THE INTERNATIONAL OLIVE COUNCIL AND THE ASSOCIATION QVEXTRA! TO HOLD CONFERENCE ON NUTRITIONAL AND HEALTH LABELLING OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION On 20 May 2022, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Spanish Government, Luis Planas, will open a conference organised by the IOC and QvExtra! at IOC headquarters in Madrid. The event will also be attended by the Chair of the IOC Advisory Committee, Ali Ben Elhaj M’barek, a key guest who will convey the opinions and concerns of the international sector, as well as IOC Executive Director Abdellatif Ghedira and Chair of the QvExtra! association Soledad Serrano.
The aim of the conference is to define a suitable framework for communicating the nutritional and health properties of extra virgin oils in the EU.
The Farm-to-Fork strategy launched by the European Commission aims to review food labelling rules including front-of-pack nutrition labelling. A legislative proposal is expected by the end of this year, so now is the time to analyse the limitations faced by producers and packers in the current framework and respond to the challenges facing the olive oil sector, like the Nutri-Score labelling scheme.
The nutritional and health properties of extra virgin olive oils have been supported by solid scientific evidence for many years. Today we know for sure that olive oils, and in particular extra virgin olive oils, are good for us and can prevent chronic diseases due to their fatty acid composition and phenolic compound content. However, it is hard to convey this information in clear and simple ways to consumers.
Given the importance of this issue and the need not only to share information but to do so in an accessible and informative way, the IOC launched the Olive Health Information System (OHIS), a free online platform that gathers the latest scientific information for both consumers and researchers. It also publishes a free weekly newsletter.
At the conference, Prof. Miguel Angel Martínez Gónzalez, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra and Nutrition Researcher and Visiting Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will give a talk on extra virgin olive oil and health. This will be followed by two round tables. The first will feature various representatives from the international olive oil sector – Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva, Sectorial del Aceite de Oliva, Anierac, Asoliva, Ceq Italia (Italy) and Casa do Azeite (Portugal) – and cover the challenges of communicating the nutritional and health properties of extra virgin olive oils for producers and packers in the EU. The second will be attended by representatives of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture, to discuss nutritional labelling and the health properties of extra virgin olive oils in the context of the Farm to Fork strategy.
The conference will be held in Madrid from 10.00am to 2pm on 20 May 2022.
The event will be streamed on YouTube. Watch here: https://youtu.be/BBOFr0HlIjA