olive oil pored into a grass

Luís Lourenço, inspector-general of ASAE, admitted in Parliament on Wednesday that olive oil is one of the institution’s priorities, but the focus is more on quality than on price rises.

“Olive oil is an issue that ASAE is monitoring and prioritizing as relevant,” said Luís Lourenço, inspector general of the Food and Economic Safety Authority (ASAE) this Wednesday at a hearing of the Assembly of the Republic’s Economy, Public Works, Planning and Housing Committee on “food prices”.

This action, he justifies, reflects “concern for a national product of recognized quality”.

Asked by PCP deputy Bruno Dias about the issue of marketing margins and even “speculative practices” with regard to olive oil, which has seen “the price double in a year”, with cases where it has gone “from 6 to 12 euros” when “the producers have had nothing even remotely close (to that doubling)”, Luis Lourenço reiterated that the focus here is on quality “because that’s what concerns us”.

At the hearing, requested by the PSD, the inspector general of ASAE recalled that 20 criminal cases have already been drawn up “on this issue”.

On the specific issue of profits and marketing margins, Luís Lourenço stressed that “it’s quite complex and there’s no way it can be transposed into an Excel table”.

“The whole chain (from the meadow to the plate) has a complex value to be defined,” noted the ASAE official, noting that the legislator speaks of “the intention to make an illegitimate profit”, but this “is a subjective concept that it is up to our inspectors to dismantle as best they can”.

Related read: Young man receives bottles of olive oil as a gift from grandparents

Related read: Olive oil, one of the first products exported by Portugal.

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