martedì 8 luglio 2014

EVOO Quality and Sustainability in Japan

Recently the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ICCJ) organized a dedicated contest for the best olive oil the JOOP contest. The event, at its 2nd edition, was held in Tokyo aiming at promoting the Italian excellence in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and to spread knowledge about olive oil quality among Japanese consumers and buyers. The panel was lead by Mrs. Migliorini and specific prizes were assigned to three EVOO categories, distinguished by their flavor intensity: Light, Medium and Strong. Special mentions were assigned to the EVOO with higher content in polyphenols  and to the best EVOO from ORGANIC FARMING, to meet the Japanese consumer's preferences for healthy products and cosmetic properties of olive oil. 
Olive oil contests in Japan are relatively new. For example, Olive Oil Japan organized by Toshiya Tada and his association of Japanese Olive Oil Tasters is one of those. We believe that competition among these initiatives is useful the push further the bar of excellence, although too many messages may lead to noise in the market thus generating confusion among consumers and operators. Anyhow, these thoughts should be considered bearing in mind the specificity of the Japanese Market, one the most regulated and "structured", to use an euphemism.

Above all, we register an almost complete absence of sustainability. A part from recognizing  to Organic EVOO a special category, there's the need to communicate what sustainability means in its social, environmental and economic meaning, and to shed a light on those firms that struggle to achieve it. Japanese consumption of EVOO is very environmentally expansive provided the long distances from the largest production areas, Mediterranean, Australia and South America. Think about CO2 (carbon dioxide) emission in the atmosphere due to transportation.

It would be great to enhance compensation measures and those firms that use them (follow this link for an example).
We are here to provide help on this path.