The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) recently opened seven investigations into alleged unfair commercial practices by some of the main Italian oil producers, including Carapelli Firenze Spa, Carrefour S.A., Cirio Spa and F.lli De Cecco di Filippo - Fara San Martino Spa.
This decision followed a complaint filed by a consumer association which submitted the results of a laboratory test carried out by the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency. The test found that 9 out of the 20 bottles of oil analysed did not have the required chemical features to be qualified as “extra-virgin olive oil”. The results of this test were also submitted to an Italian Public Prosecutor, Mr Raffaele Guariniello, who has already brought proceedings for commercial fraud against 10 Italian oil producers in relation to such practices.
The AGCM will assess whether use of the phrase “extra-virgin olive oil" on the labels and in advertisements for the oils investigated might mislead consumers about the quality of the product he or she is buying which would constitute an unfair commercial practice.