Intensive controls of the EFET in the market as the adulteration of olive oil has increased dramatically
EFET has focused its efforts on olive oil, honey and feta cheese in terms of counterfeiting incidents. Especially in the last two weeks, the Authority has confiscated 30 tons of adulterated olive oil, as the president, Antonis Zambelas, told “Real News”. “In the last few days we have started to intensify the controls. We are in a position to know that these are circuits and we have already sent documents to the Economic Police and the competent bodies”, adds Mr. Zambelas.
But without a complaint, it is difficult to identify counterfeit products. And this is done at 11717 or on the agency’s website (efet.gr), where instructions are given on how consumers and businesses can be protected from counterfeiting. “First of all, we call on consumers not to buy in bulk and to purchase olive oil from companies and stores they know, with documents and receipts. In no case do not trust social media where there is great difficulty in detecting fraud. If they still wish to make purchases through e-commerce, it would be good to prefer well-known sites and companies. In any case if they have found something reprehensible, we have provided a phone number on our site for complaints and information for the consumer. We are cooperating with the Economic Police and we are proceeding with the checks”, Mr. Zambelas points out.
“The adulteration is usually done with second class seed oil and natural pigments to alter the color and variety and easily deceive the eye. “The easy victims are always the vulnerable social groups, such as the elderly and people who are usually at home during working hours,” lawyer Anthoula Anasoglou, who has handled several cases of fraud, notes in the newspaper. He adds that selling is done by hawkers door-to-door and especially in villages where people are used to buying from hawkers for convenience and economy. “With the price of olive oil on fire, one understands that the trafficking of adulterated olive oil is and will be a crime that will concern the authorities for a long time,” adds Ms. Anasoglou.
Finally, the recent case in the village of Serres is typical, where the authorities arrested a 37-year-old man with 30 cans of olive oil in his car. Investigation showed it was adulterated (seed oil with dyes) and the 37-year-old told authorities he had obtained it for personal and family use from an elderly woman.
Also recently, the president of the Makris Olive Oil Producers’ Cooperative, Demosthenes Hatzinikolaou, reported to ERT Orestiadas that fraud phenomena with adulterated oil sold at very low prices have been found in the Evros area recently. “It is not olive oil, but oil clusters, cottonseed oils, palm oils, seed oils which are mixed with the corresponding dye and are marketed and sold as genuine olive oil. The cars carrying the oils are hidden and they appear in the cafes or the neighborhoods carrying them in their hands and selling the 16 liters for 70-75 euros, a price out of reality”, says Mr. Hatzinikolaou.
Referring to the picture presented by this year’s production, Mr. Hatzinikolaou noted that it reaches 50% compared to last year, it is much reduced for the known reasons and the formation of the price of olive oil will also depend on this, which he estimates will fluctuate for the 16 liter package, at 125-135 euros from 90-100 euros last year.
From 300,000 tons last year to 120,000 this year
Olive oil production in Greece will drop from 300,000 tons last year to 120,000 tons this year, according to a related publication of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Will olive oil become a luxury product?” asks the newspaper in its headline, referring to the increase in olive oil prices in Greece, Italy and Spain. It notes that in Greece “according to the latest data, probably not even half of the producers will have good harvest this year. Instead of 300,000 tons, it will probably only be 120,000 tons.”
The publication also emphasizes that “Europe’s olive producers are worried about their harvests. “Green gold” is becoming increasingly scarce while prices are rising dramatically. Bad news for consumers hit by inflation and good news for counterfeit businesses.”
The newspaper states that “on the one hand the rains during the flowering period and on the other hand the wet summer, were the reasons that affected the reduced production. Italy, Spain, Greece – the crisis is affecting everyone, while there is no price stabilization on the horizon. On the contrary”, he concludes.