The Official Journal of the European Union published Regulation 898/2013 today, entering PDO Aceite de Navarra (Oil from Navarre) in the register of protected designations of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indications (PGI).
This recognition by the European Commission concludes a process that commenced in 2005 with the creation of the PDO. In 2008, the necessary documentation was submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) for subsequent presentation in Brussels (and transitional national protection was granted). The registration request was published in October 2012, after years of work in the field, in the lab, on the tasting panel to characterize the PDO oil, and at numerous meetings.
This distinction recognizes the efforts of producers and the excellence of "Oil from Navarra" in Spain and beyond. The designation will drive growth in the sector and in the rural areas with which the oil is associated, while also supporting the promotion and sale of this important element of Spain's gastronomic culture.
This official recognition will open new sales channels for Navarran olive oil producers, who will be better able to defend their interests in the competitive oil market now that they are part of a European quality scheme. They will also be able to boost exports, helping to build a brand with strategies that distinguish their product and highlighting the excellent qualities of Navarre oil with a PDO that recognizes its quality.
Consumers already have all of the "official" assurances that this product is linked to Navarre and its quality is guaranteed, now that it is certified by an independent organization.
PDO Oil from Navarra currently comprises Trujal Artajo, Agrícola La Maja, La Casa del Aceite, Trujal Mendía, Almazara del Ebro, Hacienda Queiles, Olivar de la Ribera and Nekeas.
The oil is obtained from Arbequina, Empeltre and Arróniz olives (the latter accounting for at least 10%), and only extra virgin is sold under the DO label.
This product from Navarre is a medium-to-intense fruity oil with green notes and characteristic bitterness and pungency. It is very well-balanced, lacks sweetness and has a light-to-medium intensity.
Its high oleic acid content is due to its varietal composition, the maturity of the grapes, and the area's latitude and weather.