Study on the implementation of conformity checks in the olive oil sector throughout the European Union
Olive oil is considered as a food category at high risk of non-compliances and frauds, due to its high economic value compared to other food products. Conformity checks performed by national competent authorities aim at ensuring that marketing standards for olive oils are complied with on the EU market. This study investigates how conformity checks in the olive oil sector are conducted at Member State level across the EU, to identify the related problems and bottlenecks and to propose solutions to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. Member States generally consider that the EU conformity checks system for olive oils is globally fit for purpose. However, the study identifies some challenges and difficulties in implementing conformity checks on olive oils at Member State level: these derive from national specificities (e.g. multiple competent authorities involved in the system; insufficient funding; lack of skilled staff; etc.), or concern the overall timing to perform the checks and in particular the organoleptic assessment of olive oils through tasting panels. The proposed solutions aim at improving the training of staff, the performance of organoleptic assessment and the labelling of olive oils. Potential solutions to ensure traceability in the olive oil sector are also discussed.
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