President of the Australian Olive Association, Paul Miller, says the old labeling system didn’t allow consumers to easily distinguish between different grades of olive oil. ‘It’s causing confusion amongst consumers and that’s actually damaging the market,’ he said. ‘We think consumers should have the choice between extra virgin which is the premium product and then a second grade product which is still a type of olive oil but has been through a refinery and is a lower grade.’
The new standards will be voluntary, but CEO of Standards Australia Colin Blair doesn’t think this will discourage their adoption by producers. ‘With a lot of these things you get back to false and misleading claims and that’s where the ACCC would come in,’ he said. Paul Miller agrees that the standards provide clear guidelines for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to judge whether products are correctly labelled.
Listen to: Olive Oil
In this report: Paul Miller, president of the Australian Olive Association; Colin Blair, CEO of Standards Australia