By Vikas Vij
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from New Delhi
Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) has announced a long-term goal to raise the country’s annual olive oil exports to $3.8 billion in the next 10 years. The olive oil producers in Turkey set the ambitious benchmark on the occasion of the country’s 100th anniversary. Turkey has exported $155 million worth of olive oil in the first 10 months of 2012, which represents an increase of five percent over the previous year.
According to TIM, the target of $3.8 billion for 2023 is justified, considering the substantial increase in the cultivation of olives that is anticipated over the next few years. A concerted effort to increase olive production from the farmer community as well as the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry has already resulted in the doubling of the number of farmable olive trees over the past year.
Turkish olive oil exporters believe that export volumes will rise, considering the rising demand for olive oil in large global markets such as China, Japan and South Korea. Turkey’s total number of olive trees stood at 98 million in 2000, and the figure has increased to 155 million at present. When a majority of these young trees start bearing fruit, Turkey is bound to witness a substantial jump in production.
The chairman of TIM, Mehmet Buyukeksi, shares the general optimism prevailing among the olive oil producers and exporters in the country. Buyukeksi believes that the goal of $3.8 billion of annual exports by 2023 is a logical one, considering various factors from growth in domestic olive production to expansion of international markets for olive oil.