Traceability refers to the the ability to discover information about where and how a product was made. Traceability is important because food fraud for economic gain has cursed the food industry throughout history. Some of the earliest reported cases of food fraud, dating back thousands of years, involved unsurprisingly olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is still a suitable and favourite target for fraudsters, its nutritional value and its health benefits make it a valuable commodity and consequently it is sold at a high price on the market and increasing prices and relatively low consumer capabilities to detect inauthentic olive oil create an appealing crime opportunity.
There are many national and international regulations that aim at increasing the traceability of EVOO for fraud repression as well as for customer and brand protection. There are also constantly evolving production and labelling regulations to try and control authenticity and insure quality standards.
Despite all these positive efforts, regulations and strict protocols it is undeniable that the more bodies lie between the producer and the consumer, the more difficult it will be to trace and certify a product for what it is and for where it comes from. Like most things in life if we demand to someone else the responsibility or our choices we may fall victim to conflicts of interest and in worst cases to fraud.
In order to avoid these undesirable outcomes we have to take responsibility, educate ourselves on the subject, learn how to detect inauthentic or degraded Extra Virgin Olive Oil and our excellent sensory system (nose and taste) can do miracles at a very low cost. We also need to understand the labels, as well as pricing dynamics of real EVOO; because if something seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true…!
So our advice is to cut your supply line short, rid yourself as much as it is possible of middle men that add no value, reach out to the producer and check our willingness to open our books and our records for your peace of mind.
Despite the radical advice above, we abide and follow all the mandatory rules for the traceability of e Tuscan Olive Oil IGP that are issued by our consortium.