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Italian olive oil industry under pressure

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olive oil

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’s economic condition has improved: Dr Reza Baqir

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Reza Baqir

ISLAMABAD: State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir, while addressing a press conference here, has said that Pakistan’s economic condition was improving due to the positive policies taken by the government.

“Our external deficit and fiscal deficit are being addressed according to our economic plan,” he said, adding the government was striving hard to bring economic stability in the country.

He said that the government was taking measures to restore people’s confidence in the economy and added that Pakistan’s economic future was bright. In the past, government had been interfering in the exchange rate system, he added.

The SBP governor said that the burden of external debt payments reduced due to the devaluation of rupee. He said that exchange rate policy was the part of reform process. Baqir said that the government was not taking loan from SBP during  the current fiscal year.

Earlier on June 14, good economic policies ensured a strong national economy, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had said.

The adviser was addressing a gathering of the Council of Foreign Relations in Karachi. The governments in the past failed to devise the policies for lasting economic development, the finance adviser had said.

 

 

 

 

 

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Economy

Nahakki Tunnel opened for traffic

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TUNNEL

ISLAMABAD: The 745-meter-long Nahakki Tunnel has been completed in Mohmand Agency.
The tunnel has been opened for all kinds of traffic as well. Locals talking to a private news channel said after the construction of the tunnel, traveling of five hours has been reduced to merely 2.5 hours.
People said they were happy with this infrastructure as it would facilitate them in traveling and save time.

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Asia

Turkey hits out at Moody’s after credit rating cut

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Moodys

ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday lambasted Moody’s ratings agency after it cut Ankara’s credit rating further into junk territory, saying the downgrade raised concerns over the institution’s “objectivity and impartiality”.
The agency downgraded the long-term debt rating to B1 from Ba3 and said it maintained the negative outlook for Turkey, in a statement late Friday.
Although the country had a “large, diverse economy” and government debt was low, Moody’s said this was outweighed increasingly by “continued erosion in institutional strength and policy effectiveness on investor confidence”.
But the Turkish treasury and finance ministry said the move was “incompatible with the Turkish economy’s fundamental indicators”.
“As a result, this raises questions over the objectivity and impartiality of the body’s analyses,” the ministry added in a statement.
It pointed to rising tourism revenues, falling inflation, and a new judicial reform package as examples of “very positive developments that we sadly see are being ignored”.
The Turkish economy entered into recession for the first time in a decade last year following a currency crisis in the summer amid tensions with the United States.

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