Oleiculture

Introduction

The olive oil sector in Malta, albeit having a long history in olive cultivation and olive oil pressing, is still a developing sector, which is however gaining renewed interest. In the last decade, several olive mills were established. Measures are being undertaken by the Agriculture Directorate to strengthen this sector and introduce transparent quality standards, and a control system to ensure quality and authenticity of local produce. The unit responsible for this sector within the Agricultural Directorate is the Oleiculture unit section of the permanent crops unit.

OBJECTIVES:

The objectives of the Section of Oleiculture within the Permanent Crops Unit within the Agricultural Directorate are to:

  • Control the practices and process utilised by olive oil producers in the production of olive oil products
  • Control the quality parameters of olive oils in order to ensure that they conform to the specifications laid down in the Regulations
  • To keep and periodically update a Register of Olive Growers
  • To keep a register of Olive Oil Producers which are in possession of a Producer's Licence, issued from the Agriculture Directorate Issue Olive Oil Certification as per Schedule I of L.N. 66 of 2014
  • Issue penalties when necessary

 The aim of the Agriculture Directorate is to ensure quality and traceability of olive oil products on the local market and strengthen the consumers' confidence in Maltese Olive products.

LEGAL BASIS:

The Oleiculture section is regulated by the following Regulations:

Basic regulation

Key implementing legislation for olive oil:

(a)    Marketing standards

(b)   Characteristics

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 299/2013 of 26 March 2013 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2568/91 on the characteristics of olive oil and olive-residue oil and on the relevant methods of analysis

(c)    Operators' organisations

(d)   Private storage

National Legislation

DIRECTORATE'S ROLE:

The Directorate performs several tasks in order to monitor and control the olive oil sector and ensure that laws on the production of olive oil are enforced on the national territory:

  • An Olive Register (Registration Form for Olive Growers (For Olive Growers)) is maintained for the purpose of ensuring that up-to-date information regarding the farmers who cultivate olive trees, the areas that are planted with olive trees in Malta and Gozo and the olive varieties that are cultivated is kept. Furthermore the Olive registry has the purpose of keeping updated information about olive processors as well as information regarding their annual production of olive oil and table olive. The information that is contained within this registers is utilised by the Agriculture Directorate for statistical purposes, in order to monitor olive plantings and olive oil and table olive production as well as to maintain a record of all the farmers who grow olive trees. It is also used for control purposes.
  •  Implement a certification scheme of olive oil as per provisions laid down in Legal Notice 66 of 2014. (Olive Oil Production License Application (For Olive Oil producers)).
  •  Issue Certification as per Schedule I of L.N. 66 of 2014 (Application for Olive Oil Certification (For Olive Oil producers)). An accredited certification body, appointed by the Agriculture Directorate shall chemically and organoleptically test olive oil samples in order to verify that their parameters comply with the specifications of the different categories of olive oils.
  •  Data on the yearly olive harvest and olive oil and table olive production is collected from olive growers and olive processors in order to monitor the olive oil and table olive market. products (Olive Harvest Declaration Form (For Olive Growers)) (Olive Oil Production Declaration (For Olive Oil producers))
  •  Maintains olive groves for experimental purposes.

 Important Information

  • No person can harvest olives for commercial production of oil or olive oil olives if that person is not registered with the Agricultural Directorate. (Registration Form for Olive Growers (For Olive Growers)).
  • By the 31st December of each year, olive growers shall submit a signed and completed Harvest Declaration to the Agricultural Directorate. The declaration must be accompanied by copies of original receipts showing the amounts of olives sold and delivered to each producer of olive oil. (Olive Harvest Declaration Form (For Olive Growers))
  • No person shall produce Olive Oil without a valid licence issued by the Director, the fee for the Olive oil production license is €100.00 and must be renewed every year, and the renewal fee is also €100. Any person who bottles Olive oil but does not actually press the Olives him/her self are requested to apply for a license as well but is not obliged to pay any fee. However he/she must present the necessary documents from the Environmental Health Directorate certifying that the premises can be used for bottling. Producers must apply for the Olive Oil Production license not later than 1 July each year. (Olive Oil Production License Application (For Olive Oil producers)).
  • By the 31 December of each year the producer shall submit to the Director a production declaration signed and completed on the production of olive oil for that same year. (Olive Oil Production Declaration (For Olive Oil producers))
  • This statement shall be accompanied by a list of the olive growers which were purchased or otherwise have obtained , or delivered for pressing olives , along with copies of original invoices showing the amounts of olives purchased or delivered.
  • The Olive Oil Producer must keep records of the mill's activities in the Olive oil Record Book (For Olive Oil producers) provided by the Directorate once an Olive Oil production license is issued.
  • Olive Oil can be certified under one of the typologies of oil described in Schedule I of Legal Notice 66 of 2014. Producers interested in the certification scheme may apply with the Directorate by not later than 1st October of each year. 2014 (Application for Olive Oil Certification (For Olive Oil producers))
  • Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of Regulation (LN 66 of 2014) shall be guilty of an offense and shall be liable to a fine (multi) and if so requested by the prosecution shall, together with any other penalty, order the offender to a term of imprisonment.

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CONTACT INFORMATION 
 Claudette Gambin
Scientific Officer
 Telephone
356 2292 4235
 Email
claudette.gambin@gov.mt
 Darren Borg
Senior Agricultural Officer
 Telephone
356 2292 4154
 Email
darren.b.borg@gov.mt​

 Franklin Buhagiar
Senior Agricultural Officer
 Telephone
356 2292 4273