Italy To Introduce Extra Virgin Olive Oil Anti-Fraud Label
Italy is set to introduce an anti-fraud label on bottles of 100 per cent extra virgin oil, in an attempt to fight a counterfeiting problem that costs the industry an estimated €1.5 billion per year.
The initiative, which has been developed by the National Association of Olive Growers (CNO) and is supported by the Italian Farmers Confederation (CIA) and the State Mint, consists of using a special mark, similar to that which already exists for wine.
At a press conference, the president of CIA, Dino Scanavino, explained that the extra virgin olive oil sector has a strong impact on the Italian economy, with over 700,000 active companies.
He said the the new label will be open to all extra virgin olive oil producers able to demonstrate full traceability of the product, from the tree to the bottle.
Meanwhile, the president of CNO, Gennaro Sicolo, said that it is prepared to distribute the first million bottles featuring the mark, adding that the project aims to reward Italian extra virgin olive oil that meets distinctive quality criteria.
The State Mint has developed a system for the extra virgin olive oil sector based on three pillars: security against counterfeiting offered by the label itself, traceability via a QR code to provide information on the oil’s distribution channels; and a unique numbering that, combined with the control code, enables tracking of the labelled product’s history.
Earlier this month, over 2,000 tonnes of fake Italian extra-virgin olive oil were seized in an operation that took place in the Apulia, Calabria and Umbria regions.
Investigators discovered a network of oil producers that sold 2,000 tonnes of Greek and Spanish oil in 2014 and 2015 as 100 per cent Italian oil. The oil seized is worth over €13 million and was about to go on the market in Italy and abroad.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.