Olive & Oil 04/07/2011

Turkey plunges into the Olive Oil

Turkey aims at the leadership in the Middle East and at becoming the second world producer of Olive oil after Spain. Here are the plans of the Turkish Oil Council

According to Mustafa Tan, chairman of the Turkish Oil Council (UZZK), the Turkish total production of olive oil passed from 112.000 to 147.000 tons in the last five years.

The growth of domestic demand, rising in the same period from 50.000 to 110.000 tons, is a further stimulus to increase the production. According to the UZZK, there is still room for growth, though, at least according to the per capita consumption of the producer countries.
As a matter of fact, the annual per capita consumption in Turkey is 1.2Kg, compared to the 12.4Kg of Italy, the 13.6Kg of Spain and the 23.7Kg of Greece.

Therefore, there is a lot of room for a further grow of the sector, and the UZZK, born four years ago, wants to promote it with very clear ideas.
According to Tan: “If we want to become world leaders we have to push on the quality”.

This is the reason why there is a strong attention by UZZK on the quality of products sold in the supermarkets. “It is our intention to allow the use of the logo UZZK to the Turkish producers very soon”, says Tan.

According to the Turkish Oil Council, the grow of the sector should rely on the increase of the internal demand more than on exports, wiping out, if possible, all the imports (valued 2 billion dollar per year, circa).

“By maintaining this trend of grow of the internal demand, we can estimate to reach a production of 300.000 tons in the next five years, becoming in this way the third olive oil producer in the world. But we are even more ambitious, and we aim at the second position, overtaking also the Italian production”, says Tan.

According to UZZK, this grow would also allow the keep the price more stable; as a matter of fact, at the moment the pricing is strongly influenced by the generalized crisis of Spain and by the urge of the Sos Group to pay its debts with the banks back.

di R. T.