Olive oil: for Tunisia Italy remains privileged partner

Director of Tunisian National Oil Office talks to ANSAmed

15 October, 11:11

    Olio extravergine di oliva Olio extravergine di oliva

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, OCTOBER 15 -Abdellatif Ghedira, director of the Tunisian National Oil Office and a candidate for the management of the International Oil Council has no doubts about the good quality of Tunisian oil for export and the fact that Italy remains a privileged partner in this sector.

    Work took Ghedira round the world to illustrate the virtues of Tunisian oil and he has become one of the main experts in the field. Quoting the latest data, Ghedira reminds ANSAmed that Tunisia has currently become the first oil exporting country in the world, surpassing Spain with 299.300 tons in September 2015.

    ''It's the result of an exceptional year" said Ghedira, describing with precision the mechanisms regulating offer and demand in the oil world market, a product he treasures as much as to call it "a fruit-juice" of olives.

    It's deciphering the dynamics of international commerce that he clarifies the reasons behind the recent proposal by the Commission to facilitate the export of 35 thousand tons of extra vergin olive oil a year from Tunisia to the EU. Ghedira takes Italy as an example stressing that it consumes and exports more oil than it is able to produce (it produces approximately 400 million tons and consumes 600 million he reminded)therefore, in these conditions, he believes it would be logic to believe that it would continue to buy, as it always has, from Tunisia, a country which offers the best product on the market in terms of the quality/price index.

    The director of the National office of Tunisian oil cuts short Italian debates on the quality of Tunisian oil, stating that the oil destined to export is certified by laboratories adopting international standards; Ghedira also recognised Italians have a long experience in the field in terms of know-how, cultivation techniques and product enhancement and suggested Italian producers should be helped by the EU with subsidies or aid packages.

    ''Historically, Italy remains our privileged partner and the European country in which we export the most" said Ghedira, who is thrilled about the future of Tunisian oil considering harvest expectations for next year and the estimates on growth of the world market with increasing demand from extra-European markets such as China, Japan, Brasil but also the development of the internal market which paradoxically is still rather weak.

    The annual consumption of olive oil of Tunisians is approximately 3 kilos, while the one of Italians is between 10 an 12 kilos.

    Greeks top the list of olive oil consumers with approximately 20 kilos per head.

    Olive oil represents the main entry in Tunisian farming exports (almost 60%) and is of capital importance in the country as it indirectly employs over a million workers.

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