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​Presentation of a system of strengthened internal control, promoted by Agri-food Cooperatives of Spain, ANIERAC and ASOLIVA

Isabel García Tejerina stresses that "quality demands" of Spanish olive oil constitute "an international benchmark"

Tuesday 12 September 2017
GTejerina
MAPAMA

The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environmental Affairs, Isabel García Tejerina, highlighted that Spain is the leading global producer and exporter of olive oil, with the largest surface area of olive groves and the largest number of olive trees in the world. Against this backdrop, the minister considers that this sector is and must continue to be a benchmark at an international level because it sets the highest stringency levels for the production of olive oil.

The minister pointed out that "we have a tremendous responsibility as a country to defend, look after and promote the quality of our olive oil". Isabel García Tejerina took part in the presentation, at the headquarters of her ministerial department, of a system of strengthened internal control for extra virgin olive oil, promoted by Agri-food Cooperatives of Spain, the National Association of Edible Oil Refining and Bottling Industries (ANIERAC) and the Spanish Association of Olive Oil Industry and Export Trade (ASOLIVA).

According to the minister, this voluntary system guarantees that those extra virgin olive oils that pass the controls meet the analytical criteria of even more stringent quality demands than those already very strict standards imposed by the prevailing legislation.

She also remarked that the support offered by the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environmental Affairs to this system is yet another example of what is being done to ensure that Spanish extra virgin olive oils are increasingly more prestigious in the markets, both at a national and an international level, increasing their value and adding wealth to the production chain.

In this regard, Isabel García Tejerina highly valued the united efforts of public and private initiatives to offer consumers higher quality, greater guarantees and demands on our extra virgin olive oils. Accordingly, Central Government pushed through the Law to Defend Food Quality, which the sector has harnessed to cover the voluntary system of strengthened internal control, an unequivocal sign of the maturity of our olive oil sector.

Increased exports

ArchivoOn another note, the minister stressed that Spanish olive oil forms part of a very strong sector and integral part of the Spanish agri-industrial structure. She added that this is a product of great economic and trading importance in our country, with a promising international market and an ever increasing demand.

Specifically, in the eight months of the campaign, olive oil exports stand at 660,000 tonnes, a 22% increase on the previous campaign.

Given the importance of this sector, Isabel García Tejerina pointed out that her department is working to improve its quality in different areas, such as technology development, training, supply, regulatory development and control of compliance.

In terms of the present legislature, the minister announced that the government plans to develop a programme for excellence in food quality. One of its first actions will be to establish a partnership agreement for food quality and its guarantee, in which it hopes to count on the participation of the entire food and distribution industry. She pointed out that the establishment of systems of internal control by the different sectors will form a basic element of this.

Non official translation