Slovenia-Croatia bid to protect Istrian olive oil succeeds
The protection was granted by the European Commission in an implementing regulation published on Wednesday in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The first application for EU PDO under the name Istria extra virgin olive oil was submitted to the Commission by Croatia alone in 2016. Slovenia objected to the move, arguing that the proposed appellation could cause confusion, since both countries share the same geographical area.
Following negotiations the Croatian and Slovenian oil makers reached an agreement in 2017 to submit a joint application for EU PDO of the Istria extra virgin olive oil, produced both in Croatian and Slovenian parts of Istria.
The bid does not affect the already protected extra virgin olive oil from the Slovenian Istria, which has had EU PDO status since 2007.
The protection with the PDO label means that the growing and processing of olives for the particular product may take place within the designated geographical area of Istria both in Croatia and Slovenia, the Agriculture Ministry said in a press release.
Istria olive oil is the 26th Slovenian agricultural product protected by the European Commission and the second Slovenian-Croatian protection, after the countries protected Istrian prosciutto together in 2015.
Last May, Slovenian and Croatian beekeepers drafted a joint application for the protection of Istrian honey, while cheesemakers are mulling a similar move for protecting Istrian cheese.
The joint bids mark a positive change after the row over the EU protection the Teran red wine.