that of the Commission, which is a much more democratic institution than most believe (although that’s another big discussion).

    The blietzkrieg of the past week
    It is a sad fact that when the new regulation passed through the last hurdles of WTO and the European Management Committee, then, a coordinated communicative war began, with identical articles appearing and being reproduced in many countries from Germany and Denmark to Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, those articles were also reproduced in most Mediterranean olive producing countries. Unexpectedly the whole of Europe “discovered” the English Representative to the European Parliament, Ms Marina Yannakoudakis, who after criticizing the Regulation of the European Commission pointed out that the problem of Southern Europe, is not its olive oil but the euro. Within this framework, and under these pressures the UK, which had originally voted white thus making it easier for the Regulation to pass, changed its standing and aligned with Germany.

    Consumer protection
    All this is taking place at the aftermath of the horse meat scandal. A logical assumption would be, that these “sensitive” to the protection of consumer health countries, should have realized that this type of protection simply cannot be left upon the good will of those who either through ignorance or self-interest speculate on it. Neither can it be accomplished for free, without any cost, or bureaucracy.

    The Greek position
    The Greek position should be only one. The provisional application of the regulation should become mandatory in the greek Joint Ministerial Decision, just as it is in Portugal during the past few years.
    We should start preparing the Joint Ministerial Decision straightaway so that it can come to force as of 1/1/2014.
    For those who are uncertain, whether the mandatory use of sealed containers, is to the advantage and in the interest or not of Greek olive oil, we would only like to point out very briefly the following:
    1. The freedom of the consumer/costumer or restaurateur is not affected. The Regulation does not oblige either to offer or use olive oil. However, in case that it is being provided, then it should be in a hermetically sealed container and not in an open one that could be refilled.
    2. The proverbial vinegraitte bottles have become, most of the time, a negative advertisement for olive oil. In particular the unfamiliar tourist can get a very wrong impression when a few drops of bad olive oil ruin a well grilled fish or a freshly cut salad.
    3. A major proportion of Greek olive oil that is nowadays directed towards Italy in bulk at low prices, could find its way into HORECA. This would be directly in favor of olive producers, as they would be offered a higher price for their olive oil. It would also be in favor, of the 310 medium sized packaging companies, that are scattered all over Greece. Any conspiracy theory that the regulation is in favor of multinational companies is proof only to ignorance of the sector. To the contrary, these smaller, regional enterprises would come to blossom.
    4. A very important part of the Greek 100-150 thousand tons of bulk olive oil, would be absorbed in the internal market, would be branded and show added value, offering at the same time, a culinary delight to consumers/costumers at a slight added cost.

    Article source olivenews.gr

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    Germany and its northern allies could not tolerate that olive oil, the product of southern Europe, would finally find its proper place that is in sealed branded small containers on the restaurant, hotel and café table. Very much resembling a coup, the legal process that had... 
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  • Olive Council to Probe Discrepancy in Import Data for India

    The International Olive Council is investigating why its data on olive oil trade in the rapidly-growing market of India show most imports are of refined olive oil while those of the Indian olive Association show that olive pomace oil predominates.

    As reported in Olive Oil Times earlier this month, Indian olive oil imports last season rose 74 percent on 2010/11, though to a total of just 9,400 tons.

    According to data in the IOC’s April newsletter, nearly three quarters of India’s imports were classified as olive oil grade, 18 percent virgin and 9 percent pomace.

    But according to the Indian Olive Association, a much higher proportion of the imports were olive pomace oil.

    Based on figures from Italy’s National Federation of Oil Traders (Federolio) covering imports from Italy and Spain — which account for the vast majority of India’s olive oil and olive pomace oil imports – the Indian association said that in the 2011-12 crop year, virgin oils accounted for 18 percent of the imports, olive oil for 31 percent and olive pomace oil for 51 percent, compared to 21, 41 and 37 percent respectively in 2010-11.

    “Federolio’s data should be correct as it is based on customs data of Spain and Italy,” Indian Olive Association secretary Shabnam Pareek told Olive Oil Times.

    Asked for comment, an IOC spokesperson said that its data came from official sources in importer countries.

    “In the specific case of India, it is the Ministry of Commerce of India that facilitates the data to Global Trade Information Services, which is the source that provides the imports figures for the IOC. In the case of export data, it is the exporting countries themselves which provide the data directly to the IOC.”

    “The IOC takes note of the discrepancies and will submit the issue to its members countries to try to pinpoint the origin of the differences,” the IOC said.

    Sources:

    IOC’s April market newsletter
    Growing Thirst for Olive Oil in Japan and India
    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

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    The International Olive Council is investigating why its data on olive oil trade in the rapidly-growing market of India show most imports are of refined olive oil while those of the Indian olive Association show that olive pomace oil predominates. As reported in Olive Oil Times... 
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  • Spain Denies Request for Details of Olive Oil Audits

    Spain has objected to releasing its report to the European Commission on its checks of the truth of olive oil labels last year, after Olive Oil Times requested a copy under the Commission’s transparency policy.

    Spain told the Commission that releasing the report would “prejudice the commercial and economic interests of the olive oil sector in general and companies involved in control in particular.”
    The information contained in it “refers to monitoring activities and this information is intended for internal use,” it said.

    Italy reported receiving no verification requests

    Meanwhile Italy, the world’s next biggest olive oil producer, agreed to release its report, which — sticking closely to the wording of the governing regulation — said that in 2012 it received no requests for label verification under the relevant provisions of E.U. regulation 29/2012 on marketing standards for olive oil.

    Under article 8 of that regulation, E.U. member states must take samples and conduct tests upon receiving a request to verify the truth of the indications on an olive oil package — such as that the oil is extra virgin grade or of a certain origin. These requests may be made by the Commission itself, an operators’ organization in the member state, or the control body of another member state.

    Article 10 requires that by March 31 each year the member states send the Commission a report on the verification requests they received the previous year and the outcome. According to the Commission, Spain’s report this year was dated April 11 and Italy’s February 7.

    Problems with label compliance check system

    Last year, Olive Oil Times requested copies of the label verification reports the Commission had received in the previous three years by Spain, Italy and Greece and was told that in that period one report from Spain and two from Italy were received, all of which indicated no label verification requests had been made.

    On being questioned then about the seeming flaw in compliance control, European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloş promised tighter scrutiny of the truth of olive oil labels.

    Regulation on tighter labeling checks on hold

    In March, the Commission published new rules under which member states must beef up their checks on whether olive oils conform to regulation 2568/91, which defines the defines chemical and organoleptic characteristics.

    States will have to do at least one targeted check annually per thousand tons of olive oil marketed within them, and provide more detailed reports by May 31 each year on the outcome.

    The checks must be based on risk analysis which takes into account factors including the price of oils in relation to other vegetable oils, the countries of origin and destination, and the relevant blending and packing operations.

    However, a similar plan for more effective checks of compliance with the labeling and marketing rules in regulation 29/2012, and for more detailed reports to the Commission on them, is now in limbo.

    An amendment to that regulation would have required member states to check the accuracy of olive oil labeling, “in particular the conformity of the sale name of the product with the contents of the container,” on the same risk analysis basis.

    But these changes — which had been set for adoption by the Commission next month — were in the same amending regulation that would have banned refillable olive oil bottles from restaurant tables and were withdrawn last week by Cioloş over opposition to that measure.

    A spokesman said the Commission wanted first to meet with consumer and restaurant organizations over the latter issue before deciding how to proceed.

    Olive Oil Times has asked the Commission to review its decision not to release Spain’s latest label verification report.

    Sources

    Implementing Regulation (EU) No 29/2012 of 13 January 2012 on marketing standards for olive oil
    Implementing Regulation (EU) No 299/2013 of 26 March 2013 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2568/91
    Draft amendments to Regulation (EU) No 29/2012 on marketing standards for olive oil

    This article was last updated May 29, 2013 – 10:10 AM (GMT-4)

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

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    Spain has objected to releasing its report to the European Commission on its checks of the truth of olive oil labels last year, after Olive Oil Times requested a copy under the Commission’s transparency policy. Spain told the Commission that releasing the report would “prejudice... 
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  • Savvy Marketers Reap Benefits From Olive Oil Shortage

    When your business depends on an agricultural commodity, the ability to deal with inevitable shortages depends on seeds planted long before it happens.
    In 2012, Spain suffered from the second driest olive oil harvest season since 1947 resulting insignificantly decreased olive oil production. But the increase in olive oil demand and sudden decrease in Spain’s competitiveness is an opportunity that California-based olive oil producer Theo Stephan, who owns Global Gardens, hopes to take advantage of. She’s developed ways of excelling in the unpredictable and often turbulent olive oil market.

    Stephan is both an olive oil producer and a marketer of more than 40 specialty food products. She has about 2,000 olive trees and more than 35 percent of her company’s products include olive oil. Although the increase in olive oil demand has increased her production costs, she uses innovation and unique marketing campaigns to keep her competitive edge.

    “There are shortages around the world in any given year, but we must cope with them,” Stephan said. But she expects there is a market for people seeking authentic “Caliterranean” olive oil. California is the primary source of Stephan’s olive oil, but she also imports from Greece and other obscure locations from time to time.

    “In this industry, you have to be reactive. I’ve found ways to be innovative based on the projections,” Stephan said.

    In the past, she has had to promote or create items that require little or no olive oil, citing the company’s organic mustards and pomegranate sauces as examples of what she’s done to diversify the products she sells.

    She also stands as consumers shift from relying on Spanish olive oil to looking to other suppliers.

    “In the last couple of years, California has doubled in olive oil production and it’s doing very well. About 99 percent of domestic olive oil comes from California,” said Eryn Balch, executive vice president of the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA).

    (Read More: Christmas Tree Growers Stymied by White House)

    Although the U.S. produced less than one percent of the world’s olive oil supply last year, the country was number three after Italy and Spain in olive oil consumption. Despite the United States’ love for the product, many people still prefer olive oil that originates from Spain.

    “The perception is changing and the stigma around domestic olive oil is slowly fading,” Stephan said. “For instance, when California started making wine, people were particular and wanted it from Italy or France, but the perception changed.”

    One way it changes is through education. Stephan talks with her customers about the different types of olive oil and says her company depends on consumers wanting and seeking knowledge about olive oil. She has a retail space and tasting room in Los Olivos, Calif., with a staff of 10 people as well as an online store. The company also sells a “virtual tasting kit,” which allows customers to log on to the website and watch a video that guides them through the tasting session.

    (Read More: Citrus Disease With No Cure Is Ravaging Florida’s Groves)

    “It’s amazing because a 30-second conversation can make a difference in the customer’s point of view. The proof is in talking to people,” she said.

    Balch also says consumer education is an essential part in maintaining a lucrative olive oil business. “There is a lot to know about olive oil and it starts with the basics. Like what the different types of olive oil are and what they are used for,” she said.

    Stephan says it’s all about the terroir. “The soil and climate is what makes the taste different. We want consumers to appreciate that difference,” Stephan said.

    Stephan may have an advantage over other olive oil producers though. “I can constantly educate my customers because I understand what I’m selling. If I’m not the grower, then I’m not the expert,” she said.

    Balch said it’s important for companies to know their olive oil producers, or farmers, well and cultivate a relationship with them.

    That’s a concept that small business owner Shaver Binici, founder of Olivita Artisan, shaped her company around. She said her family has been in the olive oil production business for more than 600 years and she started her skincare company partly because she couldn’t find natural soap for her sensitive skin.

    “The demand for high-quality premium olive oil is high. More people are getting educated on why natural products are better and they don’t want to put chemicals on their skin,” Binici said.

    She receives her olive oil supply from small farmers in West Turkey and says supporting small farmers and offering them fair prices is essential to staying competitive in an unpredictable market. Binici said it’s important to cultivate good relationships with multiple olive oil producers.

    “Thanks to our relationship with smaller farmers we have not been affected by the shortage yet,” Binici said. “The smaller and weaker players need a company that can be with them through the good and the bad. When olive oil prices were low in Spain because of various government subsidies we stuck with the smaller farmers in Turkey and paid them fairly,” she said.

    That relationship means more than ever right now. The demand for Turkish olive oil is high since Spain, once the world’s number one olive oil producer, only produced about 600,000 metric tons of olive oil compared to the 1.6 million metric tons produced in the previous season due to drought conditions, according to the NAOOA.

    “Turkey is in good shape right now and the number of olive oil trees there is increasing,” Binici said.

    “Due to the economic situation in many countries the consumption there is either flat or declining so it’s somewhat evened out globally,” Balch said. She added that she expects olive oil to be available because heading into the recent drought there were surplus stocks, which can offset some of the shortfall.
    By: Karma Allen from CNBC

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    When your business depends on an agricultural commodity, the ability to deal with inevitable shortages depends on seeds planted long before it happens. In 2012, Spain suffered from the second driest olive oil harvest season since 1947 resulting insignificantly decreased olive... 
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  • No Greek olive oil in German supermarkets

    Although of the highest quality, Greek olive oil is difficult to find in German supermarkets. But Italian oil, which is often mixed with Greek, is plentiful. So why can’t Greece market its produce better?

    With about 70 percent of overall consumption, Italian olive oil has an unquestioned supremacy on the German market. Spanish and Greek olive oil account for just 10 percent each. But according to Johannes Eisenbach, coordinator of a network of approximately 1,000 small and medium-sized organic farms in Greece and Cyprus, this number belies the quality of Greek olive oil.

    20130527-163622.jpg
    Eisenbach believes Greece can enter the German market

    He told a meeting of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation on the Greek island of Lesbos that Italian oil needs to be mixed with Greek to produce the kind of quality and taste which German supermarkets require. The blend is a bargain for Italian traders, who can purchase the Greek oil at just 1.70 euros ($2.15) per liter before selling it at a much higher rate.

    But, Eisenbach said, the arrangement is not that great for Greek farmers, and he had a suggestion as to how to improve the situation: “Greek producers and cooperatives would not be allowed to sell to Italian purchasers for a period of four years. That way, Greece might be able to market for itself the 20 percent of Greek oil which is currently in Italian oil.”

    Eisenbach readily admitted such a proposal is radical. More realistic, he said, would be a much more difficult road – with Greek producers gaining their own access to the German market. Here they could learn from Italian distribution companies that have built up a relationship of trust with German supermarket chains after decades of guaranteed delivery, fixed prices and agreed quality.

    20130527-164149.jpg
    Most olive oil in Germany comes from Italy

    Need for change

    Greek olive oil is working with an economic handicap. In Greece, olive trees are typically grown on steep slopes, so that fast and efficient machines can’t be used for harvesting. On top of that, the greater distance between Greece and Germany means transport also costs more.

    And there’s another problem. As Konstantin Protoulis, owner of a olive oil bottling company on Lesbos, “In the last 30 years, the producers have settled down to making their living from state and EU subsidies.” That has to change, said Protoulis. “The olive oil producers have to go back out into the olive groves and cultivate them under the guidance of agricultural experts.”

    With such guidance, the quality of Greek oil could be increased even further. Protoulis said that he’s signed contracts with hundreds of growers who have committed themselves to attending seminars and working to meet specific production and quality standards and to not use pesticides. He’s already managed to enter the German market together with his German distributor Bastian Jordan.

    Opportunities in the German market

    The Jordan family has been producing olive oil in Greece for over 20 years, and they sell it to gourmet restaurants. They haven’t yet tried to sell it to supermarkets. One reason is that they don’t produce enough – but they would have a chance if many producers in Greece banded together and guaranteed delivery along with set quality quantity standards.

    20130527-164802.jpg
    Jordan’s family has been producing olive oil for more than 20 years

    What’s also important, Jordan believes, is the attitude one adopts towards the consumer. Part of that attitude, he said, is honesty.

    “We don’t just sell extra virgin olive oil, which is the very top quality,” he said. “We also sell virgin oil, which is also quite reasonable. But the important thing is we sell it as virgin oil.”
    Almost all the oil sold in German markets is sold as extra virgin, he says, although much of it is really virgin oil: “This is a fraud, which can be put right by honesty.”

    But that means the public has to be educated so that it can follow the route of the olive from producer to consumer, and that needs time. Distribution and logistics have to be built up, and marketing has to be transparent.

    Jordan is convinced that, if the Greeks take this difficult and demanding route, they have a good chance of success. After all, the average German consumes just 0.85 liters (3.6 cups) of olive oil per year – meaning there’s plenty of room for growth.

    Article source Deutsche Welle

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    Although of the highest quality, Greek olive oil is difficult to find in German supermarkets. But Italian oil, which is often mixed with Greek, is plentiful. So why can’t Greece market its produce better? With about 70 percent of overall consumption, Italian olive oil has... 
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