Skip Navigation LinksMain Page: Olive Products/EU regulations for Olive Oil
European Union Regulations for Olive Oil

WHAT ARE THEY [PDO], [PGI] and [STPG]


Is comprehended the name of region, concrete place or in exceptional cases of country, which is used in the description of agricultural product or food that comes from this region, the particular place or the country, and which the quality or the characteristics is owed mainly or exclusively in the geographic environment, that includes the natural and human factors and which the production, transformation and process takes place in the delimited geographic region.

Is comprehended the name of region, concrete place or in exceptional cases of country, that is used in the description of agricultural product or food that comes from this region, the particular place or the country, and which a concrete quality, a fame or other characteristic can is attributed in this geographic origin and that the production and/or transformation and/or the process is realized in the delimited geographic region.

They are mainly products of transformation that they are characterized by the constitution or their production way, that it has history of decades or even centuries and incorporates the history, the ethics and customs, that is to say the folklore and the traditions of population that it produces.
These products are based on the tradition and the alimentary culture of European citizens and they present particular characteristics which are owed in the climatic conditions of ground of region of culture and in the special conditions of production and transformation.
BACKGROUND

The European Union established in 1992 the regulation 2081/92, for the protection of geographic clues and names of origin of agricultural products and foods and regulation 2082/92, on the certifications of particularity agricultural products and foods.
The aim of regulation 2081/92 is the protection of names, while the aim of regulation 2082/92 is mainly the protection of traditional recipes.
According to these Regulations and in the frame of reorientation of Common Rural Policy (CRP), the farmers have the ability of turning itself in forms of completed growth of countryside, via the differentiation of agricultural production.
Recognition [PDO], [PGI] and [STPG] for the agricultural products and foods gives the ability once in the producers (especially the unfavorable and remote regions) promotes easier products that present specialized characteristics, improving their income with the better prices that achieved in the market and on the other hand in the consumers to buy products qualitative, with guarantees for the production, treatment and their geographic origin.

CONTROL - MARKETING - PROTECTION
System of control and certification
Regulations (EEC) 2081/92 and 2082/92 forecast system of control and certification, in order that on one side the consumers are sure that the products are produced with concrete specifications and circulate with clues that do not also induce them, from the other hand the producers protect their product from imitations and illicit competition.
Marketing Each producer, manufacturer and standardized of products [PDO] owe to take approval, for the particular activity, from the residence Address of Rural Growth of Prefectural Self-government, which checks also the observation of special specifications for each product.
The production and the circulation in the trade of products [PDO] and [PGI], without approval by the residence Address of Rural Growth, are not allowed
Protection
The registered names for products [PDO] and [PGI] are protected from any direct or indirect commercial use for products which are not produced according to the special specifications that each product has, as well as from each usurpation, imitation, hint, false or illusory mark with regard to the origin, parentage or nature of each product and from other practical capable disinformation the public with regard to the real parentage of product. Consequently, these products should bring the equitable pointing out so that they are easy recognized.
It is not allowed, they circulate in the trade products, which use names of origin or geographic notifications without they are accompanied by characterization [PDO] or [PGI], respectively.
The legal right of European Union provides the possibility in the teams of producers that possess the right of use of protected names to resort, with each legal way, against what appropriates the name, causing them economic damage.
Third countries
The Community Legislation is not applied in third countries.
Thus, the protection in guaranteed products [PDO] and [PGI] is in effect only in the European Union, even if exist provisions that allow the consolidation of also products of third countries.
The European Union, in the frame of World Organism of Trade, is found in negotiations on the protection in world level of line of Community products, between which are feta and ouzo.
THE SITUATION IN GREECE
Greece has guaranteed 84 names as [PDO] and [PGI], from which:
61 concern products [PDO] and
23 concern products [PGI].
In 84 Protected Names among others are included:
25 olive oils
20 cheeses
22 fruits - vegetables - dry fruits
10 table olives etc.
What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification. It should have no defects and a flavor of fresh olives. In chemical terms, extra virgin olive oil is described as having a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams and a peroxide value of less than 20 milli-equivalents O2. It must be produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents, and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil (less than 86°F, 30°C). In order for an oil to qualify as “extra virgin” the oil must also pass both an official chemical test in a laboratory and a sensory evaluation by a trained tasting panel recognized by the International Olive Council. The olive oil must be found to be free from defects while exhibiting some fruitiness. Since extra virgin olive oil is simply pressed fruit juice without additives, the factors influencing its quality and taste include the varieties of olives used, the terroir and the countless decisions, production practices and the dedication of the producer. Olive oil tasters describe the positive attributes using the following terms:
Fruity: Having pleasant spicy fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Ripe fruit yields oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral. Green fruit yields oils that are grassy, herbaceous, bitter, and pungent. Fruitiness also varies by the variety of olive.
Bitter: Creating a mostly pleasant acrid flavor sensation on the tongue.
Pungent: Creating a peppery sensation in the mouth and throat
What is Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
That type of Olive Oil is the same as the Extra Virgin Olive Oil exept that the way of farming is much deferent than the normal.
The way of farming is the Organic
What is Virgin Olive Oil?
Virgin olive oil has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 2 grams per 100 grams and the other technical characteristics for the virgin olive oil category in the standard. IOC
What is Pomace Olive Oil?
Olive-pomace oil is the oil comprising the blend of refined olive-pomace oil and virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are. It has a free acidity of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams.
What is a PDO Olive Product?
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is a European Union definition.
PDO products are most closely linked to the concept of terroir — a sense of place discernible in the flavor of the food.
PDO products must be produced, processed and prepared in a specific region using traditional production methods.
The raw materials must also be from the defined area whose name the product bears.
The quality or characteristics of the product must be due essentially or exclusively to its place or origin, i.e., climate, the nature of the soil and local know-how.
What is a PGI Olive Product?
A European Union definition, PGI is slightly less stringent than PDO, but still demands that the product be produced in the geographical region whose name it bears.
The geographical link must occur in at least one stage of production, processing or preparation.
It is sufficient for only one of the stages of production to have taken place in the defined area; for instance, the raw materials may come from another region.
This allows for a more flexible link to the region and can focus on a specific quality, reputation or other characteristic attributable to that geographical origin.
What is organic farming?
Organic farming works in harmony with nature rather than against it. This involves using techniques to achieve good crop yields without harming the natural environment or the people who live and work in it. The methods and materials that organic farmers use are summarized as follows:

To keep and build good soil structure and fertility:
recycled and composted crop wastes and animal manures
the right soil cultivation at the right time
crop rotation
green manures and legumes
mulching on the soil surface

To control pests, diseases and weeds:
careful planning and crop choice
the use of resistant crops
good cultivation practice
crop rotation
encouraging useful predators that eat pests
increasing genetic diversity
using natural pesticides

Organic farming also involves:
careful use of water resources
good animal husbandry

A modern approach to farming
Organic Farming does not mean going ‘back’ to traditional methods. Many of the farming methods used in the past are still useful today. Organic farming takes the best of these and combines them with modern scientific knowledge. Organic farmers do not leave their farms to be taken over by nature; they use all the knowledge, techniques and materials available to work with nature. In this way the farmer creates a healthy balance between nature and farming, where crops and animals can grow and thrive. To be a successful organic farmer, the farmer must not see every insect as a pest, every plant out of place as a weed and the solution to every problem in an artificial chemical spray. The aim is not to eradicate all pests and weeds, but to keep them down to an acceptable level and make the most of the benefits that they may provide.
Combined techniques
On an organic farm, each technique would not normally be used on its own. The farmer would use a range of organic methods at the same time to allow them to work together for the maximum benefit. For example the use of green manures and careful cultivation, together provide better control of weeds than if the techniques were used on their own Why Greek Olive Oil?
First, let's answer the question "Why Greek olive oil?".
What is it that makes Greek olive oil so unique?
There are 800 million olive trees in the world with 700 million of them in the Mediterranian area and 140 million of them in Greece.
Olive oil is a very important part of Greek nutrition. The Greek consumer is very particular to the oil he uses in his diet.
He has known it for years, has identified himself with it and will not accept anything less than the quality he is used to.
Olive oil is considered a sacred food in Greece and no alterations or changes of any kind are allowed.
Greece has laws that regulate the quality of olive oil and these laws are strictly enforced for the protection of the consumer. But more important than that, the Greek farmer takes a special pride in the production of olive oil. Extra care is taken at all stages of olive oil production and packaging and standards are kept very high indeed.
The olive oil packaging industry, one of the oldest and healthiest industries in Greece, numbers several large enterprises with international ties as well as medium or family sized enterprises.
The packaging of olive oil is done according to the stringent quality control with many companies functioning under ISO or HACCP quality control rules. Companies check more that 25 parameters in every olive oil batch. It is an extremely high cost procedure, but the consumer can be certain that it exists and that the specifications he will find on labels correspond to the content of the container.
Numerous agreements have been drawn up and legislation keeps piling in recent years to assure company reliability and safety control.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
The category mainly produced in Greece (75% of total Greek production) comes in six styles:
A) Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
B) Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
C) Virgin Olive Oil,
D) Pomace Olive Oil,
E) Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
F) Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In fact, most of Greek olive oil could be considered organic even though it may not have the official seal, as many producers do very little by way of fertilization and spraying has been banned. And most certainly all regionally available olive oils with no national distribution could well claim the designation of PDO as they are locally produced and packaged, or PGI as the are locally produced and/or packaged.
One then would ask; Why this does not apply for other countries such as Spain and Italy?
The answer is quite simple really; olive oil imports in Greece are non existant. The only olive oil available in Greece is Greek olive oil, no danger of getting any other kind of origin of olive oil.
There are no blends or mixtures of Greek and foreign olive oils, something that is common practice in other olive oil producing countries. When it says Greek olive oil it is nothing else but Greek olive oil.
We may do not import but exports is a profitable business in Greece. Greek olive oil production is in excess of 420,000 tons annually. Greece, even though quite small, holds 3rd place among the olive oil producing countries.
Per capital consumption on the other hand is the highest in the world - 19 kilos annually.
Still, there is enough left for almost half of the annual production (app. 190,000 tons) to be exported. In fact Greece is the world's largest exporter of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The olive oil industry in the world is well aware of the superior quality and the excellent organoleptic properties of Greek olive oil.
The exported Greek olive oil is blended with other local oils in order to grant its unparalleled taste and aroma to olive oil packaged and sold elsewhere. Greek Olive Oil is mainly exported to the E.U., 90% of total olive oil exports (80% in bulk plus 10% Greek branded olive oil).
There is a rise of exports though towards other non-European countries such as Canada, U.S.A., Australia, Japan and an opening for new markets such as China, Southeast Asia, Argentina and others. The presence of Greek branded olive oil in the international market has for many years been limited. It was not easy for the average consumer to get Greek olive oil. In recent years though there has been a steady change.
Greek exports have increased greatly.
This increase to a certain extent reflects the upward swing in overall olive oil consumption due to the shift towards healthy nutrition and the consequent proliferation of Mediterranean cuisine.
And as the international consumer learns to recognize the value of olive oil, he comes to recognize what the experts already know: the incomparable virtues and personality of Greek olive oil. National promotional campaigns run in the U.S. (1992-1999), Canada (1994-1999) and Australia (1999-2001) have also made a difference as Greek olive oil has become more visible.
Pricewise it is usually more expensive than other olive oils but so is the best quality in all food products, you can't have champagne for the price of a common sparkling wine.
What you get is what you pay for