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Economy

Italian olive oil industry under pressure

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ROME: Helping curb the rising tide of non-Italian olive oil sold as an Italian product is proving to be a slippery matter, according to a new report from Coldiretti, Italy’s national farmers’ union.
Laws exist to guarantee the quality of Italian olive oil, one of the country’s most traditional products and one of its main exports.
But a report from Coldiretti said they are inadequate to the task of protecting the country’s olive oil makers and guaranteeing high-quality oil for consumers.
The report said that around two of every three bottles of olive oil sold in Italy contained at least some oil produced outside Italy, but that was rarely indicated on labels.
Often, Coldiretti said, olive oil labels feature the Italian flag, images of famous Italian monuments, or the distinctive outline of the country’s boot-shaped borders. Those images create the impression the oil was produced in Italy, where production standards and the quality of the olives are higher.
The biggest producers of the counterfeit olive oil are Spain and Greece, the report said. Oil from Tunisia is also on the rise, making it the largest country of origin for fake Italian olive oil outside the European Union.
Ettore Prandini, Coldiretti’s president, told Xinhua Italy should work toward setting up controls to guarantee the origin and quality of oil being sold as from Italy. He said there are objective tests that examine the smell, color, density and chemical breakdown of oils that can be used.
“As things stand now, consumers suffer from an inferior product and the Italian olive oil industry is hurt even more because producers who make a high-quality and labor-intensive product are facing unfair competition,” Prandini said.
Compounding the problem is the weather, which last year reduced domestic olive oil production by more than a third, near the lowest production level on record. Coldiretti has called for the government to take steps to protect the industry, including guarantees for minimum prices.
Meanwhile, Italia Olivicola, a consortium of olive growers, said that rules that limit olive production end up hurting oil makers and should be made more flexible to give farmers a way to combat poor production years.
“We need serious action aimed at allowing olive growers to increase production and adapt to increasingly frequent seasonal issues,” Gennaro Sicolo, Olivicola’s president, said in an interview.
The current law features fines for producers who use deceptive labels for their olive oil, and oil in specific areas protected by DOP rules (the initials stand for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or Protected Designation of Origin, a quality guarantee) must pass through stricter quality controls. DOP olive oil protection areas are some of the best known, including Apulia, Liguria, Sicily, and Umbria.
But DOP oil represents less than five percent of the country’s overall production of oil.
“The thing Italian olive oil makers need most is strict and enforced labeling laws that include some indication of the origin and purity of the oil,” Nino Pascale, an agronomist and a former president of Slow Food, told Xinhua. “Without it, the olive oil industry will suffer damage that it will be difficult to recover from.”

 

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Economy

Pakistan seeks greater partnership with WB: PM

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ISLAMABAD:  Imran Khan has told WB that Pakistan looked forward to greater partnership with World Bank (WB) in critical areas including eco-tourism, mountain, and religious tourism.

Talking to a delegation of World Bank headed by Vice President South Asia Hartwig Schafer in Islamabad today Imran Khan said that these sectors which have a huge potential towards the uplift of the poor and poverty alleviation. He highlighted various steps being taken by the government towards economic stability, poverty alleviation and improving ease of doing business in the country. The delegation comprised of Vice President Human Development Annete Dixon, Country Director Illangovan Patchamuthu, Operations Manager Melinda Good and Senior Country Manager IFC Nadeem Siddiqui. Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeem-ul-Haq, Secretary Finance Arif Ahmed Khan and others were also present in the meeting.

The delegation appreciated Prime Minister’s vision on the economic stability of the country, human development and addressing the issue of stunted growth due to malnutrition. It briefed the Prime Minister about various ongoing projects of the World Bank in various sectors including water supply, sewerage and waste management, transportation and connectivity, capacity building and ease of doing business in the country.  It also offered WB’s assistance in attracting foreign investments, analytics, sharing of expertise and technical knowledge in various sectors to help the Government translate its vision into reality. Welcoming the offer, the Prime Minister appreciated World Bank’s continued engagement with Pakistan and its support towards capacity building, infrastructure development and economic growth.

 

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Crime

District admin gets 50 Kanal state land vacated!

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1st Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Sports Fest

PESHAWAR: District administration vacated 50 Kanal state land during grand anti-encroachment operation in Mera Kachori, a suburban locality here today. 
On the directives of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Peshawar Dr. Imran Hamid Sheikh, the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Shahid Ali Khan and Assistant Commissioner (AC), Sara Rehman directly monitored the operation and remained present on the occasion.
Town Municipal Officer (TMO) Town-IV, Waheedur Rehman, SHO Chamkani Police Station, Ahmadullah Khan, officials of Rescue 1122 and other department participated in the operation. A heavy contingent of police was deployed to avert any kind of unpleasant incident.
During the operation, the administration demolished over 70 illegal constructions and vacated 50 Kanal state lands. Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Dr. Imran Hamid Sheikh has said that anti-encroachment operation would continue and similar action against encroachment mafia in other localities will also begin soon.

 

 

 

 

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Asia

Tokyo stocks open higher!

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Tokyo stocks gain on bargain-hunting

TOKYO: Stocks opened here higher today, tracking gains on Wall Street due to optimism over US-China trade talks, with investors closely eyeing the US Federal Reserve’s meeting later this week.
The Nikkei 225 index added 0.65 percent, or 139.64 points, to 21,590.49 in early trade, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.43 percent, or 6.82 points, to 1,609.45.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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