- The great olive oil farce It started with a food scare in Portugal nine years ago, and it ended last week in high farce in Brussels. The subject of the furore was a Europe-wide ban on what – until now – had never seemed much of a transgression: the practice of restaurants...
The great olive oil farce
It started with a food scare in Portugal nine years ago, and it ended last week in high farce in Brussels.
The subject of the furore was a Europe-wide ban on what – until now – had never seemed much of a transgression: the practice of restaurants serving olive oil in jugs or dipping bowls.
Critics called the ban “bonkers” and “barmy”; its proponents said it was vital to stop unscrupulous restaurateurs passing off cheap oil as the more expensive extra virgin variety.
The upshot was restaurants would have to spend a small fortune buying in specially prepared bottles of tamper-proof olive oil to serve to customers, many of whom had never realised there was a problem in the first place.
The Sunday Telegraph can today piece together the tale of the Great Open Bottle Olive Oil Ban. It is a story of vested interests, powerful lobbyists and an apparent failure of democratic accountability.
It involves a byzantine voting system known as comitology – of which more later – which allows bureaucrats to vote in secret.
The ban would have affected the eating habits of half a billion people in 27 European countries.
Costly, wasteful and environmentally unfriendly, it was of no obvious benefit to diners who enjoy dipping bread into olive oil served in bowls in restaurants.
On Thursday – nine days after the regulation was agreed in secrecy at an obscure European Union committee meeting – the measure was withdrawn.
But only after its existence had been revealed by The Telegraph on the afternoon of the previous Friday, causing such a media storm that the embarrassed commissioner in charge of agriculture rescinded it.
Critics say that how the European Union came to endorse such a regulation in the first place reveals in microcosm all that is wrong with its inner workings.
The origins of the ban were in Portugal in 2004 with a clamour to clamp down on fraudulent restaurateurs passing off cheap oil as a quality product.
The scale of the fraud there is disputed, but whatever the truth, the upshot was a move to tighten the law.
In January 2005, the country passed legislation requiring tamper-proof, non-refillable olive oil bottles in restaurants and cafés.
According to the legislation, the oil should be presented in “packs with an opening system that loses its integrity after the first use and are not reusable”. Any breach was liable to a fine of between £650 and £38,000.
Casa do Azeite, Portugal’s olive oil association, was delighted with the ban, which helped to boost sales. “Consumption of olive oil, especially extra virgin, has greatly increased, though not only due to this law,” explained Mariana Matos, the association’s general secretary, in January.
“Five years ago, per capita consumption was about 6kg [13lb] per year and now it’s more than 8kg per year, and rising.”
In 2006, Italy passed a similar measure.
Wind the clock forward to the economic crash of 2008 and southern Europe’s olive oil industry was feeling the squeeze. Consumption had been rising steadily across Europe for two decades but suddenly, while demand was still rising, the price was falling significantly.
Expensive extra virgin olive oil was being switched for the cheapest products, some imported from north Africa and Turkey. By 2010, farmers were starting to go under.
In Spain, which produces about 60 per cent of Europe’s olive oil, the price had collapsed by about 15 per cent in 2009.
“Pre-2008 I was getting a wholesale price of €2.70 (£2.31) for a kilo of olive oil,” explained Charles Butler Mackay, a Canadian living in Jaen, Andalusia, Spain, who harvests oil from 8,000 trees grown on 100 hectares.
“That price dropped to as little as €1.80 (£1.54) after the crash.”
By June 2009, the EU’s Advisory Group on Olives and Derived Products was calling for a “strategic agenda” to combat falling prices.
There are dozens – probably hundreds – of such advisory groups in the EU. Meetings are not open to the public or press.
The olive advisory group meets about twice a year and is chaired by an EU official. But key advisers come from Copa-Cogeca, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Europe, which boasts of representing the interests of 70 groups – including Britain’s National Farmers Union – and 26 million farmers Europe-wide. In 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, it received half a million euros in EU funding for its various activities.
Copa-Cogeca has impressive clout and a hotline to Dacian Ciolos. Mr Ciolos’s name may mean nothing in Britain but the Romanian agriculturalist is one of the most powerful figures in the EU.
He was appointed the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner in February 2010 and was sympathetic to the plight of southern Europe’s olive oil growers.
In all there are 27 commissioners, with portfolios ranging from competition to climate action, who preside over about 270 “comitology” committees, which have the power to implement directives without the need for a vote in the European Parliament.
Experts estimate that the various committees implement as many as 2,500 regulations a year, compared with about 50 directives passed by MEPs.
By 2012, a drought in southern Spain reduced the olive crop by as much as 50 per cent, while Greece was suffering from “very low prices”.
With the industry in despair, about 18 months ago, a 10-strong delegation from Copa-Cogeca, led by Rafael Sanchez de Puerta, a Spanish farmer, met Mr Ciolos in Brussels.
That was followed in April 2012, with a trip by Mr Ciolos to Cordoba, the Spanish city that lies at the heart of the olive region.
There he met Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva Español, which represents the country’s olive oil producers, as well as the country’s agriculture minister.
At this meeting, the Spanish lobbying group put forward a series of measures to revive the industry. Mr Ciolos left with an olive oil action plan.
Measures included: an insistence that the EU’s generous subsidy for olive oil producers be maintained in the face of pressure to reform; increased financing of olive oil storage by effectively creating a “lake” to regulate supply; the introduction of quality tests – a move that would wreck imports from outside the EU; and tucked away, a first public mention that “olive oil in restaurants be served in properly labelled bottles”.
The 2012 Action Plan – with its EU backing – was critical, containing a clause to “encourage member states to require the use in the hotel and catering industries of packages that cannot be reused”.
By the time the regulation was put forward for a vote, the wording had changed to: “These establishments should also be obliged to use oil bottles equipped with an opening system which cannot be resealed after the first time it is opened, together with a protection system preventing them from being reused once the contents indicated on the label have been finished.”
In February, it was put to the vote at the Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets, one of the comitology committees, and 15 out of 27 member states voted for the ban, including the big producers of Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal.
Britain, at the time embroiled in the horsemeat scandal, felt it “awkward” to vote against what on the face of it seemed a food labelling measure and sent a civil servant from London to Brussels to abstain.
Others, like the Dutch, voted against the regulation and it failed because it had no “qualified majority”.
But – and here is where it gets even more complicated – the opposition was not strong enough to defeat the proposal either, so the measure came back before the committee on May 14, and this time around, the commissioner was in a position to push it through because of the earlier stalemate.
The backlash against Mr Ciolos’s decision was felt immediately; the northern European countries were fuming.
By last Monday Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was being shown around the Chelsea Flower Show. He had had no idea of the vote and demanded to know how it had come about.
In fact, The Sunday Telegraph understands, only the farming minister David Heath, a Liberal Democrat, had been told of the proposal by his civil servants but he was not – it is presumed – aware of the full consequences when Britain abstained rather than vote against it.
By Thursday, Mr Ciolos was performing a humiliating about-turn. Proof, says the EU, that the commission is accountable.
A spokesman said: “It has now announced it will not proceed with the ban – because having listened to a wide range of views from stakeholders, national politicians, media and public it became clear that it did not command wide support.”
But Open Europe, a think tank that campaigns for a reformed EU, says the whole episode is evidence of the problems.
“That these plans advanced as far as they did reflects both the EU’s obsession with micromanagement, as well as the opaque nature in which many EU regulations are drawn up,” said Pawel Swidlicki, research analyst at Open Europe.
“This whole sorry episode risks further entrenching the perception that the EU is too exposed to lobbying interests and out of touch with public opinion.”
Meanwhile, Copa-Cogeca is furious. “It’s terrible as the measure was meant to protect consumers against fraud by banning refillable bottles so that restaurants cannot refill them with different types of olive oil and other oils,” said a spokesman.
“It has been discussed and assessed for over a year in a transparent and open way in all the relevant EU committees and EU advisory groups with all member states’ representatives and all stakeholders, from industry to consumers.
“The measure has already been introduced in southern countries like Portugal and the impact on costs for restaurants is negligible.
“It’s absurd that such a small measure that was meant to benefit both consumers and producers should receive such a reaction and that there could be such a huge U-turn by the EU Commission in a matter of days as a result of political pressure.”
By Robert Mendick – chief reporter the TelegraphVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- Deoleo is a Spanish food group that quotes on the Spanish stock market. It is the world leader in sales of bottled olive oil.Deoleo has an extensive presence abroad with famous brands, which hold leading positions in the most important markets in the world. These brands include...
Deoleo is a Spanish food group that quotes on the Spanish stock market. It is the world leader in sales of bottled olive oil.Deoleo has an extensive presence abroad with famous brands, which hold leading positions in the most important markets in the world. These brands include CARBONELL, BERTOLLI, CARAPELLI and SASSO.As an international group, Deoleo has the leading brands in the areas and markets where it operates and only purveys premium-quality products.
At first glance
“Just as a drop of our olive oil is enough to verify the quality of our products, a few figures will suffice to give a sense of the importance of Deoleo in the world”
Deoleo is a world leader in the olive oil market thanks to the success of our brands, our choice of the best raw materials, our focus on research and development and the strict quality control through which we put all our products.
Deoleo also have the leading brands in seed oils in Spain and Italy, and a major presence in the vinegar, dressings and table olive markets.
Deoleo brands are leaders in the majority of countries. The Deoleo brands are Bertolli, Carbonell, Carapelli, Sasso, Koipe, Sensat, Figaro and Friol.
Deoleo brands are present in more than 100 countries, offering millions of families all over the world healthy, high-quality products.
Deoleo track our raw materials from the farmer to the consumer, thus ensuring the most stringent quality standards.
In 2011, the Grupo Deoleo’s turnover was 1,102 million Euros divided as follows by geographic market:
– Spain 30,5%
– Rest of Europe 36,5%
– North America 21,4%
– Rest of America 2,1%
– Oceania 3,7%
– Middle East 3,3%
– Asia 2,3%
– Africa 0,2%
Deoleo is listed on all four stock markets in Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao) with the ticker symbol OLE.
Click here to read Deoleo annual report.VN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- Conference ELAIOTECHNIA Syntagma Square Hotel June 8-9 (10 a.m.- 8 p.m.) Information about Eleotechnia International Fair: Eleotexnia is being organized under the auspices of agencies and vocational organizations, in collaboration with International Organizations, the participation...
Syntagma Square Hotel
June 8-9 (10 a.m.- 8 p.m.)
Information about Eleotechnia International Fair:
Eleotexnia is being organized under the auspices of agencies and vocational organizations, in collaboration with International Organizations, the participation of foreign organizations and important Mass Media as media partners. The fair is expected to be visited by the parties concerned, businessmen, and buyers from all over Greece and abroad. The fair shall be framed by important parallel events (Congresses, One-day Meetings, and Presentations of Companies etc.). Particular and special services of reception, hospitality and conducted tour have been scheduled for people in charge of important companies, chains of supermarkets etc.
Objectives of the Eleotexnia International Fair are:
- Full briefing of anyone throughout the world being interested in the sector of production and process of olive-oil and edible olive.
- Showing off of new products.
- Configuration of new entrepreneurial relationships.
- Strengthening of the buyers and agents’ interest.
- Achievement of profitable agreements inside and outside of Greece.
- Exchange of opinions between businesses and merchants.
- Strengthening of competitiveness.
It has been planned with the view of forming an annual event of such sector:
- It gives the opportunity of showing off the products of all the businesses and cooperative organizations.
- It gathers the supply and demand for the sector’s products and services.
- It gives the opportunity to all the interested parties to be briefed on the latest evolutions regarding the necessary mechanical equipment (for oil-factories, standardizing businesses etc.), the seedbed material, packing materials, renowned standardized oils, the analyses laboratories etc.
- It seeks to make get in touch Greek standardizers – exporters with the distribution and disposition channels of abroad.
- It gives the opportunity to collective sectors to show off their activities and work.
- It shows in a united place all about olive-oil and edible olive.
Sectional units of showing off:
- Machinery for the process and standardization of olive-oil
- Machinery for the process and standardization of olive
- Laboratories and organs of quality control
- Certification as per ISO and HACCP standards, Pumps, Engines, Tanks, Barrels, Stainless constructions, White tin works
- Seedbeds, Oil-nets, Oil-beating sticks, Agricultural equipment and fittings
- Paper and glass packing, packing machinery, Labeling
- Sanitation of premises, Protection means for workers, transportation equipment
- Public agencies, Vocational COOPERATIVEs, Financing agencies etc.
For more information clik hereVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- Restaurants will be allowed to serve customers bowls of olive oil to dip their bread into – as the EU ditches plans for stringent new rules amid a storm of protest. It struck gloom into the hearts of chefs and confounded customers, after the European Union ruled that restaurants...
Restaurants will be allowed to serve customers bowls of olive oil to dip their bread into – as the EU ditches plans for stringent new rules amid a storm of protest.
It struck gloom into the hearts of chefs and confounded customers, after the European Union ruled that restaurants could only serve olive oil in sealed, non-refillable bottles that must be thrown away as soon as they had been used.
EU officials insisted the move was to protect customers from fraud, and improve hygiene, although there were suspicions that it was more about supporting large-scale olive oil producers in countries like Greece and Spain, hard hit by the economic crisis.
Restaurateurs were incensed at the very idea. London chef Yotam Ottolenghi told the Guardian it was ridiculous. “The whole contract between restaurant and customer is based on trust”, he said.
“No-one in their right mind is going to serve a little bottle of olive oil at the table. It doesn’t make sense.”
Small, artisanal producers said the cost of producing tiny individual bottles with EU approved labelling would be prohibitive, while others demanded to know how the whole system would be policed. Would legions of olive oil inspectors roam Europe, seeking out non-regulation jugs of oil?
Even more ludicrously, the Sustainable Restaurant Association pointed out that the ban would only apply to 100 per cent extra virgin olive oil. So if something was added – like salt or garlic – or some kind of inferior grade of oil, restaurants would be free to serve it up as they liked.
David Cameron took time out from discussions between EU leaders in Brussels to condemn the plans, declaring “It shouldn’t even be on the table, to force a pun – so to speak.”
Naturally, the idea triggered a storm of outrage and ridicule on social media sites like Twitter, with such gems as “virgin on the ridiculous”, and suggesting an olive oil theme song – “je ne vinaigrette rien”.
Amid such a widespread backlash, European officials were forced to reconsider. Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos stuck to his guns over the fraud issue, claiming “we want to avoid consumers being tricked”.
But he admitted that the plan lacked the neccessary support. Instead, he said he wanted to get producers, traders, restaurant owners and diners “round the same table” to come up with a solution.
If that sounds like the dinner party from hell, at least they’ll have something to dip their bread in while they argue over the way forward. Oil’s well that ends well, perhaps.
Article source Channel4VN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- Nine regional organizations representing producers, olive-pressing companies, refiners and bottlers, are joining forces in Sicily to support an application to the competent bodies in the European Union, in order to receive a PGI certification for Sicilian olive oil. The partners...
Nine regional organizations representing producers, olive-pressing companies, refiners and bottlers, are joining forces in Sicily to support an application to the competent bodies in the European Union, in order to receive a PGI certification for Sicilian olive oil.
The partners endorsing the initiative are: the producers Cia, Coldiretti and Confagricoltura; the cooperatives Agci, Legacoop and Confooperative; the oil mills Aifo and Asfo; and the bottler Federolio.
Maurizio Lunetta, president of the cooperative Aipolivo, has been appointed unanimously as the president of the newly formed association aiming to protect Sicilian olive oil.
Along with Mr. Lunetta the board consists of, Francesca Barbato of Coldiretti, Giuseppe Oro of Confcooperative, Giuseppe Giordano of Confagricoltura, Angelo Sillitti of Agci, Calogero Girgenti of Legacoop, Piero Pipitone of Asfo, Mario Russo of Aifo, and Manfredi Barbera of Federolio.
A committee has been formed to work exclusively and prepare all required documents that will be used to support the island’s application for the PGI recognition.
Protected Geographical Region (PGI) and Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certifications cover all food products. They are awarded to reflect on the labeled products the character of a specific local region or unique know-how.
“The idea of a PGI extra virgin oil from Sicily found immediately a great acceptance within the olive oil industry,” said Maurizio Lunetta. “The PGI certification is a tool that, if used effectively will increase the added value of Sicilian olive oil. It will help local industry to work in a sustainable profit when very often this is not the case,” he said.
The initiative is encouraged by the Regional Department of Agriculture.
Sicily is the third major producer of olive oil in Italy with a production of approximately 3 million tons of olive fruit and 50,000 tons of olive oil. This production translates to €220 million in revenues for the industry and €500 million for the related market. Sicily’s olive crop is essentially organic with some 16,000 hectares of olive trees cultivated according to traditional methods of production.
More than 40 olive oil products coming from Italy have been awarded either PDO or PGI certifications – from as early as 1996 when the first registrations were published. Italian producers were among the first to capitalize on such product differentiation and this is reflected in sales and market share worldwide.
The examination of an application takes a long time though. Two Italian applications from Terra d’ Otranto applied on March 1, 2011 and Umbria applied on October 17, 2011 are still in the processing phase.
The first Italian olive oils to receive PDO certification on July 2, 1996, were Canino, Sabina, Brisighella, and Aprutino Pescarese.
Article by Michael Angelopoulos
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Anavyssos, GreeceVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- Our olive groves have one scare after another. Turns out that the major threat to olive groves is not the expansion of Chinese crops, the Moroccan production, the low prices or the Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The biggest problem can already be seen in the...
Our olive groves have one scare after another. Turns out that the major threat to olive groves is not the expansion of Chinese crops, the Moroccan production, the low prices or the Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The biggest problem can already be seen in the horizon and it is much more serious than the ones mentioned above. This threat is the fracking – also called hydraulic fracturing. We better get used to the name and to the name of the company behind it: Oil & Gas Capital, Ltd.
This technique is based on the extraction of natural gas by the drilling of a well, first vertically and then with turns and continuing horizontally. A mix of water and sand is pumped into the well at high pressure together with almost 400 different chemicals. These wells reach depths of around 2,000 and 3,000 meters but they could even reach 5,000 meters below ground.
The slate breaks and allows the release of natural gas. According to a report of the European Parliament, among the substances that are injected we can find toxic, allergenic, mutagenic and carcinogenic substances—damaging releases that the companies have done their utmost to not have to declare them.
Article By Marcos Catena Viedma | Úbeda from OliveOilTimesVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- Olive oil, the liquid gold of the ancients was touted for its nutritional, medicinal, and cosmetic value. As a fuel it illuminated the home. As a food ingredient it was a feast to the palate. Olive oil production is one of the world’s oldest industries. Interestingly, much...
Olive oil, the liquid gold of the ancients was touted for its nutritional, medicinal, and cosmetic value. As a fuel it illuminated the home. As a food ingredient it was a feast to the palate. Olive oil production is one of the world’s oldest industries. Interestingly, much of this ancient industry has not changed over the millennia.
As the numerous olive oil brochures of the Mediterranean coastal region proudly claim, the olive oil industry dates back over 5000 years, as evidenced by the discovery of a 5000 year old olive oil earthenware vessel in Turkey. Needless to say that shemen zayis (olive oil), as mentioned in the Torah which was given 3300 years ago, is one of the seven special species of Eretz Yisroel. The Torah requires the purest of pure olive oil, shemen zayis zach, to light the menorah. Olive oil was an integral part of the service in the Bais Hamikdash, the Holy Temple. Of course the olive branch symbol of peace was the branch that the dove brought back to Noah’s ark signaling that the end of their year long confinement during the flood was in sight.
Today, olive oil’s popularity has dramatically increased and has taken the health conscience market by storm. Premium quality olive oil under reliable kosher certification is imported from Crete, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Turkey, Tunisia, and of course Israel.
The Star-K hotline receives numerous questions regarding the kashrus of olive oil. What is the difference between the processing of olive oil and other vegetable oils? What exactly is extra virgin olive oil? Are there additional kashrus concerns? Let us take a closer look at the contemporary industry of antiquity.
What Is Vegetable Oil?
Olive, corn, soybeans and all other seed oils fall into the general family of oils known as vegetable oils. Vegetable oil is one of the liquid substances that is extracted from the vegetable. Vegetable oil is almost entirely made up of the fat of the vegetable. It can be liquid at room temperature, as in the case of corn, cottonseed, soybean, or olive oil. In the case of cocoa butter, coconut, or palm oil, the oil is solid at room temperature. Some vegetable oils are extracted from the seed of the vegetable, as in corn, soybeans, peanuts, hazelnuts, and sunflowers. Some vegetable oils come from the “fruit of the vegetable,” as in olives and palm.
A variety of processes are used to extract oils. Chemical extraction uses heat and solvents. Cold pressing, also known as physical or mechanical extraction, does not use processing aids. All varieties of vegetable oils are expressed through chemicals and heat. Cold pressing is unique to olive oil.
There are two types of chemical extraction. One method uses high heat and a solvent, such as hexane, to draw out the oil. The solvent is then evaporated, leaving the vegetable oil. Expellar pressing, another method of chemical extraction, expresses the vegetable oil through high heat and pressure. The freshly extracted vegetable oil is known as crude vegetable oil, which is dark and generally bitter, necessitating further refining before becoming an edible oil.
The Cold Pressing Miracle
Olive oil is truly one of Hashem’s unique creations. It is unique because olive oil is the only fruit oil that can be extracted through cold pressing. This means that the oil only needs to be squeezed out; no further refining is required. It is ready for consumption. Although the heavy grindstones and millstones that crushed and expressed the olive oil in ancient times have given way to mechanical crushers and centrifuges, cold pressing extraction has remained virtually unchanged. Once separated, the freshly squeezed olive oil needs no further refining. The olive oil’s quality is rated by its acidity content. If there is little or no acidity, then this supreme quality olive oil is labeled extra extra virgin; up to .5% acidity, the oil is considered extra virgin, and from 1 to 1.5% acidity, virgin olive oil. These naturally squeezed oils are robust, flavorful and full bodied! The oil is filtered through a cold filter press and is ready to go.
In the event that the cold pressed olive oil’s acidity level is too high, the oil would be too bitter to consume. Refining in a manner similar to the other crude vegetable oils would be necessary.
Refining Vegetable Oil
Four basic steps are used to refine oil: Neutralization and separation, bleaching and deodorizing.
Neutralization and Separation: When an oil is neutralized, sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda, is added to lower the acidity. This neutralizes the bitter taste of the crude oil by combining with the oil to create a sodium salt which is then separated out from the oil and used for soap stock. The neutralized oil then is ready for bleaching.
Bleaching: Diatomaceous earth is added to bleach and absorb the dark colored particles of the oil in order to give it a clear color.
Deodorization: Any off smell that the oil may have is then removed through a process known as deodorization. The oil is heated to very high temperatures in a 12 meter tall deodorizer. Vacuum and high heat remove any smell. The result is a clear, odorless, refined vegetable oil.
In the event that a refinery only processes vegetable oil, the kashrus issues regarding equipment are minimal. However, oil refineries in the United States frequently refine tallow as well as vegetable oil on the same equipment. Cleaning and kosherizing a 12 meter high deodorizer that has been deodorizing tallow is nearly impossible; ask any housewife who has to clean a greasy, oily, caked-on frying pan, then multiply it by 12 meters! Consequently, many reliable kashrus agencies would not kosher certify vegetable oil deodorized on a common animal/vegetable deodorizer. Due to these issues, any refined vegetable oil or any product containing vegetable oil, requires reliable kosher certification.1
Naming the Olive Oil
Often we see (on the super market shelves) various varieties of olive oil alongside the extra virgin olive oil sold under the following “noms de market”: pure olive oil, extra light, or refined pomace olive oil. What are they? Pure olive oil is a combination of extra virgin and refined olive oil. Extra light is the popular name for refined olive oil. Pomace olive oil is the refined oil that is extracted through a second heat extraction. After cold pressing, the pressed olive pulp undergoes secondary high heat extractions in order to remove any residual olive oil from the olive stock. This crude oil, also known as pomace oil, would be subject to the same refining processes as other crude vegetable oils. Normally pomace oil is used in manufacturing applications such as the olive oil found in canned sardines. It can, however, be sold as a consumer item.
Kosher Oil Transport
The Talmud relates2 that when Daniel was in the court of Nebuchadnetzer, King of Babylon, he refrained from eating non supervised olive oil because he suspected that the oil may have been adulterated or contaminated. Furthermore Daniel suspected that the vessels that held the oil could have been smeared with non-kosher fats or oils. The Talmud questions whether or not the Rabbis should permit non-supervised olive oil. This was subject to many opinions. The Talmud concludes that Rabbi Yehuda Nasia and his Rabbinical court permitted this oil. According to the halacha, there is no Rabbinical prohibition of shemen akum.
Is there a real concern for olive oil adulteration today? Given that extra virgin olive oil is such a high end commodity, adulteration is very inviting. However, safeguards have been set up by the International Olive Oil Board to counter this. The board has a major responsibility to their constituency, namely that the olive oil sold in the U.S. is pure and untainted. The quality control standards stipulate that each production of extra virgin olive oil must undergo a battery of quality control testing to assure its integrity. With the producer’s reputation on the line, olive oil adulteration is almost impossible. Over the years, however, there have been allegations of compromise in various oil facilities.
The alleged “counterfeit” oil that has been known to pass as an olive oil and possibly squeak by the delta 7 test for olive oil adulteration, is hazelnut oil. Any other vegetable oil would be spotted immediately. However the fear of getting caught, fined and blackballed would give any fraudulent olive oil producer pause. There have been allegations in the past. However, none have been conclusively proven with hard core evidence. Furthermore, it is important for the kosher consumer to note that the olive oil producing countries do not refine any animal fats in their oil refineries.
The issues concerning the transport of kosher vegetable oils from global ports is as real today as it was in Nebuchadnetzer’s court . The wooden cask, clay jug and leather flask have been replaced with 55 gallon drums, 5 gallon tins and plastic bottles. New drums and packaging solve the concerns of retail packaging. However, the new reality of reusable plastic flex tankers and the age old issue of common carrier transport in trucks and ocean vessels, is a real kashrus issue. The problem with shipping kosher oil in a common shipping vessel is further exacerbated due to possible contamination of kosher oil from non-kosher wine vinegar and/or animal based fats and chemicals shipped in adjoining shipping compartments. Kosher truck transport has been a front burner issue as well. Trucking companies sensitive to the kashrus concerns of kosher certification agencies, have set aside dedicated carriers or kosherization protocol for common carriers. The problem of common shipping carriers has been solved by establishing a criteria for kosher food transport in shipping vessels with the cooperation of tanker transport companies. The kosher criteria is as follows: The last 3 shipments prior to the transporting of kosher certified product has to be a kosher grade product. During the transport of the kosher certified product, no non-kosher product can be shipped in adjoining compartments of the vessel.
Although tallow production is uncommon in olive oil producing countries, tallow shipments from foreign sources are not uncommon. Therefore, oil refineries still require kosher certification.
Are there any Pesach kashrus concerns? As we have mentioned, seed oils such as corn and soybean, which are not used for Pesach are commonly refined in the same facility that produces extra virgin olive oil. The holding tanks for extra virgin olive oil are always separate from the seed oils. At times, there could be a co-mingling of common filters, fillers, and hoses. Furthermore, some facilities add citric acid to extra virgin olive oil although this practice is highly uncommon.
Zayis ra’anan yafeh pri to’ar kara Hashem shimecha3. Hashem compares the nation of Israel to the beautiful fruit of an olive tree. The Medrash questions why Israel is likened to an olive tree. Don’t other beautiful trees or beautiful fruits merit comparison? Why not the delicious grape or the tall majestic cedar? The olive tree is strong and durable and can live for centuries. The main purpose of the olive is not for its fruit but for the delicious oil that the fruit contains. However the oil is not easily obtained. The tree has to be shaken to loosen the olives. The olives must be crushed, ground and pressed under the weight of heavy mill stones. Then the delicious oil is extracted. So too the nation of Israel. Constantly subjected to the pressures and criticism of a hostile world, it is under these challenges that our great strength, fortitude, and resilience exudes from within our national collective self. Only then does the collective national sweetness of achdus, unity, come to the fore. Like delicious olive oil, we rise to the occasion and weather the challenges.
Article source kashrutVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- EU moves to ban refillable olive oil bottles The small glass bottle filled, and refilled, with golden olive oil has long been a staple on many restaurant tables across Europe. Now, the European Union is going to ban it. The European Commission, the EU’s executive, said...
EU moves to ban refillable olive oil bottles
The small glass bottle filled, and refilled, with golden olive oil has long been a staple on many restaurant tables across Europe. Now, the European Union is going to ban it.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive, said Friday that, as of next year, restaurant customers will only be allowed to use oil from non-refillable bottles with proper content labeling to douse their crusty bread or garden salad.
EU spokesman Olivier Bailly said consumers often get fooled by being served cheap olive oil. Non-refillable bottles would also improve hygiene, he claims.
“We are just protecting consumers,” said Bailly. “We are just making clear that when you want to have olive oil of a certain quality in a restaurant, you get exactly the one you are paying for.”
But with the EU increasingly criticized as a meddling agency overriding national choice and preference, the ruling was quickly attacked and ridiculed.
“They should let the people decide what olive oil bottles they want to use and not dictate uniformity from the centre,” said Paul Nuttall, a member of the European parliament from Britain’s UK Independence Party.
“This ridiculous move is even contrary to their often repeated call in favour of reusing goods,” he said.
The European Commission said that a majority of the 27 member nations backed the move. It has already been compulsory in Portugal since 2006, despite grumbling from restaurant owners early on.
The Commission currently has no plans to impose similar rules on packaging for butter, salt, pepper or any other dinner table staples.
Olive oil is a product which has been prone to widespread fraud in the EU, when cheap produce is sometimes passed off as high-end extra virgin oil from the top regions.
With the move, the EU wants to make sure citizens can be guaranteed they have the exact product they asked for on their plate.
The EU also got backing from the continent-wide farmers’ federation.
“This will ensure a high-quality product for consumers,” said Rafael Sanchez de Puerta of the Copa-Cogecas federation. Also, by displaying the name, origins and storing conditions, “this will help to preserve the image of olive oil.”
The EU is the world’s biggest producer of olive oil, accounting for up to 70 per cent of global output, the Commission said.
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- The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be visiting China between 15 and 19 May. He will be accompanied by Greek officials and several businessmen – exclusively invited to join him on the trade mission. RELATED: Production Up, Consumption Down in Greece Group...
The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be visiting China between 15 and 19 May. He will be accompanied by Greek officials and several businessmen – exclusively invited to join him on the trade mission.
Production Up, Consumption Down in Greece
Group Wants Bank Support for Greek Olive Oil Exports
Growing Thirst for Olive Oil in Japan and India
Time for Greek Olive Oil to ‘Solve for X’
The Murky Waters of Greek Agriculture and the Way Out
Greek Leader Looks to China for Much Needed Trade | Olive Oil Times
Mr. Samaras will meet with the new political leadership to discuss possible Chinese investments in Greece. Subjects on the agenda will cover all aspects of the economy.
Greece is in desperate need of cash to deal with its recent bailout program and pressing social unrest. Greece has been receiving more than $350 billion in installment payments against harsh austerity measures, and the economic situation had led to prolonged recession.
On the other hand, the Greek government is very interested in opening the Chinese market for Greek products, especially in the agricultural sector. This includes olive oil, which is one of the leading in the group of Greek products highly appreciated by foreigners.
The production period that ended in February brought encouraging results. Olive fruit production was very high, however the total olive oil production had a below average yield due to weather conditions. Still, the season managed to reach record numbers. Moreover, olive oil prices remain at spike levels withstanding pressure from abroad.
The ongoing Price Monitoring Service of the Oil Association of Municipalities of Crete in Greece, reports today that bulk prices for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) stands at € 2.50, for immediate delivery, FOB Crete. It is almost double what producers received in recent years.
This price tag is inflated by the fact that Spain, the major producer in Mediterranean basin, has suffered a severe production decline due to the drought that hit the country last year. However, it is an encouraging go-signal for the Greek officials and local market movers.
According to the Panhellenic Exporters Association, olive oil exports have shown a spectacular increase of 221 percent, while only 90 percent of the growth was attributed to shipments to the traditional trading partners of Greece. New markets accounted for the rest.
In general, agricultural products had approximately a 10 or 11 percent year-to-year increase according to recent data published by the ElStat, the Greek Statistical Agency.
These figures, along with a strong demand of Greek olive oil in the Far East, where it is often used as a medicine, encourages the Greek Prime Minister in Beijing. The Greek government strongly believes that olive oil is a reliable product to promote in bilateral trading relations extremely favored by the Greek soil and climate conditions.
By Michael Angelopoulos
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Anavyssos, GreeceVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- Data released last month by the COI (International Olive Council) do provide an average fall of world production of olive oil by 20%, decrease also affecting Spain as world’s largest producer and would, according to the agency, to produce 820,000 tonnes, almost half the...
Data released last month by the COI (International Olive Council) do provide an average fall of world production of olive oil by 20%, decrease also affecting Spain as world’s largest producer and would, according to the agency, to produce 820,000 tonnes, almost half the previous campaign.
Italy has a good crop to total 490,000 tons, 350,000 tons is expected that Greece, Portugal nearly 69,000 tons, 5,600 tons on Cyprus, France 4,300 tonnes and 700 tonnes Slovenia.
A global analysis of the data provided by the COI to the conclusion that Spain, despite the expected increase in production in Italy and Greece, holds about 49% of world production and still has stockpiles that would force an increase in competitiveness and trading.
The emergence of new niche markets, especially in Latin America, Brazil and Mexico and, to a lesser extent, other small consumers like Colombia or Peru who see their economies grow, are an important incentive for increased consumption.
Besides these, the U.S. or France remain large markets to watching future major exporters such as Spain, Italy, Tunisia, Turkey and Portugal, which now bind smaller ones like Argentina, Chile or Uruguay.
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- The pace with which olive oil demand is rising in Japan is outstripping even that of China, according to the April newsletter of the International Olive council (IOC). The IOC data shows that five months into the current olive oil season, imports are up a quarter on the same...
The pace with which olive oil demand is rising in Japan is outstripping even that of China, according to the April newsletter of the International Olive council (IOC).
The IOC data shows that five months into the current olive oil season, imports are up a quarter on the same period in 2011/12 in Japan, 19 percent in China, 16 percent in Brazil, 12 percent in Russia, and 4 percent in both Australia and in the United States – by far the biggest market outside the European Union.
And after falling by 1 percent overall last season, demand in Canada has shot back with growth of 21 percent for October 2012–February 2013, compared to the same period a year ago.
Explosive growth in India
But it is the nascent olive oil market of India that has the most dizzying data. Imports last season exploded 74 percent on 2010/11, though to a total of just 9,400 tons. In comparison, imports grew 23 percent in Japan over the same period, to a total of 45,571 tons.
And for the first five months of this season, Indian imports are up 48 percent, though again with relatively small volumes.
India and Japan: different tastes
In special sections this month on trade with India and Japan, the IOC included figures showing that the Japanese market has evolved with a preference for virgin olive oil and the Indian market so far favors the grade called olive oil.
In 2011/12, two thirds of Japan’s imports were virgin, 28 percent olive oil, and 5 percent olive pomace oil, while nearly three quarters of India’s were classified as olive oil grade, 18 percent virgin and 9 percent pomace.
The IOC said it was worth recalling it began activities to promote olive oil consumption in Japan in 1991 and import trends suggested these had “a very significant impact.”
Its figures show both Japan and India get most of their olive oil from Spain and Italy. Among the sources of India’s imports, though with tiny volumes, China and non-producer countries including Sweden, Japan and Germany appear.
Grower prices in Europe
Ex-mill prices for extra virgin olive oil lie at €2.84/kg in Spain, representing 60 percent growth on a year ago and a return to the level of September 2006.
In Italy, they rose from €2.61/kg in the last week of November to €3.22/kg in the last week of April, making for 34 percent growth on the same period a season ago.
In Greece, prices were up 34 percent having moved from €2.04/kg to €2.46/kg between the last weeks of December and April. However, in recent weeks prices in Italy and Greece have flattened, the IOC said.
The difference between the price of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil is now about €0.32/kg in Spain and €0.40/kg in Italy.
Table olive imports for October–February are up 18 percent in Canada, 14 percent in Australia, 10 percent each in Brazil and Russia, and unchanged in the U.S., compared to the same period last season.
-International Olive Council April 2013 Market Newsletter
-This article was last updated May 13, 2013 – 12:03 PM (GMT-4)
Article By Julie Butler
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- The Olive Oil Source strives to be and is recognized internationally as the most comprehensive resource for products, trends, and information on everything related to olive oil. Whether you are a producer seeking information on the latest equipment, a retailer of olive oil related...
The Olive Oil Source strives to be and is recognized internationally as the most comprehensive resource for products, trends, and information on everything related to olive oil. Whether you are a producer seeking information on the latest equipment, a retailer of olive oil related products, or an olive oil lover, our goal is to have “Everything but the Olive” available for you. The Olive Oil Source website was originally developed to provide information about olive oil. Adding products for sale, and eventually an on-line store came as a natural development as visitors asked us to help them find various items.
We are in the unique position of having personal experience with growing olives and maintaining an organic orchard, making olive oil, packaging and marketing it, and running a business. This allows us to provide our customers with products and information based on actual field experience. We pride ourselves on trying to help our customers be as successful as they can be rather than just sell them something. We strive to give them the best possible advice whether they want to buy a gift for a friend, find original wedding or party favors, buy equipment for their orchard or buy a complete line of commercial milling equipment. Please let us know if there is anything you did not find and that you would like us to help you with.VN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- At the close of the 2011/12 crop year, olive oil imports by JAPAN totalled 45 571 t, showing an increase of 23 pc on the previous season. It is worth recalling that the IOC first carried out a campaign to promote olive oil consumption in Japan in 1991. Chart I traces import trends...
At the close of the 2011/12 crop year, olive oil imports by JAPAN totalled 45 571 t, showing an increase of 23 pc on the previous season. It is worth recalling that the IOC first carried out a campaign to promote olive oil consumption in Japan in 1991. Chart I traces import trends in this market between 1980 and 2012 and pinpoints the start of IOC …VN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- The International Olive Council is the only intergovernmental organisation in the world to bring together olive oil and table olive producing and consuming stakeholders. This places it in a unique position as a forum for authoritative discussion on issues of interest to the olive...
The International Olive Council is the only intergovernmental organisation in the world to bring together olive oil and table olive producing and consuming stakeholders. This places it in a unique position as a forum for authoritative discussion on issues of interest to the olive industry.
We would therefore like you to think of this site as your first source of information about the Council and the gateway to the olive world.
It is also meant to be a contact point between the Executive Secretariat and the IOC membership and between the organisation and the industry and public at large.
Please take a moment to browse our site. Tell us what you’d like us to provide on these pages and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
Website: http://www.internationaloliveoil.org/VN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- The 3rd IEOE China (Shanghai) International Edible Oil Industry Expo China edible oil showDate: July 3–5, 2013 China edible oil showVenue: Shanghai Exhibition Center China edible oil showOrganizer: Chinese Nutrition Society http://www.cnoil.com.cn/en/The 4th IEOE China...
The 3rd IEOE China (Shanghai) International Edible Oil Industry Expo
China edible oil showDate: July 3–5, 2013
China edible oil showVenue: Shanghai Exhibition Center
China edible oil showOrganizer: Chinese Nutrition Society
The 4th IEOE China (Shanghai) International Edible Oil Industry Expo
China edible oil showDate : October 16–18, 2013
Venue : National Agricultural Exhibition Center . Beijing
China edible oil showGuidance unit: Oil & fat sub- council of Chinese Cereals and Oils Association
China edible oil show Official website: http://www.cnoil.com.cn/en/
China edible oil show Organizers:
Chinese Nutrition Society
China Green Economic Development Institute
China edible oil show Undertakers:
Yonghong International Expo (Beijing) Co.,Ltd.
Yonghong Kunxiao Expo (Shanghai)Co.,Ltd.
China edible oil show Co-organizers:
Beijing Bowen Sunshine Exhibition Co.,Ltd.
Beijing BXY Corporation Manage Adviser Center
The Investment Association of China
China Green Economic Development Institute
The national green industry promotion committee
China edible oil show Supporters:
COFCO Food Sales & Distribution Co., Ltd.
China Grain Reserves Corporation
Yihai Kerry Group
Shandong Luhua Group Co., Ltd.
Shandong Xiwang Food Co., Ltd.
Shandong Three-Star Corn Development Co., Ltd.
Anhui Datuanjie Edible Oil Co., Ltd.
Shandong Longda Vegetable Oil Co., Ltd.
Zhejiang Old Root Oil Camellia Development Co., Ltd.
Jiangsu Tom Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd.
Beijing Zhongqi Huaye Foods Co.,Ltd.
Xi`An Kunbo Engineering Technology Development Co., Ltd.
Zhengzhou Siwei Grain & Oil Engineering & Technology Co., Ltd.
Henan Huatai Grain & Oil Machinery Engineering Co., Ltd.
China edible oil show Exhibit Scope:
1. Traditional nutritional oil expo
2. Traditional health edible oil expo
3. Special high-end edible oil expo
4. Health nutrition seasoning oil expo
5. The edible oil for food industry use expo
6. Edible oil extension products expo
China edible oil show Contact: Connie Liu
Tel :+86 10 65918902
Mobile: +86 13716084049
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- For thousands of years liquid gold has been produced, traded, and cherished, but much of the world is only now becoming acquainted with olive oil as an integral part of a healthier way of life. With global production approaching 3 million tons, olive oil making is branching out...
For thousands of years liquid gold has been produced, traded, and cherished, but much of the world is only now becoming acquainted with olive oil as an integral part of a healthier way of life.
With global production approaching 3 million tons, olive oil making is branching out beyond the traditional places, and investments are pouring into new olive oil operations just about anywhere in the world olives can grow.
New World techniques of high-density farming and mechanical harvesting mark an industry revolution, while the traditional methods and old farms maintain their relevancy to consumers increasingly educated in the complexity and endless varieties of premium olive oil.
The story extends from the Himalayan foothills to the low plains of Argentina; the mangled roots of ancient groves to the neat rows of modern farms; production so small it doesn’t extend beyond family members to those so large as to fill hulls of giant tankers steaming across oceans.
Behind every bottle at the farmers market or the discount chain there are people dedicated to their own approach to an ancient craft. It’s hard to imagine a more disparate group than producers of olive oil today, except for the commitment they must share to succeed in this field.
The time to welcome olive oil into our lives has arrived. In places with such unique cuisines as India, Mexico and China, governments faced with the high costs of health problems associated with the use of saturated fats are urging the use of olive oil.
All of this creates a fascinating subject rife with contrasting angles, conflict and humanity. At the same time, consumers are more than ever taking the time to learn about food; where it comes from, how it’s made and handled, and its effect on our health.
Olive Oil Times is the most-read source of news, reviews and analysis on this fascinating subject. Our growing staff of expert contributors in every olive oil producing region provide timely information for consumers, industry professionals and olive oil enthusiasts.
And we’re just getting started. Just like this ever-evolving subject, we’ll never stop looking for new stories and innovative ways to share them.
Thanks for reading.
Curtis M. Cord, Executive Editor
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- In May 2013 the International Taste & Quality Institute – iTQi has Awarded three Greek Olive Oil Producers Products with golden stars Awards: Company: Karpea S.A. Premium Quality Foods Product Name: KARPEA 0.3 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Award: 3 golden stars Company: Minerva...
In May 2013 the International Taste & Quality Institute – iTQi has Awarded three Greek Olive Oil Producers Products with golden stars Awards:
Company: Karpea S.A. Premium Quality Foods
Product Name: KARPEA 0.3 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Award: 3 golden stars
Company: Minerva Enterprises
Product Name: Extra Virgin Olive Oil Chorio Sustainable
Award: 2 golden stars
Company: Olympia-Xenia A. S.A.
Product Name: XENIA extra virgin oliveoil
Award: 3 golden stars
The International Taste & Quality Institute – iTQi
iTQi is the leading independent Chef- and Sommelier- based organisation dedicated to testing and promoting superior tasting food and drink from around the world.
Judges are selected within the 14 most prestigious European culinary and sommeliers associations such as the Maîtres Cuisiniers of France and Belgium, Academy of Culinary Arts, Hellenic Chefs’ Association, Académie Culinaire of France, Verband der Köche Deutschlands, Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe, the Federación de Asociaciones de Cocineros of Spain, Federerazione dei Cuochi Italiana, Portuguese Chefs Association, Årets Kock of Sweden, Euro-Toques and the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI).
The Superior Taste Award is a unique international recognition based upon the blind judgment of Chefs and Sommeliers who are opinion leaders and experts in taste. It offers powerful marketing tools to differentiate food products and beverages:
Detailed results of the tastings with comments and suggestions made by the judges
A convincing and independent argument for business negotiations (B2B)
A clearly differentiating message against competition (B2C)
International media coverage of the Awards
Hundreds of small and large companies from more than 100 countries already benefit from the Superior Taste Award.
iTQi tests Olive Oil products in the following categories.
If your product is organic/bio, please mention it on the online Entry Form.
Only processed products (with exceptions) are eligible for evaluation.
1.1.19 Extra virgin olive oil
220.127.116.11 Extra virgin olive oil – Intense
18.104.22.168 Extra virgin olive oil – Medium
22.214.171.124 Extra virgin olive oil – Mild
126.96.36.199 Flavoured olive oil with herb, Spice
188.8.131.52 Other olive oil
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