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Italy celebrates the labelling of the origin of olives for virgin and extravirgin oil

Thanks to the Italian negotiation, from 1 July, when purchasing a bottle of olive oil it will be possible to know with certainty what you are buying

“We celebrate an historic day for Italian agriculture: finally, after a long battle carried out in the EU, the labelling of the origin of olives for virgin and extravirgin oil becomes mandatory in all of Europe. It is a success for our Country, the Italian agrifood, the consumers and the producers and it should be remembered as a milestone for EU agricultural policies”.
These words were pronounced by the Minister of food, forest and agricultural policies Luca Zaia, attending a Mass held in Assisi with all the workers of the oil sector.

The Mass was celebrated at the Basilica of San Francesco to welcome the entrance in force of the European Regulations (N.182 of 6th of March 2009) that make mandatory on the label the indication of the Member States from which the olives, used to produce the virgin and extravirgin olive oil, come from.

Thanks to the Italian negotiation, from today onwards when purchasing a bottle of olive oil it will be possible to know with certainty what you are buying and consumers will be informed on the origin of the product.

Welcomed by Father Giuseppe Piemontese in front of the Inferior Basilica, Minister Zaia explained the importance choosing Assisi for the event: “We have chosen this city and the Basilica of San Francesco - Zaia explained - because this place is the crib of our cultural and religious roots. Umbria is one of the most ancient Italian regions with an olive growing tradition, but it is also the birthplace and home San Francesco, who in 1939 became patron Saint of our Country. Since then, in front of his tomb - Zaia has remembered - burns a lamp that contains the oil made by our farmers. Every year an Italian region has the honour to donate their oil for this lamp, this year the honour was given to my region, Veneto”.

At the end of the Mass, olive oil was produced on the church courtyard. The oil was done using the olives donated by the Franciscan fathers. This oil was then put in an ‘orcio’ that became the first container labelled following the new norms and donated to Father Piemontese. Minister Zaia then renewed the oil of the lamp held in Crypt of the Saint.

”Today is the right occasion - concluded the Minister - to unite all the agriculture world around a product that is, in some ways, its symbol: oil is in fact one of the oldest products in the Mediterranean and in some way one of the first typical products of our Country. Italy - Zaia highlighted - is the second producer and exporter of olive oil: we have 1 million agricultural companies, 6300 olive presses and 500 varieties of olives, with 38 DOP and 1PGI. We produce quality and we want to give to the consumers what they ask: information transparency and safety. A demand - concluded Zaia - that come also from the agricultural world, that judges the indication of origin on the labels a fundamental instrument to protect and valorise the 'made in Italy' from ongoing frauds".

Source: Agricoltura italiana online

by S. C.
06 july 2009, World News > Italy

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