Specific Regulations of the Protected Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”
ORDER of August 25th 1999, of the Department of Agriculture and Food, by which the specific rules for the protected designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” is approved.
This order is approved in use of the exclusive powers held by the Autonomous Community in matters of agriculture and livestock farming, which includes in any case the regulation of the agri-food sector, on designations of origin and other quality mentions, on public law corporations representing economic and professional interests and, in matters of promotion of the economic development of the Autonomous Community, in accordance with and under the terms established, respectively, in numbers 17ª, 18ª, 29ª and 32ª of article 71 of the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon.
The Autonomous Community of Aragon has enacted Law 9/2006, of 30 November, on Food Quality in Aragon, which regulates, among other aspects, the various figures of differentiated food quality, among which are the protected designations of origin (PDOs), regulated in Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006, of 30 March 2006, on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural and food products. P.O.), regulated by Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs, with “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” being considered a PDO.
Chapter II of Title III of Law 9/2006 regulates geographical quality designations, among which, according to Article 27.1 a), are the PDOs, which have specific regulations consisting of a set of specifications, which must be complied with in the process of approval of the protected product, and operating regulations. All of this is in accordance with article 31 of Law 9/2006, which determines the minimum content that both instruments must have, and which is developed in articles 32 to 39 of the aforementioned Law. Moreover, the regulatory system to which the geographical quality designations must be subject includes, in addition to their specifications and operating regulations, statutes to be approved by the plenary of the corresponding management body.
The existence of the statutes is consistent with the nature of public law corporations that the management bodies become in Law 9/2006, being a legal instrument whose necessity is pointed out in the Law itself, and whose main content and task must be to complete the regulation contained in the operating regulations.
In development of Chapter II of Title III of Law 9/2006, Decree 5/2009 of 13 January 2009 of the Government of Aragon has been approved, approving the Regulation of the minimum content of the specific regulations of certain geographical designations of food quality and the procedure for their recognition.
In order to comply with the provisions of the fifth transitional provision of Law 9/2006, which requires that the regulations of the designations existing at the time of its entry into force be adapted to the content of the law, this order has been drawn up. Its entry into force also means that the existing Regulatory Council, constituted prior to the approval of Law 9/2006, now has its own legal personality, economic autonomy and full capacity to act in order to fulfil its purposes, having the legal status of a public law corporation.
Thus, with the approval of this Order, the provisions of the aforementioned fifth transitory provision of Law 9/2006 are fully applied, and the specific regulations of the protected designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” are included in the respective annexes, consisting of the specifications and the operating regulations, as well as the statutes of the designation which, as will be explained, are provisional in nature.
With regard to the specification, it should be made clear that its content is a faithful reproduction of the specification which, at the time, was submitted to the European Commission’s Register of Protected Designations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications for registration. It includes changes resulting from the new regulations in force concerning the structure and form of control and national legislative requirements, as well as an extension of the materials authorised for packaging, which responds to technological developments. These are amendments adopted under the procedure provided for in Article 9.3.i) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006, as they do not affect the actual content of the so-called “single document”. It should be said that the inclusion of the specifications in this order is not really an approval but an updated publication, together with the rest of the instruments, which are approved by means of the order, in order to systematise the specific regulations of the designation, which makes it easier for interested parties to understand them and contributes to greater clarity and legal certainty.
The operating regulations include a clear, essential and concise regulation, so that their content can be developed and specified in the statutes, which is consistent with the autonomy of the Regulatory Council and with the nature of a public law corporation that it acquires with the entry into force of this order. Among the aspects included in the regulation, it is worth highlighting that the system for verifying the specifications is specified among the options in article 39.2 a) of Law 9/2006, and that for “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” it will be through independent entities accredited in compliance with the UNE-EN 45011 Standard, or the standard that replaces it, and which are selected in accordance with the provisions of the aforementioned article.
In this respect, the regulation is limited to deciding which certification system is chosen from among those offered by the Law, and to determining essential aspects of this, leaving it to the statutes to complete the regulation of this matter.
With regard to the statutes approved by this order, it is worth highlighting their provisional nature, which is so for two reasons: to allow the Regulatory Council to function initially once it has acquired the status of a public law corporation, following the approval of this order, and to enable the first elections to be held. The provisional statutes regulate in detail the electoral process in accordance with whose rules the suffrage shall be carried out, which is also exceptionally convened by this order, in order to facilitate the transition to the new status of the Council and in compliance with the electoral calendar determined in annex IV of this order.
However, once the electoral process has concluded and the new Plenary has been constituted, it will have to decide whether to ratify these statutes and make them definitive, or whether to modify or replace them, so that the statutes become, after the first elections of the corporation, an instrument approved autonomously and freely by the Regulatory Council.
It should also be noted that the operative part of the order, in addition to approving the specific regulations and calling the elections, establishes other provisions necessary for the transition from the Regulatory Council’s current situation to its conversion into a public law corporation. Therefore, measures are established with regard to personnel, assets, economic resources, files containing personal data, and possible systems of collaboration with the Administration; in some of these aspects, the order limits itself to reiterating what has already been decided in Law 9/2006. The final part also contains a number of provisions aimed at safeguarding the proper functioning of the Regulatory Council and the proper fulfilment of its essential functions, mainly on product certification.
Finally, it should be pointed out that the process of drawing up this order has taken place in close and continuous communication with the current Regulatory Council of the Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
Accordingly, I hereby order:
Article 1. –Approval of the specific regulations for the protected designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
- The specific regulations for the protected designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”, comprising the following instruments, are hereby approved:
- the specification which was submitted for entry of the name in the European Commission’s Register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications, as updated, and which is attached hereto as Annex I; and
- the rules of procedure, which are attached as Annex II.
- The statutes of the name are also provisionally approved and are attached as Annex III.
Article 2. –Call for elections.
- Elections are called for the election of the members of the Plenary of the Regulatory Council of the Protected Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
- The electoral process shall be subject to the provisions of the denomination’s statutes approved by this order, and the Organic Law 5/1985 of 19 June 1985 on the General Electoral System shall apply in addition.
- The timetable for the conduct of the process shall be as set out in Annex IV, with voting scheduled to take place on 4 June 2009. The time limits laid down in the calendar shall in any case be counted in calendar days.
Article 3. –Acquisition of legal personality of the Regulatory Council.
The Regulatory Council of the Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” will have its own legal personality as soon as this Order enters into force, becoming a public law corporation, under the name of the Regulatory Council of the Protected Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
First additional provision. –Assets, rights and obligations of the Regulatory Council.
- Pursuant to the second additional provision of Law 91/2006, the assets, rights and obligations which, on the entry into force of this Order, are owned by the Regulatory Council shall become the property, without altering their legal status, of the new public law corporation into which the Regulatory Council is incorporated.
- In accordance with the requirements of article 36.4 of Law 9/2006, the Council shall draw up an annual inventory containing the real estate, incorporeal and movable assets whose value exceeds 300 euros, and shall communicate this inventory to the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Second additional provision. Regulatory Council staff.
In accordance with the third additional provision of Law 9/2006, the new public law corporation, as successor to the Regulatory Council, shall maintain, under identical terms to those existing at the entry into force of this Order, its obligations and rights with respect to its employees.
Third additional provision. Collaboration agreements.
The Regulatory Council and the Administration of the Autonomous Community, through the Department of Agriculture and Food, may sign collaboration agreements in the material and functional scope of the protected designation of origin, in order to improve and promote it, which may consist of recognising the Regulatory Council as a collaborating entity in the management of subsidies.
First transitional provision. Personal data files.
- The personal data file created by Decree 98/2003, of 29 April, of the Government of Aragon, which regulates the personal data files managed by the Administration of the Autonomous Community of Aragon, must be created and declared to the Spanish Data Protection Agency by the Regulatory Council within a maximum period of six months, subject to existing legislation on the protection of personal data.
- Within the period indicated in the previous section, the file created by this Administration shall cease to exist and, in any case, the relevant provision shall be approved to delete the existence of the file.
Second transitional provision. Statutes.
The statutes approved by this order are provisional in nature, and must be ratified, modified or replaced by the Plenary arising from the elections called for in Article 2, within one year of their constitution, and such decision must be communicated to the Department of Agriculture and Food, which will order the publication in the “Official Gazette of Aragon” of their ratification or, where appropriate, of the modified statutes or new statutes.
Third transitional provision. Fees and rates.
- The Regulatory Council resulting from the elections called for in this Order must adopt, within a maximum period of one month from its constitution, the necessary decisions to be able to apply the new system of quotas and tariffs resulting from its approval.
- The new system shall be implemented no later than six months after the adoption of the acts referred to in the previous paragraph.
Fourth transitional provision. Certification of compliance with the specifications.
- Within a maximum period of six months from the entry into force of this regulation, the Regulatory Council must have selected the body accredited in compliance with standard UNE-EN-45011, which will be responsible for verifying and certifying compliance with the specifications of the products intended to be covered by the designation, in accordance with the operating regulations set out in Annex II.
- If the deadline indicated in the previous paragraph has expired without the Council having selected the entity indicated, the Department of Agriculture and Food shall be responsible for selecting and assigning such entity.
Sole derogating provision. Repeal clause.
- The Order of 3 February 2000 of the Department of Agriculture, by which the Regulations of the Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” and its Regulatory Council were approved, is hereby expressly repealed.
- Provisions of equal rank that oppose or contradict the provisions of this Order are also repealed.
Single final provision. Entry into force.
This Order shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the “Official Gazette of Aragon”.
Zaragoza, 17 March 2009.
The Minister for Agriculture and Food, GONZALO ARGUILE LAGUARTA
Annex I: Specifications of the Protected Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
(Specifications registered in the Register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications of the European Commission on 10 October 2001, as subsequently amended)
A) NAME OF THE PRODUCT
Protected Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
B) PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Definition. —Aceite del Bajo Aragón” is the name given to extra virgin olive oil made from olives of the Empeltre, Arbequina and Royal varieties, which are grown, processed and bottled in the production, processing and bottling area covered by these specifications.
Protected varieties. —The oils protected by the designation of origin ‘Aceite del Bajo Aragón’ will come exclusively from the Empeltre, Arbequina and Royal varieties, of which Empeltre will account for at least 80 % and the other varieties for a maximum of 20 %.
Because Empeltre has always predominated in the production area over the others, the characteristics of the oil from Bajo Aragon that consumers recognise are closely influenced by this variety. In order to preserve the product’s reputation and maintain consumer demand, in Bajo Aragon Arbequina and Royal oils have been used mixed with Empeltre in a low proportion. In order to protect the traditional characteristics of the product, the varietal participation is regulated by the product specification.
Product features. —The oils protected by the designation of origin «Aceite del Bajo Aragón» will be of the extra virgin category and must comply with the following characteristics:
|Clean, without any sign of veiling, cloudiness or soiling which would impair the appreciation of its clarity
|Yellow with shades ranging from golden yellow to old gold yellow
|Fruity taste at the beginning of the season, with light almond flavours, without bitterness, sweet and slightly spicy.
|Minimum score of the tasting panel
|Qualification as “extra virgin olive oil”.
Maximum acidity (% Oleic ac.) 0,80
Maximum peroxides (meq. O2/kg.) 20
K270 maximum (n.m.) 0,15
K232 maximum (n.m.) 2,00
Moisture and volatiles maximum (%) 0,15
Maximum impurities (%) 0,10
C) GEOGRAPHICAL AREA
Situation of the area. —The production area of the oils covered by the ‘Aceite del Bajo Aragón’ designation of origin is the natural region situated in the west of the Autonomous Community of Aragón between the provinces of Zaragoza and Teruel.
Municipalities that make up the geographical area: Aguaviva, Alacón, Albalate del Arzobispo, Alborge, Alcañiz, Alcorisa, Alloza, Almochuel, Almonacid de la Cuba, Andorra, Arens de Lledó, Ariño, Azaila, Beceite, Belchite, Belmonte de San José, Berge, Bordón, Calanda, Calaceite, Cañizar del Olivar, Caspe, Castelserás, Castelnou, Castellote, Chiprana, Cinco Olivas, Cretas, Crivillén, Escatrón, Estercuel, Fabara, Fayón, Fórnoles, Foz-Calanda, Fuentes de Ebro, Fuentespalda, Gargallo, Híjar, Jatiel, La Cebollera, La Codoñera, La Fresneda, La Ginebrosa, La Mata de los Olmos, La Portellada, La Puebla de Híjar, La Zaida, Lagata, Letux, Lledó, Los Olmos, Maella, Más de las Matas, Mazaleón, Mequinenza, Molinos, Monroyo, Nonaspe, Oliete, Parras de Castellote, Peñarroya de Tastavins, Quinto de Ebro, Ráfales, Samper de Calanda, Sástago, Seno, Torrecilla de Alcañiz, Torre de Arcas, Torre del Compte, Torrevelilla, Urrea de Gaén, Valdealgorfa, Valdeltormo, Valderrobres, Valjunquera, Vinaceite.
Area under cultivation. —The geographical area has a perimeter of 469.4 kilometres and a total surface area of 6,380 square kilometres. Olive cultivation occupies 36,600 hectares, of which 31,560 are of the Empeltre variety, 2,200 of the Arbequina and 1,000 of the Royal, representing 95 percent of the area under this crop in the area, indicating both its economic importance and its link with the territory.
Extraction and packaging area. —The area in which the oils covered by the designation of origin are extracted and bottled consists of the municipalities that make up the production area.
D) ELEMENTS PROVING THAT THE PRODUCT ORIGINATES FROM THE AREA
All olive plantations producing olives for the designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”, as well as the extraction and packaging industries, must be located in the geographical area indicated in section C of these specifications, and must be listed in the corresponding register of the Regulatory Council.
Olive producers and the oil extraction and bottling industries, registered in the Regulatory Council’s registers, which supply olives or oils protected by the designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”, will establish a self-monitoring system to guarantee that the products do not deviate from the specifications.
The self-monitoring system shall be documented in the farm or industry logbooks, indicating the entire production or commercial process, in accordance with the model established by the Regulatory Council.
The selected inspection body, whose product certification system will be based on the requirements of standard UNE-EN 45011, General requirements for bodies carrying out product certification, will apply a control system to all operators in order to verify that the oils bearing the designation of origin comply with the requirements of the specification. When, after the control process, it is verified that the oils meet the conditions of the designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”, the Regulatory Council will issue numbered labels to the bottling companies, which they will affix to the containers, so that the product can be traced during marketing.
E) OBTAINING THE PRODUCT
Source. —The fruit intended for the extraction of oils protected by the designation of origin must be obtained from plantations listed in the Regulatory Council’s register of plantations, controlled by the Regulatory Council and provided with the corresponding certificate of conformity.
Cultivation practices. —For soil maintenance, shallow tillage will be carried out in spring and summer. Fertilisation should not exceed 1 kg N2/tree, with a treatment at the end of winter in ammoniacal form. Pruning will be light in young plantations, with some thinning of branches from the 4th year onwards to encourage light to enter the canopy and the emission of new shoots. In adult plantations, severe pruning that devitalises the tree shall be avoided, allowing the leaf/wood ratio to be maintained. Rejuvenation pruning shall be carried out to encourage new shoots to emerge and to establish new tree structures.
Collection. —It is carried out from mid-November, when there is no more green fruit on the tree, by “milking” or vibrating the branches. Olives which have fallen to the ground without the intervention of the farmer due to pest and disease attacks and olives harvested by procedures which damage the structure of the fruit are not permitted for the designation of origin. Olive mills shall schedule the harvest to avoid the accumulation of olives intended for oil extraction.
Transport of olives. —The olives are transported from the field to the extraction plants in such a way as to avoid breaking the skin of the fruit. The transporter shall provide proof of the origin of the olives at the reception point of the extracting industries.
Reception of olives. —Industries must record in their respective books the quantity of olives received, the name of the producer and the plot of origin. Separation of products: The mills will keep olives destined for the designation of origin separate from the rest of the olives. Likewise, the extraction of the oil and its storage will be carried out separately.
Oil extraction. —The oil is extracted within 48 hours of harvesting. The process will comprise the following phases:
- Washing of the olives to remove all traces of adhering dirt, leaves, wood, etc., which would lead to fermentation that would increase the degree of acidity and unpleasant flavours.
- Molienda. Consiste en romper los tejidos de la pulpa para extraer el aceite en emulsión. Las aceitunas del Bajo Aragón no precisan una molienda fina al recolectarse el fruto ya maduro.
Se podrán utilizar los siguientes tipos de molino:
- Grinding mill: Used in the traditional system. To obtain an optimal state of emulsion, 10 to 15 minutes of grinding at room temperature is required.
- Mechanical mill: Used in continuous systems. Allows for a greater rupture of the fruit cells.
- Pasta shake. It brings the oil droplets into contact to form a continuous oil phase, favoured by a temperature increase in the paste (30-35° C).
- Phase separation. After milling, a solid fraction (pomace) is obtained, which carries a certain amount of oil, and a liquid fraction (alpechín and oil) with solids in suspension. For the separation of these solid and liquid phases, two procedures shall be followed:
- Traditional. It consists of the separation of the phases by pressing, separation of solids, and decantation. Pressing shall be a discontinuous process carried out in presses with hoods. The separation of solids shall be carried out by means of vibrating screens. Decanting, which is the process of separating the oil from the alpechín by means of a battery of wells, is carried out in premises whose temperature must be around 20º C.
- Continued. In this system, the phase separation is carried out by centrifuges.
- Oil storage. The oil obtained must remain at rest for a maximum period of two days so that as many impurities as possible precipitate without adding unpleasant flavours to the oil. After resting, the oil is racked to other tanks, from which it is racked again depending on the rainfall.
- Selection and packaging. Once the oils have been obtained, the industries will submit them to physical-chemical and organoleptic analysis to check their characteristics and consequently market them with the protection of the designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” when they meet the conditions of the specifications. Packaging shall be in glass, ceramic, polyethylene (PET) or metal containers with a capacity of up to five litres.
F) LINK WITH THE GEOGRAPHICAL ENVIRONMENT
Historical link. —The varieties authorised for the production of «Aceite del Bajo Aragón» are the traditional varieties of the production area. Empeltre and Royal are considered indigenous according to existing bibliographical references, while Arbequina was introduced in the 19th century from the neighbouring Catalan region. The establishment of vines and olive trees in the Ebro valley is attributed to the Focenses, but the oldest known testimony is found in the “Ora maritima” by the 4th century Latin poet Rufus Festus Avienus, who, from a text dated 550 B.C., describes the commercial importance of Tortosa at that time, from where some sailors sailed up the Ebro to trade with the riverside inhabitants and obtain supplies of oil, wine and wheat. In the “Ora maritima” the Ebro is called “Oleum flumen”, which means river of oil. Ignacio de Asso, author in 1798 of the “Historia de la Economía Política de Aragón” makes many references to the olive tree in Bajo Aragon and, speaking for example of Zaragoza, tells how the farmers here began to plant Empeltre in the mid-18th century to the detriment of other varieties because of the better quality of their oil, and shows that the Empeltre had been known in the district of Alcañiz for more than 160 years.
The current reputation of ‘Aceite del Bajo Aragón’ began to take shape at the end of the 19th century, coinciding with the commercial boom in Tortosa, the main market for oil from this area of Aragon, where important oil companies established themselves and discovered the oil’s qualities. This allowed various commercial firms from Marseilles, Nice, Genoa, Catalonia, Levante, etc. to set up in Alcañiz in order to buy directly the oil from Bajo Aragon before it reached Tortosa and thus avoid the strong competition that was taking place there.
There is an important bibliographical reference from the beginning of the century that demonstrates the reputation of oil from Bajo Aragon at that time. This is the book “Elaboración del Aceite de Oliva” by Isidro Aguiló y Cortés dated 1918, in which we can read: “The worldwide fame enjoyed by the oils of Bajo Aragón, and especially those of Alcañiz, which lead the way in Spain, due to their quality and higher price on the market, long ago gave rise to the desire to get to know them (In the first third of the 20th century the oil of Bajo Aragón was also highly valued by gastronomes such as Teodoro Bardají, Dionisio Pérez and others.
The passing of time has given rise to an aphorism widely used outside the region that the oil from Bajo Aragón is the best in the world. This criterion is maintained by Daniel Magrané in his work ‘El aceite de oliva en España’ (Edi. Espasa Calpe-1961), which states: ‘This area can be considered as the producer of the best table oil in the world. The “fine” oils of Bajo Aragón are somewhat yellow….”. In any case, there are many references to oil from Bajo Aragón which demonstrate the consolidation of this geographical name to identify the product.
Natural link. —The olive-growing area of Bajo Aragón is located in the river valleys of the Aguasvivas, Martín, Regallo, Guadalope and Matarraña rivers, which flow from the mountainous foothills of the Sistema Ibérico, drain the area known as Bajo Aragón and flow into the Ebro. This area is therefore located in the south-eastern part of the Ebro Depression.
The land is flat or gently hilly, with an altitude ranging from 122 metres in Caspe to 325 metres in Alcañiz and 632 metres in Alcorisa. Tabular reliefs dominate, more or less dissected by river networks. The soils are limestone with formations of carbonate and gypsum horizons, typical of lacustrine sedimentation under a warm and dry Miocene climate.
Average annual rainfall ranges from 327.9 mm in Caspe to 361.1 mm in Albalate del Arzobispo and 367.9 mm in Alcañiz. The rainiest months are May and October, and seasonally, approximately 27 % of the rainfall falls in spring, 20 % in summer, 34 % in autumn and 19 % in winter.
The average annual temperature is around 14.3° C in Albalate and Alcañiz and 15° C in Caspe, which corresponds to the highest values in the centre of the Ebro valley. The average maximum temperatures are 19.9° C in Alcañiz, 20.1 in Albalate and 20.6 in Caspe, and the average minimum temperatures are 8.8, 8.5 and 9.3° C respectively. The highest average temperature corresponds to July with 24.2 in Alcañiz and 25.1 in Caspe, while the lowest is in January, ranging from 5.6° C in Alcañiz to 6.7° C in Albalate. These data indicate a high annual thermal amplitude of more than 18° C, pointing to the continentalisation of the thermal values as a consequence, mainly, of the position in the centre of the Depression.
From March to October, maximum temperatures exceeding 25°C are observed, although they occur more frequently between the months of May, when half of the days are above this temperature threshold, and October, when between 5 and 10 days reach these temperatures. During the summer months, daytime temperatures are above 25° C and the average maximum temperature exceeds 35° C (in July it is 37.2° C in Albalate and Alcañiz and 38.3° C in Caspe).
Another characteristic phenomenon of the area’s climate is the “thermal inversion”. In winter, with periods of anticyclone, cold air settles in the lower layers, forming prolonged cold fogs with maximum temperatures below 6°C, while in high places, free of fogs, maximum temperatures can reach over 15°C.
Growing conditions. The varieties grown have the following characteristics:
- Empeltre: A tree of great development when grown in good ecological conditions, with an upright growth habit and branches with a strong tendency to grow vertically. It has long internodes and produces few branches. The canopy has thick foliage and the fruits are found on the inside and are not very visible. Medium-sized fruits, elongated, asymmetrical, slightly convex on the back and flat on the opposite side. It has a long stalk and detaches easily when ripe, which favours harvesting by mechanical means. The colour is deep black when ripe.
- Royal: Vigorous tree, open growth habit, medium crown density, with not very abundant early bunches. The leaf is small lanceolate, short and narrow with a dull – glossy green colour. The inflorescence is long and lax, spiciform paniculate, with no supernumerary flowers and medium-sized flower buds. Fruits have a purplish colour when ripe, slightly asymmetrical, elongated shape.
- Arbequina: Medium-sized tree, although it varies according to the conditions in which it grows, with a rough trunk and a very greenish, globular crown. It has open, pendulous branches, with a tendency to grow leaning towards the ground, with abundant shoots and thin bark. Oval, short, asymmetrical fruits, with rounded apex, broadened base, slightly truncated and small stalk cavity. Its size is small, from 0.80 to 1.20 grams, and it has a long stalk.
The most significant cultivation techniques are as follows:
- Planting density.—The crop is grown dry-farmed and irrigated. The planting density on dry land is 60 to 100 trees per hectare for the Empeltre and Royal varieties and 80 to 150 for the Arbequina. Under irrigation, the maximum density for the Empeltre and Royal varieties is 200 trees per hectare and 1000 for the Arbequina.
- Use of irrigation.— When water is available, irrigation is carried out in the following periods: in April-May, close to flowering; in mid-July, coinciding with the endocarp hardening phase; and in August-September, during the rapid fruit growth phase.
- Soil maintenance.— In the months of April, June and September, three surface cultivations are carried out with cultivator passes. In the month of October, the soil is prepared for harvesting with a roller blade.
- Fertilisation.—The maximum annual dose of nitrogen does not exceed one kilogram per tree and the first incorporation is made at the end of winter. Phosphorus and potassium are applied in autumn.
- Phytosanitary defence.— The farmer carries out the appropriate phytosanitary treatments to prevent attacks by pests and diseases. The most frequent pests in the area are the following:- Pests: Olive fly (Bactrocera oleae gmel), Prays (Prays oleae), Olive borer (Fhloeotribus scarabeoides), Olive cochineal (Saissetia oleae), Jasmine spiral (Margaronia unionalis), Europhera pingüis.
— Cryptogamic diseases: Repilo (Cycloconium oleaginum), Negrilla (Capnodium elaeophilum): fungus that has taken up residence in the honeydew secreted by the olive mealybug.
- Pruning. —Light pruning is carried out during the formation period to avoid delays in the entry into flowering. If the tree is trained in a goblet, two or three main branches are left one metre above the ground and from the fourth year onwards, the branches are thinned out slightly to facilitate the penetration of light into the canopy. In mature plantations, the leaf/wood ratio should be maintained at the same levels as in the young period.
- Oil yield. —The maximum oil yield per hectare is 1250 kilograms per hectare on dry land and 2000 kilograms per hectare on irrigated land.
G) CONTROL STRUCTURE
Verification of compliance with the specifications in these terms and conditions is the responsibility of:
Premiumlab, S.L. , Certifying Entity for Agri-Food Products
Ctra. De la Santa Creu de Calafell, 49-B
08830 Sant Boi de Llobregat (Barcelona)
Telf. 935 635 700
- the issuing of binding reports prior to the registration of operators in the PDO registers.
- certification of operators in accordance with the provisions of the standard on “General Requirements for entities that carry out product certification” (Standard UNEEN 45011 or Standard that replaces it).
The bottling plants that have obtained the certificate of conformity from the control body selected by the Regulatory Council must use the words Denominación de Origen Protegida “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” on the labels of the packages, together with the numbered label issued by the Regulatory Council that allows the product to be traced during marketing.
Before the labels are put into circulation, they must be authorised by the Regulatory Council for the purposes listed in these specifications. Labels which for any reason are likely to cause confusion to the consumer shall not be approved. Likewise, authorisations previously granted may be cancelled when the circumstances that gave rise to the authorisation have changed, after the interested party has been heard.
I) LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS
- Law 9/2006, of 30 November 2006, on Food Quality in Aragon (“Official Gazette of Aragon” no. 142, of 13 December 2006).
- Decree 5/2009, of 13 January 2009, of the Government of Aragon, approving the Regulation on the minimum content of the specific rules for certain geographical designations of food quality and the procedure for their recognition (“Official Gazette of Aragon” no. 18, 28 January 2009).
- Order of 17 March 2009, of the Regional Minister for Agriculture and Food, approving the specific regulations for the protected designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
Annex II: Operating Regulations of the Protected Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
Article 1. Regulations governing the protected designation of origin.
1. The protected designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” (hereinafter, P.D.O.) shall be governed by the following:
- Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs;
- Law 9/2006, of 30 November, on Food Quality in Aragon);
- the specification of the PDO (hereinafter referred to as the specification);
- these operating rules (hereinafter referred to as the rules of procedure);
- the statutes of the PDO;
- the Quality and Procedure Manual, in application of EN 45011, which specifies the general criteria for certification bodies carrying out product certification.
2. Chapter II of Title II of Law 30/1992, of 26 November 1992, on the Legal Regime of the Public Administrations and Common Administrative Procedure, shall be supplementary.
Article 2. The Regulatory Council. Nature, purpose and legal status.
1. The Regulatory Council of the PDO is a public law corporation, with its own legal personality, economic autonomy and full capacity to act in order to fulfil its objectives.
2. The main purpose of the Regulatory Council is to manage the PDO through its governing bodies.
3. The operation of the Regulatory Council shall be subject, in general, to private law, with the exception of the following actions in which, as they involve the exercise of public powers, it shall be subject to the rules of administrative law and to the supervision of the Department of Agriculture and Food of the Government of Aragon:
- Approval of the statutes.
- Management of PDO registers.
- Management of operating fees, as provided for in article 13 of these regulations.
- Issuance of certificates of origin and guarantees.
- Authorisation of labels and back labels.
- Control of the use of commercial labels that may be used on protected oils, in those aspects that affect the PDO.
- Establishment for each marketing year, within the limits set by the specifications, of annual economic aspects that may influence production processes.
4. In all matters not provided for in the previous paragraph, the Regulatory Council shall be subject to private law; in particular, as regards contracting and the system of assets and personnel. In any case, it shall maintain as a basic principle that it shall operate on a non-profit basis.
5. The constitution, structure and operation of the Regulatory Council shall be governed by democratic principles and the representation of the economic and sectorial interests integrated in the PDO, with special consideration for minority interests.
6. The Regulatory Council may participate in, constitute or relate to all kinds of associations, foundations, civil or commercial companies, public law corporations, Regulatory Councils or other legal entities, establishing, where appropriate, the collaboration agreements it deems necessary.
Article 3. Sphere of competence of the Regulatory Council.
The Regulatory Council’s sphere of competence is determined:
- Territorial: by the geographical area of the PDO.
- On account of the products: for those protected by the PDO at any of the stages of production, preparation, circulation and marketing; and for those not protected by the PDO, while they remain within the holdings, oil mills, bottling plants or other companies listed in the registers defined in these regulations.
- By natural and legal persons: by those entered in the aforementioned registers.
Article 4. Aims and functions of the Regulatory Council.
The Regulatory Council’s governing bodies are responsible for the following purposes and functions, among others:
- To ensure the prestige and promotion of the PDO and, where appropriate, to denounce any improper use before the competent administrative and jurisdictional bodies.
- To manage the registers of PDO operators.
- Ensure compliance with the specifications.
- To research and disseminate knowledge and application of the PDO’s own production and marketing systems and to provide advice on these matters to operators who request it and to the Administration.
- Propose amendments to the specifications and rules of procedure.
- To inform consumers about the quality characteristics of PDO oils.
- Carry out advocacy activities.
- To draw up statistics on the production, processing and marketing of the products covered, for internal use and for dissemination and general knowledge.
- Manage mandatory fees and service fees.
- Issuing certificates of origin and guarantees.
- To authorise and control the labels of protected oils, in those aspects that affect the PDO.
- Propose the minimum control requirements to which each operator must submit at each and every stage of production, processing and marketing, as well as the minimum control requirements for the initial granting and maintenance of certification.
- Collaborate with the competent authorities, particularly in the maintenance of official public registers, as well as with supervisory bodies.
- Ensure the sustainable development of the geographical area.
- Drawing up, approving and managing its budgets.
- Other functions attributed to it by the statutes.
Article 5. Governing bodies.
The governing bodies of the Regulatory Council shall be the Plenary, the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and any other body established in the statutes.
Article 6. The Plenary.
1. The Plenary is the collegiate governing body of the Regulatory Council and represents the olive grove owners and the mills and bottling plants registered in the PDO registers.
2. The plenary session shall be composed of:
- The Chairman of the Regulatory Council.
- The Vice-Chairman of the Regulatory Council.
- The members. The members and substitutes of the members shall be elected by and from among the natural or legal persons registered in the registers of the PDO for a four-year term of office. When a legal entity is elected as a member, it shall designate a natural person to represent it at meetings of the Plenary. The number of members shall be determined by the statutes.
- Two delegates from the Department of Agriculture and Food appointed by its Adviser, with the right to speak but not to vote.
- The Secretary of the Regulatory Council, with the right to speak but not to vote.
3. The functions of the Plenary are listed below:
- To comply with and enforce compliance with these regulations and the specifications, proposing and agreeing the necessary provisions for this purpose and ordering the execution of the resolutions it adopts.
- To watch over the prestige and promotion of the PDO and to denounce any improper use before the competent administrative and jurisdictional bodies.
- Approve the statutes.
- Approve the PDO Quality and Procedure Manual, in application of the EN 45011 Standard.
- Overseeing the management of the PDO registers.
- Establish the operating fees, as provided for in article 13 of these regulations, as well as the fees for the provision of services.
- To authorise the commercial labels that may be used on protected oils, in those aspects that affect the PDO, and to control their use.
- Select the independent control entity accredited in compliance with the standard on “General requirements for entities that carry out product certification” (Standard UNE-EN 45011 or the standard that replaces it), in accordance with the provisions of article 39.2.a) of Law 9/2006.
- Establish for each campaign, on the basis of criteria for the defence and improvement of quality and within the limits set by the specifications, production or processing limits or any other aspect of the annual situation that may influence these processes.
- Other functions detailed in the bylaws and any other functions that correspond to the Regulatory Council according to the provisions in force and that do not correspond to any other governing body.
Article 7. Rules of procedure of the Plenary.
1. The Plenary shall meet when convened by its Chairman, either on his own initiative or at the request of half of its members, or when appropriate in accordance with the statutes. In any case, it shall hold an ordinary meeting at least once every three months.
2. Plenary sessions shall be convened by the Chairman four calendar days before they are held, except in cases of urgency, in which case this period shall be reduced to forty-eight hours. The notice of meeting shall be issued by any means that provides a record of its receipt by those convened, and shall contain the agenda of the meeting and state the date, place and time of the meeting.
3. When the Plenary is convened at the request of its members, the agenda shall include the items listed in the request, and the meeting shall be convened within three calendar days of receipt of the request by the Chairman.
4. At meetings, matters not on the agenda may not be discussed or agreed upon unless all members of the Plenary are present and the matter is declared urgent by a majority vote in favour.
5. For the Plenary to be validly constituted, the presence of the Chairman and the Secretary or, where appropriate, of those replacing them, as well as of the members representing at least 33% of the votes of each of the two sectors (producer and producer-bottler) is required.
6. The resolutions of the Plenary shall be adopted by a majority of the votes present or represented, except to agree on the dismissal of the Chairman, or to propose the modification of the specifications or regulations, or to terminate the selection of the independent certification body, in which cases the favourable vote of the absolute majority of members shall be required. The Chairman shall have the casting vote in the event of a tie.
7. In any case, the Plenary shall be validly constituted when all its members are present and unanimously agree to do so.
8. The Plenary may, if it deems it necessary, supplement its rules of procedure, in any case in accordance with the provisions of these rules of procedure and the statutes.
Article 8. The Chairman.
1. The Chairman of the Regulatory Council shall be elected by the Plenary by a majority vote. In order to be elected Chairman, it is not necessary to be registered in the registers of the PDO.
2. The term of office of the Chairman shall be four years. In addition to the expiry of the aforementioned term of office, its term of office shall end for the following reasons: resignation, incapacity, death and decision of the Plenary by an absolute majority of its members.
3. The functions of the Chairman shall be laid down in the statutes.
Article 9. The Vice-Chairman.
1. The Vice-Chairman shall be appointed at the same Plenary Session as the Chairman with the same qualifications and for the same term of office as the Chairman.
2. In addition to the expiry of the aforementioned term, their term of office shall end for the following reasons: resignation, incapacity, death and decision of the Plenary by an absolute majority of its members. In such cases, the Plenary shall appoint a new Vice-Chairman within one month, whose term of office shall be only for the remainder of the term of office of the previous Vice-President.
3. The Vice-Chairman shall replace the Chairman in the absence of the Chairman and in cases where the Statutes so provide.
4. The Vice-Chairman shall assume the functions delegated to him by the Chairman as well as those specifically agreed by the Plenary.
Article 10. PDO control system
1. Compliance with the specifications is the responsibility of the operator himself, voluntarily entered in the PDO registers, who shall implement a system of self-monitoring.
2. It corresponds to the independent control entity accredited in compliance with the standard on “General requirements for entities that carry out product certification” (Standard UNE-EN 45011 or standard that replaces it) selected by the Regulatory Council:
– The issuing of binding reports prior to the registration of operators in the PDO registers.
– The certification of operators in accordance with the provisions of the standard on “General Requirements for entities carrying out product certification” (Standard UNEEN 45011 or Standard that replaces it).
Article 11. Administrative infrastructure.
1. The Regulatory Council shall have the administrative staff necessary for the fulfilment of its purposes, as determined in the statutes.
2. The administrative staff shall perform their duties in the service of the governing bodies.
Article 12. Financing of the Regulatory Council.
1. For the fulfilment of its purpose, the Regulatory Council shall have the following resources:
- The fees to be paid by its members for the concepts and amounts or percentages determined in these regulations, and which are specified in the statutes.
- Charges for the provision of services by the Regulatory Council, to be paid by operators receiving such services directly.
- Such subsidies as may be provided for annually in the general budgets
- The income and proceeds of its assets.
- Donations, legacies and other assistance it may receive.
- Any other resources that it is entitled to receive.
2. The basis for calculating the fees payable by registered operators shall be determined in the statutes on the basis of:
- For holders of registered olive groves: the extent of plantings.
- For owners of registered mills and bottling companies: the volume of protected products in the production or marketing of which they are involved.
- The documentary value of the guarantee certificates delivered to each operator.
- The cost of issuing certificates and other documents, at the request of the operator.
3. Each of the registered operators shall pay to the independent control entity accredited in compliance with the standard on “General requirements for entities that carry out product certification” (Standard UNE-EN 45011 or standard that replaces it) selected by the Regulatory Council the fees corresponding to:
- pre-registration audit to determine compliance with the specifications;
- periodic audit to review compliance with the specifications;
- other services (certificates, analyses, reports).
4. In the event of non-payment, the fees may be enforced.
Article 13. Registers of the PDO.
1. The Regulatory Council shall keep at least the following registers:
- Farm register.
- Register of mills and bottling companies.
- Label registration.
2. The conditions and operation of the registers and the form of application for entry in them shall be laid down in the statutes. In any case, the registers referred to in the letters a) and b) of the previous subparagraph shall include information on the updated certification status of each operator.
Article 14. Registration.
1. The Regulatory Council shall be made up of natural or legal persons registered in the corresponding registers of the PDO.
2. No natural or legal person may be refused entry in the registers, and consequent use of the PDO, if they so request and meet the general requirements laid down in the PDO regulations, without prejudice to the provisions of the following paragraphs.
3. Registered operators shall be removed from the relevant register for any of the following reasons:
- definitive suspension of the right to use the name in accordance with Article 60.2 of Law 9/2006;
- administrative sanction as provided for in article 61.3 of Law 9/2006.
4. In the two cases referred to in the previous paragraph, the limitation periods provided for in Law 9/2006 shall apply.
Article 15. Rights of registrants.
1. Only natural or legal persons entered in the PDO registers may produce, process and bottle, as appropriate, products protected under the PDO.
2. The PDO and the logos referring to it may only be used on oils from mills registered in the PDO registers which have been produced in accordance with the rules laid down in the PDO regulations.
3. Registered operators may not use the PDO in advertising, publicity, documentation or labelling in the following cases:
- who have requested, voluntarily and for a specified period of time, the suspension of certification;
- the inspection body has temporarily withdrawn their certification, in accordance with Article 60 of Law 9/2006;
- they have been imposed the administrative sanction of temporary suspension of the use of the name in accordance with the provisions of Article 61.2 of Law 9/2006.
4. Registered members have the right to participate in the electoral processes of the Regulatory Council as electors of their representatives in the Plenary, as well as to be candidates for membership of this body, in accordance with the electoral system provided for in the statutes.
5. Operators with plots of land entered in the register of holdings may produce olives entitled to the PDO and olives not entitled to it, provided that they comply with the conditions laid down by the Plenary.
6. Provided that the necessary separation between them is established, mills registered in the PDO register are authorised to produce, store and handle oils entitled to the PDO together with olive oils not covered by another differentiated quality designation.
Likewise, under the same conditions, mills registered in the PDO register are authorised to produce, store and handle PDO oils together with oils protected by other PDOs, provided that the requirements of each of these PDOs are met.
7. The Plenary may authorise the production of products other than those provided for in the specifications to operators who so request, provided that it can be demonstrated that there is no confusion with those covered by the PDO.
8. In order to exercise any rights to which they may be entitled as members of the Regulatory Council, or to benefit from the services provided by the Regulatory Council, registrants must sign a contract with a certification body selected by the Council, be up to date with the payment of their financial obligations, and keep their registrations up to date.
Article 16. General obligations of registrants.
By registering in the corresponding registers, registered natural or legal persons are obliged to comply with the provisions of the specifications, these regulations and the statutes, as well as with the agreements issued by the Regulatory Council within the scope of its powers, and to pay the corresponding fees and tariffs.
Article 17. Designation, name and presentation of the oils covered.
1. Irrespective of the type of packaging in which they are dispatched, oils for consumption shall bear numbered guarantee marks, issued or approved by the Regulatory Council, which shall be affixed to the bottle or container itself when the oils covered are labelled in the same producer-bottling undertaking in accordance with the rules laid down by the Regulatory Council and always in such a way as to preclude any second use.
2. The Plenary of the Regulatory Council may establish other guarantee label systems.
3. Before the labels are put into circulation, they must be authorised in accordance with the procedure laid down in the statutes, which shall include the binding report of the certification body as regards the use of the PDO indication.
4. On the labels of bottled or packaged oils, in addition to the compulsory and optional indications laid down in the labelling rules, the name of the PDO shall appear prominently alongside the brand name.
5. Guarantee marks shall bear the official logo of the Regulatory Council and the name of the approved certifying body.
6. Signatures registered in the register of mills may use, in addition to the name or company name, the trade names whose ownership is registered in their favour at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, provided that they notify the Regulatory Council together with the documents accrediting such registration and expressly state that they are responsible for all matters relating to the use of such names on oils protected by the PDO.
7. Products in the preparation of which “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” PDO is used as a raw material may refer to this designation, without the Community symbol, on the labelling of their products, provided that:
- “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” certified as PDO constitutes the exclusive component of the corresponding product category; and
- the processors concerned are approved by the Regulatory Council in the manner laid down in the Quality and Process Manual.
8. The Plenary, following the appropriate procedure and with a report from the certification body, may revoke an authorisation granted in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article when the circumstances of the owner of the labels or of the natural or legal person listed in the PDO registers as the producer/processor change.
Annex III: Provisional Statutes of the Protected Designation of Origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón”.
Article 1. Definition and purpose.
1. The purpose of the statutes of the protected designation of origin “Aceite del Bajo Aragón” (hereinafter PDO) is to complement the specific complementary regulations of the PDO, consisting of the PDO specifications and the PDO operating regulations, to which, in any case, they must conform.
2. The approval and modification of the statutes shall be the responsibility of the Plenary of the Regulatory Council by an absolute majority of its members.
3. The resolutions of the Plenary regarding the approval or modification of the statutes may be appealed before the Department of Agriculture and Food of the Government of Aragon.
Article 2. Governing bodies of the Regulatory Council.
In addition to the governing bodies listed in the operating regulations, the Regulatory Council (hereinafter referred to as the R.C.) may have a Standing Committee.
Article 3. Full members of the Plenary.
1. The Plenary of the R.C. shall have 10 members, appointed as follows:
- three members representing the producer sector, elected by and from among the holders of plots of land entered in the register of holdings;
- seven members representing the processing and bottling sector, elected by and from among the owners of mills and bottling plants listed in the PDO register.
2. The legal entities elected as members of the R.C. shall designate a natural person as their usual representative at the meetings of the Plenary, which they shall inform the Chairman and the Secretary of the Plenary for the purpose of receiving communications from the Plenary. When a representative appointed by a legal person is revoked by that legal person, he/she shall cease to hold office even if he/she remains linked to the sector either individually or through his/her relationship with another legal person registered in the registers of the PDO other than the one that appointed him/her. In such a case, the elected legal person shall appoint a new usual representative.
3. The members shall be renewed every four years and may be re-elected.
4. Any member who, during the period of his/her term of office, is sanctioned for a very serious infringement in the matters regulated by Law 9/2006 of 30 November, on Agri-Food Quality in Aragon, either personally or by the firm he/she represents, shall be removed from the board. It shall also cease to exist when it loses its links with the sector or society it represents, or when it ceases to be registered in the PDO register for which it was elected.
Article 4. Substitute members of the Plenary.
1. For each of the full members, an alternate member shall be elected in the same way, who must meet the same requirements as the corresponding full member.
2. In the event of absence due to illness or other justified cause, the full members of the Plenary shall be replaced by their alternates.
3. The substitute member shall become a full member in the event of vacancy due to resignation, dismissal or other cause. If no substitute has been appointed or does not exist, or does not belong at that time to the corresponding census, the next most voted candidate belonging to the same census as the member to be replaced shall replace him/her.
Article 5. Rights of the members of the Plenary.
1. All members of the Plenary shall have the following rights:
- Receive, at least four days in advance, the notice of meeting containing the agenda of the meetings. Information on the items on the agenda shall be made available to the members of the Plenary for the same period and they may request copies of the reports and documentation relating to the items on the agenda.
- Participate in the debates of the sessions.
- Formulate requests and questions.
- Other functions that are inherent to his or her condition, being able to obtain precise information in order to fulfil them.
2. The Chairman and the members who have the right to vote shall exercise their right to vote and, where appropriate, to cast their individual votes, in which they shall express the sense of their vote and the reasons justifying it.
3. Non-voting members of the Plenary may record their views in the minutes of its meetings.
Article 6. Functions of the Plenary.
1. In addition to the functions attributed to it by the Rules of Procedure, the Plenary shall have the following functions:
- To approve the budget for each financial year, the report on activities and the budget settlement for the previous financial year, and to agree to forward them to the Department of Agriculture and Food.
- Determine the funding resources of the R.C.
- To establish the general guidelines for the financial management to be carried out by the Secretary and, where appropriate, to ratify it.
- To authorise expenditure in excess of 2% of the annual budget.
- To approve the disposal of assets and the conclusion of credit operations.
- Approve the annual action and management plans of the R.C.
- Propose amendments to the specifications and operating regulations of the D.O.P.
- Proposing the PDO logo to the Department of Agriculture and Food.
- Approve the minimum self-monitoring requirements to be applied by each registered operator at each stage of production, processing and marketing.
- Approve the guidelines on the organisation of the services of the R.C.
- Approve the staffing tables and the bases for their recruitment.
- Appointing and dismissing the Secretary of the R.C.
- Approve collaboration and cooperation agreements with public administrations and with any other entity.
- Approve the reports to be sent to the public administrations on matters within its competence.
- Approve agreements on the exercise of actions and the lodging of appeals before any jurisdiction. In particular, the contentious-administrative appeal against the acts issued by the Department of Agriculture and Food in application of the specific regulations of the PDO.
- To approve resolutions relating to the creation or suppression of associations, foundations and civil or commercial companies by the R.C., or its participation in them.
- Approve the appointment of representatives in other entities.
- Any other functions of the R.C. that do not correspond or have not been specifically attributed to other bodies.
2. All the functions in the preceding paragraphs may be delegated to such person or office as the Plenary may determine.
3. The agreements, resolutions and decisions of the Regulatory Council that affect a number of registered operators shall be publicised in such a way as to ensure that they are known to them and, where appropriate, shall be forwarded to the legally constituted organisations of the sector.
Article 7. Commissions.
The Plenary may agree to the creation of such advisory and working committees as it deems appropriate.
Article 8. The Chairman.
1. The functions of the Chairman shall be:
- Representing the R.C.
- To agree on the convening of ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the Plenary, and to set the agenda, which shall include the requests of the other members made sufficiently in advance.
- Presiding over plenary sessions, moderating the debates and suspending them for justified reasons.
- To resolve ties for the purpose of adopting resolutions by means of its vote.
- To endorse the minutes and resolutions of the Plenary.
- To decide on the registration or deregistration of operators in the PDO registers, with a prior binding report from the certification body.
- To convene the election procedure of the Plenary.
- To hire, renew or suspend R.C. staff with the prior approval of the Plenary.
- To forward to the Department of Agriculture and Food the resolutions of the Plenary that should be known to it, as well as those which, due to their importance, it considers should be known to the Administration.
- Exercise all other functions inherent in his capacity as Chairman of the R.C.
2. In the event of absence, abstention or objection, the Chairman shall be replaced by the Vice-Chairman or, in his absence, by the oldest member. In the event of vacancy due to death, resignation, incapacity or decision of the Plenary, the Chairman shall be replaced by the Vice-Chairman or, failing this, by the oldest member, until the appointment of the Chairman. The term of office of whoever replaces the Chairman, if any, shall be only for the remainder of the Chairman’s term of office.
3. The meetings for the constitution of the Plenary of the R.C., and those for the election of the Chairman, shall be presided over by an Elderly Board, composed of the oldest member and the two youngest members, so that the producer and producer/bottler sectors are represented, and the Secretary of the R.C. shall also attend.
Article 9. The Secretary of the PDO.
1. The R.C. shall have a Secretary, appointed by the Plenary, to whom he or she shall report directly.
2. The Secretary shall be responsible for the following functions:
- To attend meetings of the Plenary with the right to speak but not to vote, unless at the same time he/she is a full member of the Plenary.
- To call meetings by order of its Chairman, as well as to issue summonses to its members.
- To receive the acts of communication of the members of the management body, notifications, requests for data, rectifications or any other type of written documents of which it must be informed.
- To prepare the dispatch of business, draw up and authorise the minutes of meetings and process the execution of agreements, as well as the functions entrusted to it by the Plenary or the Chairman, related to the preparation and implementation of matters within the competence of the Plenary.
- To issue certifications of the consultations, opinions and resolutions adopted and any other functions inherent to his or her status as Secretary.
- To organise the services provided by the R.C., in accordance with the guidelines established for this purpose by the Plenary.
- To direct and coordinate all the personnel at the service of the governing bodies of the R.C. and to supervise the correct functioning of all its areas of action.
- Keep for a period of six years the files, documentation and data of the inspections carried out and certifications issued, for possible consultation by the Administration.
- To carry out the evaluation and monitoring of the R.C.’s own tasks entrusted to bodies outside the Council, where appropriate.
- To carry out the financial management of the R.C. within the framework of the guidelines established by the Plenary, and to prepare the draft annual operating and financial management report, as well as the draft budget for approval by the Plenary.
- To ensure that the specific regulations of the denomination are correctly complied with.
- To inform the Plenary of any incidents that occur in the production, preparation, processing, commercialisation and market of the products covered.
- Ensure the collaboration of the R.C. services with the Department of Agriculture and Food.
- To report to the Plenary on applications for registration or extension of registration in the registers of the PDO.
- To inform the Plenary on the advisability of requesting the initiation of disciplinary proceedings.
- To inform the Plenary about possible non-compliance with authorised labels.
- Handling matters relating to the internal administrative and personnel regime of the organisation, coordinating human resources in strictly labour-related aspects.
- Issue the certificates of origin referred to in Article 35.2.k of Law 9/2006.
- All others that may be entrusted to it by agreement of the Plenary or at the request of the Department of Agriculture and Food.
3. In addition to the functions set out in the previous section, the Secretary may perform such functions as may be delegated to him/her in advance by the Plenary or the Chairman.
4. The Secretary may request the advice of independent specialists of recognised prestige when he/she deems it appropriate for the purpose of issuing his/her reports.
5. If for any reason the Secretary General becomes vacant, a new appointment shall be made within 15 days.
Article 10. Certification body.
In accordance with the principles of publicity and competition that govern the contracting of Public Administrations, the Plenary will select the independent control entity accredited in compliance with the standard on “General requirements for entities that carry out product certification” (Standard UNE-EN 45011 or the standard that replaces it), which will be responsible for this:
— The issuing of binding reports prior to the registration of operators in the PDO registers.
— The certification of operators in accordance with the provisions of the standard on “General Requirements for entities carrying out product certification” (Standard UNEEN 45011 or Standard that replaces it).
Article 11. Services of the Regulatory Council.
1. The Services of the Regulatory Council are structured in the areas of inspection and general affairs, under the direction and coordination of the Secretary.
2. The inspection area will be staffed by technical officers specialising in olive growing and will ensure compliance with the specifications.
3. The area of general affairs, reporting to the Secretary of the RC, shall assume all matters related to human and material resources, economic management, promotional activities and administration, the secretariat of the RC, as well as any other matter of a general nature not attributed to other areas, and shall have personnel responsible for each of them.
Article 12. R.C. Staff
1. The R.C. shall hire the personnel necessary for the fulfilment of its purpose, who in no case shall be considered as personnel in the service of the public administrations, on an employment basis.
2. The recruitment of personnel shall be carried out in accordance with the staffing plans approved by the Plenary and provided that the corresponding entry has been made in the budget, by means of a call for applications that guarantees sufficient publicity, in which the requirements for participation of the applicants and the merits to be assessed, which shall be established by the Plenary, shall be stated.
3. The Council may engage such staff as may be required on a temporary basis for special or specific tasks, provided that the necessary budgetary provision is made for this purpose.
Article 13. Organisation of the PDO registers and entry in them.
1. Each register is organised using the following instruments:
- Book of entries, on paper or in computerised form, showing the name and surname or business name of the holder of the holding or business, the address and the activity;
- Archive where the documents submitted will be deposited.
2. Food operators carrying out more than one stage in the production, processing, bottling and marketing of the oils covered shall be entered in each of the registers concerned.
3. Applications for registration shall be addressed to the R.C., on the forms provided by the R.C., accompanied by the particulars, documents and supporting documents required in each case by the provisions and regulations in force or as provided by the R.C.
4. If the documentation provided is incomplete or does not contain all the necessary information, the interested party shall be requested to rectify the lack or attach the corresponding document within a period of ten days, which may be extended up to a maximum of fifteen days at the request of the interested party, with the warning that, if this is not done, the application shall be filed, subject to an express decision.
5. The R.C., following a report from the certification body, shall approve or refuse and revoke registrations that do not comply with the specifications, the operating regulations, these statutes or the resolutions adopted by the R.C. for this purpose.
6. Entry in the PDO registers does not exempt interested parties from the obligation to register previously in the other generally established registers, whose updated certification must in any case accompany the application for registration.
7. Entry in the registers shall be revoked ex officio by agreement of the Plenary in cases of administrative sanction imposed by the competent body of the Department of Agriculture and Food which entails the temporary or definitive loss of the use of the PDO.
8. Declarations contained in the registers may only be made available and published in general terms, without individual references, where they are protected by data protection legislation.
Article 14. Farm register.
1. All plots located in the production area whose olives may be used for the production of protected oils and which meet the conditions for planting may be entered in the register of holdings.
2. The registration shall include at least: the name of the owner and, where applicable, that of the sharecropper, lessee, census holder or any other holder of a useful domain; the name of the municipal district, polygon and plot, variety or varieties of olive tree, as well as the existence of irrigation facilities.
Article 15. Register of mills and bottling companies.
1. All mills and bottling plants located in the geographical area where oils eligible for the PDO are to be produced, stored and bottled shall be entered in the register of mills and bottling plants.
2. The registration shall include, as a minimum: the name of the owner company, locality and location area, C.I.F., representative, certificate of registration in the Register of Agricultural and Food Industries, and any other information necessary for the perfect identification and catalogue of the company.
Article 16. Label registration.
1. The R.C. will keep a Register of labels, in which labels presented by registered firms for use in the marketing of oils covered by this PDO will be registered and authorised.
2. The entry shall contain at least the name of the owner of the brand name appearing on the label and, where appropriate, the name of the licensee or any other owner who must be registered in any of the registers of the Regulatory Council.
Article 17. Validity of registrations.
1. In order for entries in the corresponding registers to remain valid, it shall be essential to comply at all times with the requirements imposed by the PDO regulations, and it shall be the obligation of those registered to notify the R.C. of any variation affecting the data provided in the entry when this occurs.
2. The Regulatory Council shall carry out periodic inspections to verify the effectiveness of
of the provisions of this Article.3. The records shall be kept permanently up to date. The updating function shall be under the control of the R.C. Secretary.
4. Any modification affecting the activities of operators and the products covered may lead to the establishment and/or modification of these special conditions and the issuing of a new decision updating the conditions of registration or renewal.
Article 18. Qualification, monitoring and disqualification of oils.
1. In order to be entitled to use the PDO name, oils produced in the production/geographical area must undergo and pass a qualification process.
2. The processor, in the light of the reports of the tasting carried out in accordance with the provisions of the self-monitoring programme in relation to compliance with the specifications, and the results of the physico-chemical control of the samples, shall qualify, place or not qualify his oils.
3. Oils which have passed the qualification stage, and therefore have the right to use the PDO, must maintain their characteristic organoleptic qualities, taking into account those derived from their correct and natural evolution, especially in terms of colour, aroma and flavour.
4. The producers will continue to carry out the pertinent controls and, in the case of finding any alteration in these characteristics to the detriment of the quality, will initiate actions to contrast the defects and decide their disqualification. The operating procedure for this case will be similar to that established for the initial qualification of the oil.
Article 19. R.C. financing.
1. The operating regulations establish the concepts and bases by which the R.C. may establish its dues based on the services it provides to the enrollees.
2. For the fulfillment of its purposes the R.C. shall have the following resources:
- An annual registration and renewal fee, which will be applicable to all those registered in the different registries. The amount and form of payment will be decided by agreement of the Plenary.
- Fees for the provision of management services. The amount and form of payment will be decided by agreement of the Plenary.
- Subsidies that may be established annually in the general budgets of public administrations.
- Income and proceeds from the R.C.’s assets.
- Donations, legacies and other assistance that the R.C. may receive.
- Any other resources to be received.
3. For the purposes of the application of the preceding paragraphs, the Plenary may establish adaptations or exceptions for certain categories of registered olive groves and mills.
Article 20. Budget, annual performance report and inventory.
1. The Secretary of the R.C. shall prepare annually the draft budget for the following year, and shall submit it to the Plenary for approval within the first quarter of each year.
2. The Secretary shall prepare annually the annual performance report and the budget settlement corresponding to the previous year, which shall be submitted to the Plenary for approval within the first quarter of each year.
Article 21. Accounting system.
1. The R.C. shall keep an accounting plan, and the provisions of the financial and budgetary regulations of the Administration of the Autonomous Community of Aragon shall apply to it, with its own peculiarities. The chart of accounts shall reflect the movement of income and expenses separately, as well as all those modifications that occur in the net worth situation. The corresponding balance sheet shall be drawn up annually, reflecting the assets, economic and financial situation.
2. The Government of Aragon, through the General Intervention of the Autonomous Community, may exercise the necessary financial control over the expenses incurred by the R.C. for the development of its functions.
CHAPTER II. Appointment, renewal, revocation and removal of the members of the governing bodies.
Article 22. Call for elections.
1. In the three months prior to the end of the term of office of the members, the R.C. shall publish the call for elections.
2. The call shall state: the calendar to which the electoral process shall conform; the rules applicable to the same, in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws and with the resolutions adopted by the governing bodies of the R.C. within their competencies; the representation by sectors; and the number of members corresponding to each specific census to be elected.
3. The R.C. shall publicize the call by displaying it at its headquarters, as well as in such places and by such means as it deems most appropriate to achieve maximum dissemination within its sectorial and territorial scope.
Article 23. Electoral board.
1. The Electoral Board is the supreme supervisory body of the electoral process, and shall be constituted within four days after the convocation.
2. The Electoral Board has its seat at the R.C. headquarters, and shall be composed of:
- Chairman: A representative of the Department of Agriculture and Food.
- Members: One representing each sub-sector of the Council’s operators, proposed by the members of the Plenary to be renewed.
- Secretary, who shall be a R.C. employee.
- A legal advisor with a law degree to advise on all matters related to the electoral process, appeals, resolutions, etc.
3. No member or alternate member of the Election Board may stand for election as a member of the Election Board.
4. The composition of the Electoral Board shall be determined by resolution of the Director General for Agri-Food Development, and shall be set forth in the notice of the meeting.
5. The composition of the Board may be appealed within two days of the date of publication of the notice of meeting to the Director General for Agri-Food Development, who shall decide within two days.
6. The Secretary of the Election Board shall keep minutes of all its meetings and shall deliver a copy to the members of the Board after their approval. Likewise, it shall record the final results of the elections.
Article 24. Functions of the Electoral Board.
The Electoral Board shall have the following functions:
- Guarantee the transparency and objectivity of the electoral process.
- To oversee compliance by the R.C. with the functions entrusted to him/her in relation to the electoral process, and to provide him/her with the support he/she may require in the exercise thereof.
- To issue mandatory instructions to the organs of the R.C. in relation to the electoral process, and to supervise the same.
- To resolve, in a binding manner, the queries submitted to it by the R.C. bodies.
- To revoke, ex officio or at the request of a party, the decisions of the organs of the R.C. related to the electoral process.
- To resolve complaints and claims addressed to it in relation to the electoral process, provided that they do not fall within the competence of the R.C. Plenary.
- To resolve the appeals filed against the resolutions and decisions of the R.C. bodies related to the electoral process, in accordance with the deadlines established in the electoral calendar.
- Correct infractions that occur in the electoral process, provided that they do not constitute a crime.
- Approve the final census.
- To resolve any queries submitted to it by voters, candidacies and polling station members or, as the case may be, other electoral bodies.
- To receive and proclaim the candidates.
- Approve an official model of ballots and electoral envelopes, which shall be prepared by the R.C..
- Conduct voting surveillance.
- To carry out the final tally of the votes.
- To carry out the proclamation of those elected.
- To perform any other function and competence related to the electoral process not attributed to the governing bodies of the R.C. or to the polling stations or, as the case may be, to other electoral bodies.
Article 25. Preparation of the electoral roll.
The electoral rolls to be prepared by the R.C., with the information received, shall be as follows:
- Census A. Producers registered in the Register of P.D.O. holdings.
- Census B: Oil mills and bottling plants registered in the PDO registry.
Article 26. Conditions to be included in the census.
1. The Secretary of the R.C. shall draw up the specific provisional lists of the different registers, with the name and surname of the owner or the name of the entity, address, DNI or NIF of those listed, arranged by town council and in alphabetical order. In the case of legal entities, the data of the legal representative shall also be included.
2. For the purposes of closing the electoral roll, the operators who have been registered up to the date of the agreement of the R.C. to call elections, and those who are included as a result of the resolution of the claims provided for in the following article, shall be considered as electors and eligible.
Article 27. Publicity of the electoral roll.
1. When the electoral process is open and within the deadlines established in the call for elections, the specific lists shall be exhibited to the public at the headquarters of the R.C. or other places deemed appropriate. The censuses shall be signed by the Secretary of the R.C. and countersigned by the Chairman.
2. Appeals on the inclusion or exclusion of those included in the census may be filed from the time the census is made available to the public until the end of the period established in the call for applications.
3. It is the responsibility of the Electoral Board to resolve the appeals referred to in the preceding paragraph, within the time limits determined in the call.
4. Once the above period has elapsed and once the appeals presented have been resolved, the Electoral Board shall approve the definitive lists and shall proceed to exhibit them in the same places as in the case of the provisional lists.
Article 28. Right to vote. Electors.
1. Voters are those operators who, on the date of the convocation of the elections, are entitled to be included in the electoral roll. In the case of legal entities, the natural person designated by its governing body as its legal representative shall be considered a voter and must prove his or her status by means of a power of attorney or any other legally admissible means of proof.
2. Each voter is entitled to only one vote for each census in which he is registered.
3. In the event that the same holder is registered in more than one electoral roll, he/she may be a voter in each of them.
Article 29. Right to passive suffrage. Eligible.
1. Operators who meet the requirements to be electors and are not subject to the causes of ineligibility provided for in the general electoral system regulations and in the specific regulations of the D.O.P. shall be eligible for election as members of the Plenary.
2. In the case of registered legal entities, the candidate for member shall be the legal entity itself, which, if elected, shall be represented in the Plenary by the natural person designated by its governing body by means of a power of attorney or any other legally admissible means of proof.
Article 30. Candidates.
1. On the twentieth day following the date of the call for elections, the Electoral Board shall open a period of ten calendar days for the presentation of candidatures.
2. The candidacies for each specific census are individual for the purposes of voting and scrutiny, although they may be grouped into lists for the purposes of presentation and electoral campaign. Each candidate shall present his/her candidacy with his/her alternate, endorsed by a minimum of two signatures from among those registered in the corresponding specific census.
3. Candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Be duly registered in the corresponding specific census.
- To stand for the specific census that corresponds to them, and no eligible person may stand as a candidate for Plenary Member for a specific census different from the one in which he/she is registered.
- To state precisely and unequivocally their name and surname(s) and DNI, or company name and CIF, as well as the address and other means of contact for the purpose of notifications.
4. Nominations shall be submitted signed by the candidates and their alternates to the Secretary of the Election Board.
5. Once the time limit established in paragraph 1 of this Article has expired, the Electoral Board shall communicate to the candidates, within a period of three days, all anomalies, errors or defects susceptible of correction that may have been observed, so that they may be rectified in a timely manner. Once this period has elapsed, it shall proclaim the candidates who have been accepted, publishing the corresponding Notice. In the event that only one single candidacy has been proclaimed, the act of voting for the specific census in question shall not be carried out.
6. Once the candidates have been proclaimed, a new period of two days from the publication of the Notice indicated in paragraph 5 shall be opened to appeal against the proclamation of candidatures. The appeal shall be submitted to the Electoral Board, which shall resolve it within a maximum of two days.
Article 31. Electoral system.
1. The applicable electoral system shall be of a direct proportional nature, with all candidacies being considered without it being necessary to meet a minimum percentage of valid votes cast.
2. Candidates who are not elected in accordance with the number of votes obtained shall be considered reserves, and may be proclaimed members in substitution of those who withdraw, in accordance with the provisions of the applicable general regulations, or of their alternates in the event that they have been appointed.
Article 32. Election campaign.
1. The electoral campaign shall commence on the day indicated in the notice of meeting and shall end at zero hours on the day immediately preceding the day of voting, and from that moment on, no propaganda of any kind in favor of any candidacy may be carried out.
2. The Electoral Board shall determine the forms and requirements to be met by the promotional acts to be carried out during the electoral campaign, the duration of which may not exceed ten calendar days.
3. The R.C. may carry out during the electoral period a campaign of an institutional nature aimed at promoting voting, as well as informing voters about the voting date, the procedure for voting and the requirements, without in any case influencing the orientation of the vote.
Article 33. Vote by mail.
1. Voters may request the Electoral Board to cast their vote by mail by complying with the following requirements:
- The voter shall request in writing to the Board of Elections, during the twenty-five days following the date of publication of the notice of elections, to exercise his right to vote by mail.
- The application must be presented in person at the secretary’s office of the Electoral Board, who shall require the applicant to show his/her National Identity Card. In the case of registered legal entities, the application shall be made by their legal representative, who shall personally accredit his representation before said secretariat.
- In the event of duly justified illness or incapacity that prevents the personal formulation of the request, the request may be made by a person duly authorized by the voter, accrediting his identity and representation by means of a document authenticated before a notary public.
2. Once the application has been received, the Election Board shall verify the registration, and shall make the pertinent entry in the census, so that on the day of the elections the vote is not cast in person, and shall issue the corresponding certificate of registration.
3. The Electoral Board shall send the ballot papers and the electoral envelope to the voter at the address indicated by the voter in the application or, if not, at the address indicated in the census, together with the certificate mentioned in the previous paragraph, as well as an envelope addressed to the secretariat of the Electoral Board and containing the identification of the polling station corresponding to the voter.
4. Once the voter has chosen or filled in the ballot paper, he/she shall place it in the voting envelope and seal it. In turn, this envelope, together with the certificate referred to in paragraph 2, shall be placed in the envelope addressed to the secretariat of the electoral board, to which it shall be sent by registered mail no later than five days prior to the voting. The secretariat of the Election Board shall keep all correspondence intended for the polling stations until voting day.
5. The Election Board shall deliver the envelopes to the Chairman of the corresponding polling station on the day of voting, sufficiently in advance to record the vote in the voting record.
Article 34. Polling stations.
1. The polling stations shall be composed of a Chairman and two members, chosen by the R.C. by lot from among the electors. Likewise, two alternates shall be appointed for each of them.
2. The offices of Chairman and member of the polling stations are mandatory. Once the appointment has been made, it shall be notified to the interested parties, who may present to the R.C. a justified and documented cause that prevents them from accepting the position. The Plenary shall decide on such allegation without further appeal. The time limits for pleadings and for the resolution shall be determined in the timetable set forth in the notice of the elections. The unjustified absence of any of the members of the polling stations may result in the suspension for up to two years of the rights corresponding to him/her as a member of the IGP.
3. The number and __cpLocation of the polling stations shall be determined by the Plenary, in order to facilitate the exercise of suffrage by the electorate, as well as to guarantee the right to the secrecy of the vote, without prejudice to the consideration of the budgetary availabilities of the R.C.
4. A ballot box shall be installed at each polling station for each of the specific existing lists, unless the Plenary, due to the small number of voters of a specific list at a given polling station, and in order to guarantee the secrecy of the vote, determines the grouping of said specific lists in a main polling station.
Article 35. Auditors.
1. The candidacies contesting the elections may appoint one voting officer for each polling station, up to the third day prior to the day of the vote. Their designation shall be formalized before the Electoral Board by means of the issuance of the corresponding credential.
2. In order to be appointed voting officer, it shall be necessary to be registered in the electoral roll of the corresponding polling station, exercising the right to vote therein.
3. The intervenor may attend the polling station, joining at the time of its constitution, and participate in its deliberations, with voice but without vote, and exercise the other rights provided for in the general electoral legislation.
Article 36. Proxies.
1. The candidacies contesting the elections may appoint any citizen, of legal age and in full exercise of his civil and political rights, to represent the corresponding candidacy for all electoral purposes.
2. Said proxy shall be formalized up to three days prior to the date of the elections before the secretariat of the Electoral Board, which shall issue the corresponding credential.
3. The proxies shall be obliged to show their credentials and their ID to the members of the polling stations, as an indispensable requirement to be able to exercise the rights provided for in the general electoral legislation.
Article 37. Voting.
1. The electors of each census or subcensus may vote for the maximum number of members of the census or subcensus.
2. Voting shall take place at the polling stations constituted in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws. In no case shall proxy voting be admitted.
3. Voting will take place over the course of a single day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
4. Polling stations shall be constituted at 9:00 a.m. Once the voting period has opened, the voters shall go to the polling place corresponding to them and, after duly identifying themselves, shall deliver to the Chairman of the polling place the envelope in which they have previously placed the ballot. The Chairman will then place the envelope in the ballot box.
Article 38. Scrutiny.
1. The counting of the votes shall be carried out on the same day of the ballot by the following procedure:
- Once the voting period has ended, the ballot box shall be opened and the voting envelopes shall be removed and, once opened, the contents shall be read aloud, the ballot paper shall be shown to the voting officers and the vote corresponding to each candidate shall be recorded.
- Once the reading of all the ballots has been completed and the count has been carried out, the secretary of the voting table shall draw up minutes of the count and of the result obtained in the two specific censuses, and shall record the number of votes obtained by each candidate, the invalid votes and the blank votes, as well as all the incidents that occurred during the voting and those that the interveners may wish to record.
- The minutes shall be signed by all the members of the table and also by the interveners, who shall be given a certified copy.
- The minutes of the vote count shall be placed in an envelope, together with the minutes of the constitution of the polling station, which shall be signed by the members of the polling station in such a way that the signatures cross on the part of the envelope where they shall later be opened, and shall be sent to the Electoral Board so that it may proceed to the definitive count of the votes cast.
- Once the Electoral Board has received the minutes of the polling stations constituted, it shall proceed to the final count and shall proclaim the candidates who have obtained the highest number of votes in each specific census.
2. In the event of a tie between two or more candidates, the Election Board shall decide by drawing lots which candidate shall be proclaimed.
3. The envelopes in which there is no ballot paper or in which there is a ballot paper without indicating any candidate shall be counted as blank votes.
4. Votes shall be considered valid:
- Those corresponding to envelopes containing two or more ballots in which the same candidates of the same sector are voted. For the purpose of counting, it shall be counted as a single vote.
- Those corresponding to envelopes in which one or more of the names on the list are marked with a cross, encircled, underlined or where there is any inscription or statement that is not offensive or offensive, provided that the additions do not prevent any of the names of the candidates from being read.
5. Void votes shall be considered null and void:
- Those corresponding to envelopes where names have been scratched or erased, or where there are offensive or insulting inscriptions.
- Those corresponding to envelopes in which two or more ballots have been inserted where different candidates or candidates of different specific censuses have been voted.
- Those issued on ballots that do not correspond to the model approved by the Electoral Board.
Article 39. Proclamation of elected members.
1. On the date determined in the call for elections, the Electoral Board shall proclaim through its Chairman, in accordance with the election results, the elected members of the Plenary, publishing the corresponding Notice.
2. The secretariat of the Electoral Board shall send to the elected members the appropriate credentials signed by its secretary, with the approval of the Chairman.
Article 40. Appeal against the proclamation of electors.
1. An appeal may be lodged with the Electoral Board within three days following the act of proclamation of the electors, which shall decide within three days, communicating its decision to the appellant and to the interested third parties.
2. Proclaimed and non-proclaimed candidates are entitled to file this appeal.
Article 41. Appointments.
1. Within twenty days of the vote, the Plenary shall meet, presided over by the Presiding Officers, and the previous members shall cease to hold office and the new members shall take office. The Plenary shall then elect the Chairman and Vice-Chairman in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Procedure and the Bylaws. In the event that there is no agreement, the Presiding Board shall call a new meeting of the Plenary to be held within 48 hours at the same place and time, and with the only item on the agenda being the appointment of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman.
If there is no agreement, and in order to ensure continuity in the management of the Control Board, all the members may agree that the Minister of Agriculture and Food may appoint a provisional Governing Board until agreement is reached. If agreement among all the members is not reached within two months, new elections shall be called at a later date.
3. The sessions of the Plenary to appoint the Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall be conducted by a Presiding Board, consisting of a Chairman and a Secretary, with the oldest member acting as Chairman and the youngest member as Secretary.
Article 42. Communications and publications.
1. The publications and notices to be made by the R.C. and the Electoral Board during the electoral process shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Article 23.3.
2. The communications and notifications to be made in the electoral process may be made by telematic means, provided that the authenticity of their dispatch and receipt is guaranteed in the judgment of the Electoral Board.
Article 43. Computation of deadlines.
The time periods expressed in days for the electoral process shall be counted in calendar days, unless the precept or calendar establishes otherwise.
Article 44. Supplementary regulations of the electoral process.
Any doubts arising in the application and interpretation of the operating regulations or these by-laws, with regard to the electoral process, shall be resolved in accordance with the provisions of Organic Law 5/1985, of June 19, 1985, on the General Electoral System.