`Italian Farmers Speak Out Against New EU Quota for Tunisian Olive Oil Imports - Olive Oil Times

Italian Farmers Speak Out Against New EU Quota for Tunisian Olive Oil Imports

Sep. 28, 2015
Gaynor Selby

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Some sec­tors of the Italian olive oil indus­try are react­ing with anger and dis­may at their Tunisian coun­ter­parts being given extra quo­tas to sup­ply the European Union.

The pres­i­dent of Italian orga­ni­za­tion Confagricoltura Taranto, Donato Rossi, com­mented fol­low­ing last week’s European Commission announce­ment that promised extra sup­port to help the Tunisian econ­omy recover after the beach mas­sacre ter­ror­ist attack in June.

Under the pro­posal, which is yet to be rat­i­fied by European Parliament, Tunisia would be per­mit­ted to export an addi­tional 35,000 tons of duty-free tar­iff olive oil to EU mem­ber states, on top of the 57,600 tons already estab­lished under the EU-Tunisia Association Agreement.

If approved the extra quan­ti­ties would be allowed through­out 2016.

This extra quota will be dam­ag­ing to the Italian sec­tor, accord­ing to Rossi who pledges to fight the pro­posal and block Tunisian com­peti­tors from export­ing extra vol­umes.

Making an announce­ment on Confagricoltura Tarantos web­site, he declares the EU pro­posal is polit­i­cally moti­vated and allow­ing the extra imports of Tunisian olive oil is the lat­est in a long line of issues that have been bat­ter­ing the Italian agri­cul­tural indus­try as a whole recently.

He cites the Russian import ban, which has been in effect since last sum­mer, as being a puni­tive embargo’ because of Europe’s sup­port for Ukraine. As well as Italy increas­ing imports of key com­modi­ties such as cit­rus, from nations out­side of the EU such as north African coun­tries.

This is on top of the Xylella fas­tidiosa out­break in the Italian olive heart­land which has been threat­en­ing orchards for some time.

Rossi is call­ing for the Italian gov­ern­ment to do more in sit­u­a­tions where agri­cul­tural sec­tors, in this case olive oil, are neg­a­tively affected as a result of European Union rules.

He also urges for Italian olive oil pro­duc­ers and exports to be given sim­i­lar duty con­ces­sions in the inter­ests of fair play.


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