martedì 17 dicembre 2013

Latest news from the International Olive Oil Council

The latest session of the International Olive Oil Council (the 101th) took place in Madrid last 25th-29th of November. Here the resume.

Is research independent?

Good morning, or good evening - depending where you are.
On December 15th 2013, one of the largest web media about olive oil (in our opinion) "The Olive Oil Times" (OOT) published an article reporting the North American Olive Oil Association opinion about the real usefulness of the latest industry report issued by the U.S. International Trade Commision by the same NAOOA's President Eryn A. Balch (read the article). If what the "Olive Oil Times" reports is correct, among the other complains one really astonished us: (quoting the OOT) "The USITC report cited various studies by the University of California at Davis Olive Center as facts to support its findings even though the Olive Center is, Balch wrote, “a marketing agent for California olive oil with a vested interest in promoting domestically.”
So, according to these sentences the University of California at Davis Olive Center is a "marketing agent".  A research center that brings with him the reputation of one of the most important universities worldwide: how many researchers work hard in less famous Universities around the world with less "echo"?  Now, looking at the bottom of the homepage of the University of California at Davis Olive Center's website (the same research center that questioned some olive oil quality assessment standards and procedures months ago) it appears the Robert Mondavi Institute logo. Now, if even the NAOOA questions its independency, the point is: should we trust them?


giovedì 21 novembre 2013

Better than expected: the US Market for Olive Oil

In 2013, economic growth in the United States seems to become more consistent. The powerful monetary stimulus implemented from the Federal Reserve, on the one hand, is supporting domestic consumption, on the other is favoring the competitiveness of the domestic manufacturing firms due to the weakness of the dollar against other currencies, primarly versus euro (less than 10% during last year). The final result - waiting the "taperig" - is an higher than expected economic growth.
Also the olive oil market seems benefiting of this dynamic. The data on purchases of olive oil in the United States are positive: imports in the first six months of 2013 increased by 15%. The forecast for the next months seem to go in the same direction. If we observe the dynamic of the first 7 suppliers of olive oil (97% of the total purchases), we can deduce interesting news. The Italian exporters, holders of more than half of the US market, have increased their sales by 10%, losing market share, but less than their main European competitors (the spanish exporters -38%).  Among other eurozone countries only the greek exporters have been able to do better, increasing their sales by 67%,  "benefiting" of the austerity policy which saw reduce their internal costs.
In rapid recovery turn out to be the producers of North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey too). The exporters of these countries continue to increase their market shares. But the question to ask is, are really products from these countries comparable with those Italians? Or is there such a difference in terms of quality, requiring to call in another way, the Italian olive oil? The U.S. market seems to tell us this: sell better, sell better products, sell even at a higher price .... because the consumers of that country are able to understand the differences and reward the quality! Italian extra virgin olive oil, the product of quality!

venerdì 4 gennaio 2013

Staring at the rising sun.

Dear readers,
the Observatory just opened a window on Japan.

Thanks to the precious, professional and, morevoer, kind collaboration of a great friend of us, the Observatory opened a Japanese version: follow this link to our Japanese blog!

This is a further step along the path of enhancing sustainable olive oil and knowledge, a new service the Observatory is going to provide to its readers.

Right now our Japanese blog presents the translation of our latest post. The idea is to make this window wider, with special contents prepared for this peculiar audience. Japan is not a producing Country, although there's a interesting ferment about olive oil. Other than being one of the World's leading economies, Japan craddles one of the most ancient cultures, that cannot leave us indifferent.

So, keep following us!