The Government has approved this Tuesday in the Council of Ministers the decree of quality and traceability of olive oil, with measures aimed at revaluing the product and satisfying old demands of the sector. It does so to replace the existing royal decree, which dated from 1983. “It comes to modernize the competitiveness of oil in exports and to respond to something very sensitive: consumer safety,” summarized the Government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez.
Among the approved measures, the restriction of the use of the terms “virgin” and “extra virgin” is included, which can only be used for olive oil and not for other vegetable fats.
In addition, the prohibition of mixing olive oil with other oils is reinforced. Foods that have olive oil in their composition will not be able to highlight it in the denomination of sale, although they must include it in the list of ingredients, “in order to avoid deceiving the consumer,” the Ministry of Agriculture reported in a statement. “For example, olive oil-based dressings or condiments may not use the terms ‘olive oil or olive pomace’ in their trade name.”
With this decree, the Government also prohibits the practice of ‘refrescado’, which consists of mixing virgin olive oils from the current campaign with others from previous campaigns. This is done to improve the old product, but shortens the life of the new one.
The new standard will oblige olive oil producers and marketers to have a more demanding traceability system. The movements of oil and bulk oil will be required to be recorded. The sector will have a specific national control plan coordinated by the Ministry and managed by communities.
“This control system, which does not exist in any other country in the world, places Spain at the forefront of the quality requirements of olive oil”, they indicate from the department directed by Luis Planas, which will complement these new requirements with the publication of reports to increase transparency.
In a recent interview with Europa Press, the minister indicated that the measure will mean “a guarantee of value creation for the sector and also for consumers.” Planas recalled that in June of last year he presented the ‘roadmap’ for the olive sector with the aim of regulating the supply of olive oil, increasing demand in foreign markets and boosting the quality of the oil.