QUALITY OF ITALIAN OLIVE OIL AND CONTROL SYSTEMS
Washington DC (February 24, 2021) — The quality of Italian olive oil and the system of controls that ensure the high safety of different products are the focus of today’s virtual meeting organized by the Embassy of Italy in Washington ,D.C., to expand on the topic with insiders – importers, distributors, associations, officials – as well as consumers.
“Consumption and demand for olive oil in the US continue to grow, despite some year-to-year fluctuations” recalled the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Armando Varricchio, in his opening remarks. “Olive oil is an increasingly relevant ingredient in American families’ dietary habits, and Italy is the most important partner of the U.S. in this sector, with over half a billion dollars in exports, accounting, in terms of value, for about 40 percent of all imported oil”.
The event was opened by Felice Assenza, Head of the Inspectorate for Fraud Repression & Quality Protection of the agri-food products at the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Italy’s greatest anti-fraud control expert in the field. The debate was moderated by Lucrezia Scarampi, a Bariatric Dietician in New York. Marco De Ceglie, Chairman of the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), and Maria Francesca Di Martino, entrepreneur in the oil sector and representative of the Italian Women Association of Olive Oil, also joined the event.
It is strategically important for Italy to enhance the quality systems and safety of all our products, both those destined for large-scale distribution and niche products for restaurants and specialized establishments, thus highlighting the excellence of our denominations of origin and the uniqueness of our offer. In this, the Embassy works closely with US Institutions and Associations, and closely follows possible developments in the debate on oil quality and U.S. standards, which the U.S. Congress and the Food and Drug Administration are also involved in. Over 95 percent of the olive oil consumed in the U.S. is imported from abroad and, as the leading supplier, Italy is an essential partner.