Members of the International Olive Council have agreed on the text of a new international agreement on olive oil and table olives at its session in Madrid from 14-19 June under the EU Chairmanship, revising the way in which the Organisation works.
The text will be rubber stamped at a Conference convened under the auspices of UNCTAD in October this year.
This will be the 6th international agreement for the Organisation over its almost 60-year history.
The primary role of the IOC is to provide the internationally accepted framework for the technical discussions on olive oil and table olives through its work on the standardisation, quality and technical cooperation, thereby contributing to a smooth development of international trade. In addition, it also provides a forum for cooperation and dialogue between different regions of the world.
The text was negotiated by the Commission on behalf of the EU, which currently holds the Chair of the IOC until 30 April 2016.
The new agreement lays the foundations for a modern, more efficient Organisation which can better respond to the continuous globalisation and evolution of the olive market.
The draft new agreement brings important changes to the functioning and decision-making of the Organisation with a view to opening it to consumer countries, such as the US, Brazil, China or Japan.
The IOC is an international organisation set up in Madrid, in 1959, under the auspices of the United Nations. It currently counts 17 Members representing 95% of world olive production. Almost all the Mediterranean countries and, in addition, Argentina, Uruguay, Iraq and Iran participate in the Agreement. The EU is the leading IOC Member, as it is by far the biggest producer, consumer and exporter of olive oil in the world. The IOC is important for the EU principally due to its role in the drawing up of quality standards for olive oil and table olives.