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Document 52003XC1231(04)

Publication of an application for registration pursuant to Article 6(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin

OJ C 321, 31.12.2003, p. 43–45 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)


Publication of an application for registration pursuant to Article 6(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin

Official Journal C 321 , 31/12/2003 P. 0043 - 0045

Publication of an application for registration pursuant to Article 6(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin

(2003/C 321/09)

This publication confers the right to object to the application pursuant to Articles 7 and 12d of the abovementioned Regulation. Any objection to this application must be submitted via the competent authority in a Member State, in a WTO member country or in a third country recognised in accordance with Article 12(3) within a time limit of six months from the date of this publication. The arguments for publication are set out below, in particular under 4.6, and are considered to justify the application within the meaning of Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92.



PDO ( ) PGI (x)

National application number: EL-09/01-5

1. Responsible department in Member State Name: ΥΠΟΥΡΓΕΙΟ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΑΣ (Ministry of Agriculture)

Δ/ΝΣΗ ΠΑΠ ΔΕΝΔΡΟΚΗΠΕΥΤΙΚΗΣ (Fruit and horticulture)

Tel. (30-1) 02 12 41 78

Fax (30-1) 05 24 80 13.

2. Applicant group Name: Επιχείρηση Ανάπτυξης Πρωτογενούς Τομέα Δήμου Μελιτειέων

Address: Μοραίτικα Κέρκυρας, GR-49084 Κέρκυρα

Composition: Producers/processors (x) Other ( ).

3. Type of product: 1.5 - Oils and fats

4. Specification Name (Summary of requirements under Article 4(2))

4.1. Name: "ΑΓΙΟΣ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΣ ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑΣ" (Agios Mathaios Kerkyras)

4.2. Description: The olive belongs to the genus Olea of the family Oleaceae. The cultivated olive is the species Olea europea sativa. It includes a large number of improved varieties that are propagated by cultivating or grafting cuttings. An evergreen thriving in warm dry areas, it is one of the very few trees that can produce fruit on even infertile stony soils. It reaches a height of 15-20 metres. Its most important products are olive oil and table olives.

The variety used in the production of AGIOS MATHAIOS KERKYRAS virgin olive oil is Koroneiki. The olive oil is green to greenish yellow in colour, depending on the degree of ripeness, and very limpid. It has a fruity aroma which is particularly strong when the oil is new, and a bitter-sweet taste. In terms of its chemical characteristics, the oil has low acidity and the numbers for peroxides and the factors K270, K232 and Delta K are particularly low. The oil is described as "virgin olive oil".

The oil is produced by crushing the fruit. It is an important food product and a basic constituent of the Mediterranean diet, which recent research shows to be among the healthiest.

4.3. Geographical area: The area in which the Koroneiki olive variety is grown and used to produce the virgin olive oil for which registration as a protected geographical indication product (PGI) is sought is the district of Agios Mathaios in the municipality of Melitiea in the Prefecture of Kerkira. The total number of trees of the Koroneiki variety in the delimited area is 25000. These trees account for 12,7 % of the total number of olive trees.

4.4. Proof of origin: The olive is known from historical sources and archaeological finds show it to have been grown in Greece since ancient times. For instance olive seeds were recognised among the seeds found during the excavations of Phaistos (Middle Minoan period, 1800-2000 BC). From Ancient Greece down to the present day, the olive has been the country's most sacred tree and is directly linked to its culture and nutrition. Its history originated on the coasts of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. In Greece, the roots of the sacred tree reach back into antiquity. The diet, religion and art of the Ancient Greeks all embraced the olive, its branch being used as a symbol of peace, wisdom and victory. Even the winners in the Olympic Games received a wild olive branch as their prize and Athena was established as goddess of Attica when she presented the tree as source of wealth.

Olive cultivation on Kerkira, the island of the Phaeacians, is mentioned in Homer but was not particularly significant, since vinegrowing was dominant on the island. The situation remained more or less unchanged until the 16th century but at the beginning of the 17th century, when the island was controlled by the Venetians, its landowners were induced by a combination of edicts and a type of subsidy to abandon vinegrowing and change to systematic olive growing. Their acceptance of the change was so widespread that travellers of the time spoke of the island being one vast olive grove.

From that period until today, olive growing has been the main resource of the agrarian population of Kerkira and particularly of the inhabitants of Agios Mathaios. The traditional method of cultivation, the fruit of many years' experience, together with the specific soil and weather conditions of the area, produce a particularly remarkable oil of which D. Sarakomenos, one of the pioneers of agricultural science in Greece, said, "If it received the necessary care in its preparation it would hold first place among table oils".

4.5. Method of production: The olives are harvested in phases, beginning when the fruit is ripe around mid-November. The olives are harvested by beating. The worker stands on the ground or on a ladder and beats the olive-growing branches with a pole, taking care not to cause any damage that might encourage pathogenic attack. Nets are spread below the trees to catch the falling fruit.

After some leaf removal, the olives are put into 50 kg bags or into plastic boxes and taken to the olive mills within the delimited area for immediate processing.

After removal of the foreign bodies the olives are washed and burst and the paste is kneaded at low temperature not exceeding 30 °C for 30 minutes. The oil is then extracted by centrifugation or by crushing in the traditional way.

The equipment that comes into contact with the paste and the oil is of stainless steel. The oil is stored in covered stainless-steel vats until it is dispatched for marketing.

4.6. Link: Koroneiki is one of the best Greek olive varieties and is used exclusively to produce fine quality oil. The characteristics of the oil from this specific area must be ascribed to its particular soil and weather conditions. It is the most northerly point of cultivation of the Koroneiki variety in Greece. This, and the fact that the trees are grown on sloping ground of average fertility in an area with a temperate climate, as in the rest of the country, but with one of the highest levels of rainfall in Greece, leads to an outstanding product.

4.7. Inspection body Name: Νομαρχιακή Αυτοδιοίκηση Κερκύρας Διεύθυνση Γεωργίας

Address: Σαμάρα 13, GR-49100 Κέρκυρα.

4.8. Labelling: The product's packaging must carry the words ΠΑΡΘΕΝΟ ΕΛΑΙΟΛΑΔΟ "ΑΓΙΟΣ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΣ ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑΣ" Π.Γ.Ε. (PARTHENO ELEOLADO "AGIOS MATHAIOS KERKYRAS" PGI) and the indications specified in Article 4(8) of PD 61/93.

4.9. National requirements: The general provisions of Presidential Decree 61/93 on production procedure for PDO and PGI products apply.

EC No: EL/00214/01.11.15

Date of receipt of full application: 21 October 2003.