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The Olive Oil sector shows its support for the Sensory Tasting Panel

The Olive Oil sector shows its support for the Sensory Tasting Panel

2018/06/04 - Associations, Groups and Public and Private entities of the Spanish olive sector will sign on April 10 at the Provincial Council of Jaén, a manifesto in defense of the Sensory Tasting Panel as an indispensable control method of virgin oil. This call arises in response to the meeting held by Asoliva and Anierac in which they expressed the legal uncertainty of this method.
This manifesto -promoted, among others, by the Provincial Council of Jaén, the Regulatory Councils of Protected Designations of Origin of Jaén and Córdoba, University of Jaén (UJA), University of Córdoba (UCO) and AEMO (Association of Spanish Olive Municipalities)- intends to offer a strong response to the meeting held last March 15th by the operators of the industrial sector, packing and exporting olive oil, in which they questioned the Sensory Tasting Panel method and proposed to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (Mapama) its improvement.

In the aforementioned document in defense of the Sensory Tasting Panel, this method of sensorial analysis applied to virgin oils is considered an "indispensable tool nowadays for the classification of virgin olive oils, which allows to differentiate the extra virgin olive oils, from the virgins and lampante oils, above the physical-chemical analysis ". In this sense, they consider it "essential that the EVOOs and VOOs have to pass this test, not only to value the enormous effort of the olive producers and oil mills, but also so that the consumers who acquire an extra virgin olive oil not only find a product according to the category declared on its label, but one that matches its description and without organoleptic defects. "

They also show their outrage at the attempt to disable a method "developed by the International Olive Council (IOC) and contemplated in the current regulations of the European Union for more than 15 years, with proven experience in its application by official laboratories that in addition, they are periodically audited by the National Accreditation Entity (ENAC) and by the Ministry itself". While admitting that there is still some space for improvement, they consider it a matter in which "we must work from the oil sector in a joint and constructive way, as well as invest in training to increase the number of certified panels." Of what there is no doubt, according to its promoters, is that "the Sensory Tasting Panel is essential to classify extra virgin olive oils objectively", so they expect other entities in the sector and oil companies to join this initiative.

In this sense they claim not to understand the "interests" that may be behind these discredit campaigns towards a "pioneer method in Spain", one that even others countries outside the IOC are considering incorporating in their regulations".
"In no way can we admit a future where the consumer acquires a physically-chemically permissible oil but with patent organoleptic defects labeled under the name of the flagship of all olive oils: EVOO," says the manifesto.

Finally, the promoters declare "not to share the problem of legal uncertainty adduced for lack of consistent, objective and demonstrable arguments" and request the Spanish Ministry to continue with the application of this method, "as required by current European regulations, although initiate actions in parallel that seek to improve the aforementioned method".

According to sources of the promoters of this manifesto consulted by Mercacei, once the public signature is finalized, more measures will be approved to support this action. These same have encouraged to assist to the firm to all those interested in attending on behalf of their cooperatives and oil mills.
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