European Commission officials are drafting proposals to introduce compulsory origin labelling for virgin and extra virgin olive oil sold in the EU from June next year.

A Brussels note said "agricultural traditions and local extraction and blending practices" make oils have a "quite different taste and quality depending on their geographical origin."

The EU introduced an optional origin labelling system in 2002, but the Commission said today (17 September): "This has proved insufficient to avoid consumers being misled."

Under its proposals, labels for one-country oils will name that country and blends will be declared with labels saying whether oils are EU or non-EU-made or a mixture of both.