Dalmatian olive oil, pure gold

Published in Highlights
On Thursday 13th March 2014 Croatian President Ivo Josipović opened the 16th Nočnjak international festival of olive oil and wine in Zadar.
Dalmatian olive oil, pure gold Photo: Vivian Grisogono
One of the local olive oil producers took the opportunity to ask him to curb imports of cheap olive oil from abroad, and the President responded in his opening speech that consumers know that Croatian oil is of the highest quality - pure gold. However, competition from cheap olive oil imports is a big problem for Croatian producers. Lowering the price is not an option, as olive oil production is relatively costly and easily becomes uneconomic below the standard price level. Consumers are not always aware of the price of quality, or rather the drawbacks and dangers of choosing cheap goods. Cheap is rarely a bargain - someone pays the price for low-cost goods on the shelves, whether it's a child or adult labouring in impossible conditions for a pittance or a farmer on the verge of bankruptcy and starvation. Food fraud has become big business, and olive oil is one of the products being abused.

In February 2014, the head of the intelligence hub of the UK Intellectual Property Office Huw Watkins was quoted in the British press on the subject: "There are cases with 'best-quality Italian olive oil' where the olives come from Spain or other countries and, because the olives have fermented, they have been washed through with deodorant." Definitely a long way from the pure gold of the properly produced olive oil which is a mainstay of the healthy Mediterranean diet.

© Vivian Grisogono 2014

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