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Italian Olive Oil Raises Profile in India

Feb. 24, 2011
Tom Baker

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A two day event designed to pro­mote busi­ness rela­tions between Italian wine and olive oil pro­duc­ers and Indian buy­ers is tak­ing place in New Delhi today and tomorrow.

During the event, which will be attended by Indian jour­nal­ists, chefs, restau­ra­teurs and buy­ers, Italian olive oil will be rep­re­sented by UNAPROL, the largest orga­ni­za­tion of Italian olive oil pro­duc­ers, which unites as many as 700,000 olive grow­ers nationwide.

This pre­sen­ta­tion comes as part of the planned activ­i­ties financed under the first con­tract for the sup­ply of extra vir­gin olive oil that was signed between UNAPROL and the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies on December 20th last year, and which was fur­ther aided by VeronaFiere, an Italian orga­ni­za­tion aimed at devel­op­ing inter­na­tional trade for Italian brands.

The agree­ment marks a €400,000 invest­ment by the Italian gov­ern­ment over a two year period. Since the start of this year, which saw the oper­a­tional phase of the agree­ment get under­way, UNAPROL has moved oper­a­tions into full swing, pro­mot­ing Italian olive oil at events around the globe with a vast num­ber of cities on its cal­en­dar includ­ing San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, Moscow, Stockholm, and Tokyo.

In a state­ment made on the eve of the New Delhi event, UNAPROL’s Chairman, Massimo Gargano, noted that the suc­cess of these pro­mo­tions is rooted in for­eign mar­kets devel­op­ing a bet­ter under­stand­ing both of the prod­uct on offer and the envi­ron­ment in which it is pro­duced. The mar­ket rec­og­nizes the qual­ity,” he said, and rewards it with a higher price if this is related to the ori­gin of the territories.”

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Over the two days there will be a num­ber of tast­ing sem­i­nars, B2B con­fer­ences, and pre­sen­ta­tions focus­ing on the use of Italian olive oil in Indian cook­ing and fur­ther stress­ing its health ben­e­fits and qual­ity. The mar­ket reacts pos­i­tively to cer­ti­fied qual­ity,” Gargano went on to say, espe­cially if it is guar­an­teed by a con­sor­tium of Italian farms that lever­age the unique and dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter of oil made in Italy.”

Recent years have seen the con­sump­tion of olive oil raise con­sid­er­ably within India and this event will be an impor­tant test as to whether Italian olive oil can stand out above com­pe­ti­tion from other coun­tries in a mar­ket with over a bil­lion poten­tial con­sumers. India is the worlds largest importer of veg­etable oils and cur­rent trends seem to sug­gest that it is con­tin­u­ing to develop a demand for high qual­ity products.

In 2010, Italy exported 4,000 tons of olive oil, a quar­ter of which was extra vir­gin, to India. It was a 25 per­cent increase from the pre­vi­ous year and if Italy can go on to suc­cess­fully lever­age prices and estab­lish its olive oil as a high-end prod­uct in the eyes of new con­sumers, these fig­ures can be expected to rise.



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