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It can be accessed through the Europa server(http://europa.eu).
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Union, 2010
O\u2019Hara (AEIDL, Communications Team Coordinator). Managing Editor: Herv\u00e9 Martin, European Commission, Environment DG, LIFE E.4 \u2013 BU-9, 02/1, 200 rue de la Loi, B-1049 Brussels. LIFE Focus series coordination: Simon Goss (LIFE Communications Coordinator), Evelyne Jussiant (DG Environment Communications Coordinator). Technical assistance: Audrey Th\u00e9nard, Tiziana Nadalutti, Georgia Valaoras (Astrale GEIE), Jo\u00e3o Pedro Silva (AEIDL). The following people also worked on this issue: Federico Nogara, Santiago Urquijo-Zamora, Alexis Tsalas (Environment DG, LIFE Environment and Eco-innovation Unit), Garcia Azcarate, Panayotis Barzoukas, Fabien Santini, Ren\u00e9 L\u2019Her, Aymeric Berling, Jose Alvarez de la Puente, Pascale Mathes, (Agriculture and Rural Development DG), Francesco Serafini (International Olive Council), Eva Corral, Benedetto Orlandi (COPA-COGECA), Domenico Mastrogiovanni (CIA), Pedro Barato (ASAJA), Theodoros Vloutis (PASEGES).Production: Monique Braem (AEIDL). Graphic design: Daniel Renders, Anita Cort\u00e9s (AEIDL).Acknowledgements: Thanks to all LIFE project beneficiaries who contributed comments, photos and other useful material for this report.Photos: Unless otherwise specified; photos are from the respective projects.
Union, particularly in southern countries, where it represents a significant share of the agricultural economy. The EU is also a global leader in olive production, accounting for almost 70% of total world output, and the main net exporter towards non producing areas such as North America.
In terms of area, olive farming represent 8-9% of the total agricultural land of Spain, Italy and Portugal, and 20% in Greece. More than 1.8 million agricultural holdings grow olive trees in the EU, representing 40% of the agricultural holdings in Spain and Italy, and 60% in Greece.
As with any agricultural activity, depending on its degree of intensification, olive cultiva- tion can have both positive and negative environmental effects. However, CAP reforms in the last years have decoupled farm payments from olive production, thus withdraw- ing incentive for intensification and have introduced, through cross-compliance, a link between payments and certain environmental (including landscape) obligations. Increased financing for rural development policies, including agri-environmental mea- sures, has also helped to reduce negative environmental impacts.
The LIFE programme has, and continues to play an important role in guiding this transi- tion to a more sustainable olive sector. LIFE projects, examples of which are presented in this publication, have piloted new innovations and approaches to tackling many different environmental impacts in the olive sector. In so doing, these projects play a key role in facilitating the implementation, updating and development of Community policy and legislation in this area.
Producers have made significant efforts and considerable financial investment in order to adopt new growing and processing techniques to improve product quality. These efforts have yet to pay off on the market, as low quality products persistently result in unfair competition. Furthermore, there is a lack of transparency at the consumer-end.
Olive oil must be labeled clearly to inform consumers of its intrinsic values and place of origin, whilst also providing a means of distinguishing it from poorer quality oils and/or imitations. Transparency should be facilitated by the appropriate instruments. It is only by being familiar with a product that you can appreciate it, be willing to pay the price for it and understand that it is good value for money.
Producers are increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining the environment. This publication is undoubtedly a useful means of conveying information on the impact of the sector on the environment and in bringing to light new aspects in line with the economic and environmental objectives. It will certainly help the sector to continue improving its environmental impact.
Copa (Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations) and Cogeca (General Con- federation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the EU) represent European farmers and its cooperatives. Within Copa-Cogeca the Working Party on Olive Oil and Table Olives deals with issues concerning the sector.
Head of Unit \u2013 LIFE
for the Environment,
Agriculture and Rural
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