Fedolive, the European Federation of Olive Oil Industries, has opposed a request from consumers and environmental groups for the European Commission to allow the retail sale of olive oil in bulk in the stores to reduce the environmental impact of olive oil packaging.
Fedolive argued that selling olive oil directly in bulk would have no tangible environmental benefit and jeopardize consumer protection.
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“The environmental impact of packaging will not be eliminated or minimized if olive oil is sold in bulk, as it will again be packaged in containers in stores – like other products sold in bulk at outlets. retail outlets – which of course will not be controlled like standard olive oil oil packaging for compliance with environmental regulations,” the federation wrote in a memo to Wolfgang Burtscher, managing director of the Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
“[Sales of olive oil in bulk] do not guarantee food safety, unlike standardization and packaging in containers up to 5 liters which has proven to be the only practice guaranteeing consumer protection and has also been validated by the latest revision of the Executive Regulation 29/2012 on Olive Oil Marketing Standards,” the note adds.
Commission Regulation 29/2012 states that only packaged (or bottled) olive oil can be sold to end consumers in Europe in quantities of up to 5 liters per package, equipped with a opening that can no longer be sealed after the first time it is opened.
In Greece, the national association of olive oil bottlers (Sevitel) has also taken a stand against the plan to retail unpackaged olive oil, calling it a setback for the entire industry. .
“Allowing the retail sale of olive oil in bulk will be a step backwards when it comes to product safety and the fight against adulteration,” said Yiorgos Economou, the association’s chief executive.
Economou added that relevant legislation exists in France, where consumers can buy olive oil in bulk in personal containers. ”However, the sales are controlled and the containers are sealed after filling,” he said.
Fedolive ultimately called on the commission to reject any proposal to change the existing regulatory framework for the olive oil trade, citing current production and trade label.
“Olive oil is a source of health and life,” the federation wrote. “It is a natural product with high nutritional and biological value and with high requirements in the production, packaging and marketing stages, guaranteed only with standardized and branded products manufactured and marketed by thousands of companies that contribute to economy and consumer protection.