The annual export quota for olive oil from Tunisia to the European Union (EU) has been increased by 25,000 tons.
The decision to increase the annual quota was announced at a joint press conference held by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid in Brussels on July 20, 2015, following the meeting of EU ministers of external affairs.
Previously, olive oil exports from Tunisia to the EU were subject to an annual quota of 56,700 tons, with the new quota bringing this to a total of 81,700 tons per year. Mogherini also announced that Tunisia would no longer be subject to the monthly export quotas which were fixed by the European Commission earlier this year.
More than 70 percent of Tunisia’s olive oil is exported to the EU, mostly to Italy and Spain, two countries which suffered significant losses to their olive crops during the last harvest. Meanwhile, Tunisia experienced an excellent crop and exported a record 242,000 tons from November 2014 to the end of June 2015, seven times more than the previous season. /olive-oil-business/africa-middle-east/tunisian-olive-oil-exports-reach-record-high/48184
In addition to olive oil being Tunisia’s main agricultural export to the EU, it is also an important agricultural resource which provides direct and indirect employment to more than a million Tunisians.
Also announced at the press conference was a financial support package of 23 million Euro towards security reform in Tunisia following the deadly attacks in Sousse, and the decision to include Tunisia as the first Arab partner in the research program Horizon 2020.