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Strategies to relaunch the Italian olive sector

Strategies to relaunch the Italian olive sector

2019/04/02 - Rome hosted on January 31 a workshop organized by the Consorzio Olivicolo Italiano (Unaprol) that analyzed the strategies to relaunch the Italian olive sector, as well as to combat speculation, fraud, counterfeiting and climate change.

"The situation is very serious, so we have been requesting government intervention through the National Olive Oil Plan 2.0 for months. To save Italian oil from foreign attacks, fraud and speculation, a chain agreement is necessary supply that provides guarantees to the consumer," said David Granieri, president of Unaprol.

In this sense, Granieri proposed a new classification of extra virgin olive oil with a reduction in the level of acidity from 0.8 to 0.5% to increase "the quality and combat more effectively the fraud and the traps that are concentrated in the border area. The panel test works well, but it is the classification that is wrong," he said.

On the other hand, the executive director of the International Olive Council (IOC), Abdellatif Guedira, said that "the request for a new classification of olive oils can be considered in the procedures provided for in the international agreement on olive oil and table olives".

Guedira said that the IOC standards are a tool in constant evolution to respond to market needs, transparency and respect for consumers. However, "it is necessary that a proposal is officially presented to the Council of Members so that the Executive Secretariat can instruct the practice and begin the procedures for discussing this issue," he explained.

For his part, the president of Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini, analyzed the problem of counterfeiting and pointed out that "given the increasing risk of fraud at the national level, we have to strengthen the wide network of laws related to crimes in the agri-food sector, increase the controls carried out to the processing and the importation, and work to obtain a greater transparency of the indication of origin in the label".

Likewise, the president of the Commission of Agriculture of the Chamber, Filippo Gallinella, stressed that it is essential "to create a system to educate consumers and focus on sustainability"; while Gianpaolo Vallardi, president of the Permanent Commission of Agriculture of the Senate, focused on the importance of quality to protect health and the need to increase quantities "to try to achieve self-sufficiency".

The agreement signed in June by Coldiretti, Unaprol, Federolio and FAI, the largest contract in the supply chain for Made in Italy oil, was also discussed in this debate. "We must be able to connect the perceived value with the product, overcoming the fluctuating trend in raw materials, in this way we can create economic stability, generate value and educate consumers towards quality," said Francesco Tabano, president of Federolio.

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