How much frauds in olive oil sector in Spain?
Official Control is regulated by the Spanish Royal Decree 1945/1983 of 22 June. The inspection services of the Regional Governments, in 2012 there were a total of 770 inspections of which approximately 23% were non compliant
Inspection of frauds in the Kingdom of Spain was transferred to the Regional Governments and these are responsible for the control performed, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment in charge of the coordination between the different services.
Official Control is regulated by the Spanish Royal Decree 1945/1983 of 22 June, regulating the infractions and penalties relating to consumer protection and agro-food, which are all typified in it as well as the embodiment, from the administrative point of view, of the whole process.
Obviously all the measures that are reflected in the Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2568/91 of 11 July 1991 on the characteristics of olive oil and olive-residue oil and on the relevant methods of analysis are applied with its all subsequent amendments in regard to certain procedures related to the organoleptic assessment of virgin olive oils, the sampling procedures if lots and analytical methods to be used by the official control laboratories. These are appointed by the Regional Governments and also there is a working group of experts in analytical methods of Oils and Fats in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, which is used to coordinate the official laboratories in all matters concerning the technical issues.
According to data supplied by the inspection services of the Regional Governments, in 2012 there were a total of 770 inspections of which approximately 23% were non compliant. The violations found are related in 47.5% with quality and purity, 32.7% in labelling the products, by 4% to traceability and 15.7% of others than those listed above. Those regarding quality are basically related to the organoleptic quality of virgin olive oils. Basically they consist of packing lower quality oils as extra virgin oils, but also quality lampante oils were found.
Also, as noted, defects have been found in the product labelling, mainly due to the misuse of legal designations listed in the Commission implementing regulation (EU) No 29/2012 of 13 January 2012 on marketing standards for olive oil, primarily focused on olive oil composed of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils, since this last underlined sentence is not used by the packer on many occasions.
In regard to testing procedures, official laboratories use the Commission regulation (EEC) No 2568/91 methods indicated by its annexes and in which they are accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, as indicated by the Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parlament and Council of 29 April 2004 in its Article 12.
Basically it is considered that all these methods are sufficient for detecting the more common frauds in olive oil purity. There are other types of frauds, including the use of deodorized oils for which the current methodology seems to be insufficient.