The Spanish government has taken a big step towards guaranteeing the quality of its olive oils by approving a quality and traceability decree, much to the delight of the olive oil industry. The goal of this new decree is to increase awareness of, and appreciation for, Spain’s “liquid gold,” especially extra virgin olive oils, and to meet consumers’ growing interest in transparency. As one of the country’s most iconic products, this move will also improve its competitiveness abroad and boost consumer perception of food safety.
Additionally, the terms “virgin” and “extra virgin” will only be able to used for olive oil and not just any vegetable oils, producers will be prohibited from mixing olive oil with other oils, and producers will also be prohibited from mixing oil made from the latest harvest with previously-made oils to improve their organoleptic qualities. A Code of Best Practices will be created, to which producers will be invited to adhere, traceability will be improved, as producers will publish reports and consumers will have access to them.
All of this is fantastic news for consumers, who will now have a much better idea of what they’re buying and eating and where it’s coming from, not to mention the improvements in quality that can be expected. This new, rigorous system does not currently exist in any other country, with the result that Spain is leading the way in this area.