` Ayvalık Panel Calls for Investment in Turkey's Olive Sector

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Ayvalık Panel Calls for Investment in Turkey's Olive Sector

Nov. 6, 2014
By Özlem Burcu Öztürk

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QvEx­tra pres­i­dent Soledad Ser­rano (cen­ter) and Manuel Here­dia Hal­cón (right) took part in a panel dis­cus­sion at the 10th Ayvalık Har­vest Days

In the panel that took place at the 10th Ayvalık Olive Har­vest Days, the rise of inter­nal con­sump­tion, and the prob­lems in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of olive and olive oil were dis­cussed.

At the Cunda Cul­tural Cen­ter, a panel con­vened with the theme olive oil binds you to life,” orga­nized. Namık Kemal Nazlı, the gov­er­nor of Ayvalık,

Local offi­cials and olive sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco and Jor­dan attended the panel.

Neşet Akkoç, the deputy sec­re­tary of the cus­toms and trade min­istry, indi­cated that in the past 10 years, olive oil con­sump­tion rose from 900 grams to 2 kilo­grams per capita in Turkey.

As for exports, since May, 2014, there have been pre­sen­ta­tions to coun­tries like Japan, China, Canada, Brazil and USA. Akkoç men­tioned that Turkey has only 4 per­cent of the world olive oil mar­ket, and this is not enough. He empha­sized that man­u­fac­tur­ers should unite, estab­lish a brand and find new mar­kets.

The mod­er­a­tor of the panel Ümmühan Tibet, the pres­i­dent of National Olive & Olive Oil Union, men­tioned that by 2023, Turkey is tar­get­ing to reach the sec­ond spot in export­ing, behind only Spain.

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The chair­man of the board of Ayvalık Cham­ber of Com­merce, Ben­han İbrahim Kantarcı said that his aim was to make the Har­vest Days an inter­na­tional event and this year that was achieved. Now, the pri­or­ity is to increase olive oil con­sump­tion to 3 liters, and make the Turk­ish olive oil known to the world.

Dis­tricts like Ayvalık, Edremit, Gem­lik, Burhaniye, Didim joined the Mediter­ranean Olive Oil Cities Net­work (Re.C.O.Med) which was estab­lished in Spain and had 13 mem­ber coun­tries, includ­ing Turkey.

Elisa Scuto, gen­eral sec­re­tary of Re.C.O.Med, gave infor­ma­tion about the union which has made efforts toward the recog­ni­tion of olive cul­ti­va­tion in the UNESCO World Her­itage List.

The panel also dis­cussed a min­ing law pro­posal which would sanc­tion the destruc­tion of olive groves in Turkey. The olive is the life” cam­paign to stop the mea­sure has col­lected so far 156,000 sig­na­tures.

Soledad Ser­rano, the pres­i­dent of QvEx­tra Inter­na­tional, a non-profit orga­ni­za­tion with a pur­pose to pro­mote top qual­ity in olive oil and make man­u­fac­tur­ers act in uni­son, lamented that olive man­u­fac­tur­ers are get­ting poorer each day in Spain, the world’s lead­ing olive oil pro­ducer.

Gürkan Ren­kl­i­dağ, the chair­man of Aegean Exporters of Olive & Olive oil union, repeated his group’s demands for incen­tives for table olive pro­duc­tion for the pur­pose of improv­ing indus­tri­al­iza­tion and prod­uct pack­ag­ing.

Ren­kl­i­dağ added that the union has pre­pared pub­lic tele­vi­sion announce­ments to raise aware­ness in Turkey and he indi­cated that Turkey’s invest­ment in olives and olive oil is an invest­ment in the future of the coun­try.


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