The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced earlier this month that it had approved a €22 million loan to Tunisian producer and bulk exporter, the Cho Group.
Along with the loan, the United States-based member of the World Bank Group said it would further commit to providing small-scale growers within the producer’s supply chain with advisory services.
Supporting a company like Cho and the thousands of farmers who rely on it for their livelihoods will help create jobs and rekindle economic growth as Tunisia recovers from Covid-19.
The IFC will also provide training on sustainable practices to smaller producers among Cho’s supply chain of 144,000 farmers to boost production and lessen the impact of extreme weather events.
A 2018 World Bank report noted that climate change, resulting in higher temperatures and sporadic rainfall, makes Tunisia more drought-prone.See Also: U.K. Drops Tariffs on Tunisian Olive Oil Imports After Signing Trade Deal
The IFC training initiative follows on the heels of recent attempts to promote Tunisian olive oil on the global stage by digitalizing export authorizations and by labeling exported oils to indicate their origin distinctly.
Tunisia and Turkey are the two largest olive oil producers outside of the European Union. The latter is the world’s largest exporter of organic olive oil, yet global awareness of their oil is comparatively low due to most of their exports coming in bulk.
“Supporting a company like Cho and the thousands of farmers who rely on it for their livelihoods will help create jobs and rekindle economic growth as Tunisia recovers from Covid-19,” Georges Joseph Ghorra, the IFC’s resident representative in Tunisia, said about the loan.
Cho, which is Costco’s sole supplier of bulk olive oil for restaurants, also supplies bulk olive oil to various industries. Their Terra Delyssa and Origin 846 brands earned three Silver Awards at this year’s NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.
“This partnership with IFC will help Cho grow and further promote our brand, Terra Delyssa, creating opportunities in the regions that need them most,” said Rym Makhloufi, the company’s deputy general manager.