The Fund for the promotion of the Olive Oil Conditioned “FOPRHOC” will start, in 2018, the execution of a program aiming at the development of the Tunisian exports of the olive oil towards Japan to reach 5% of the consumption of this country, against 0.5% currently, said the president of the National Union Chamber of Olive Oil Exporters under the UTICA, Abdessalem Loued.
Speaker, Monday, during a seminar on the theme “Japan: A demanding market but with high potential”, Loued added that Tunisia will have to develop its exports of olive oil to Japan that do not currently exceed 1 million dinars, considering the importance of this market whose annual average consumption is more than 59 thousand tons.
The CEO of the Export Promotion Center (CEPEX) Aziza Htira, for its part, said that this day of information is an opportunity to better know the trend and needs of the Japanese market in olive oil and intensify the efforts to improve our positioning on this country.
“The Tunisian participation in the annual International Food and Beverage Fair (Foodex) taking place in this country is no longer sufficient,” she said.
Htira pointed out that in addition to the meeting with importers and sommeliers of Japanese olive oil, there are bilateral meetings between Tunisian and Japanese professionals, to identify partnership relations and schedule visits to some Tunisian oil mills…
The manager emphasized the possibility of satisfying the demand of this market and exporting an olive oil that meets the tastes of the Japanese.
The president of the Japan Association of Olive Oil Sommeliers, Toshiya Tada, emphasized that the good quality of Tunisian olive oil allows him to access the Japanese market.
He added that even Italy and Spain, the world’s leading olive oil producers, are seeking access to the Japanese market.
Tada explained that the Japanese consumer is looking for a rich taste and aromatic foods (hot pepper and ginger …).
He pointed out in this context the lack of quality olive oil on the Japanese market, seen 80% of the olive oil is marketed under a fuzzy label “extra virgin olive oil”.
The sales manager of the CHO group (the subsidiary of Ulysse Agro Industries), which specializes in the production and packaging of olive oil in Sfax, pointed out that the positioning on the Japanese market requires significant investments and quality certifications. , stressing the need for state intervention to facilitate the establishment of Tunisian companies in Japan and the marketing of their products.
Tunisia, which has more than 85 million olive trees on an area of 2 million hectares, aims to produce, in 2018, nearly 240,000 tons of olive oil and export 180,000 tons, according to the CEPEX indicators.
Over the last ten years, packaged Tunisian olive oil has grown from 1 thousand tons in 2006 to 23 thousand tons in 2016.
Tunisia is now the second largest producer of olive oil in the world after Spain and exports to 54 international markets.