As part of a far-reaching agro-economic plan, the Andalusian government renews its commitment to furthering the interests of its olive farmers in both established and emerging international markets.
In the latest agreement between Extenda (the Andalusian Agency for External Promotion) and Interaceituna (the Inter-Professional Table Olive Organization), €800,000 ($933,680) in new investment will be devoted in 2018 to promoting the consumption of Spanish olives in the UK and India.
The figure agreed upon is twice that of 2015, and market share increases suggest that the investment is paying off. In 2016 – 2017, India’s Spanish table olive imports increased 100 percent on 2014 to approximately 2,000 tons, with exports from Andalusia alone valuing €3.4 million ($3.98 million).
UK imports are also showing steady growth at around 9.6 percent in the last decade, and as the fifth-largest destination for Andalusian olives (23,400 tons in 2017), both Extenda and Interaceituna are determined not to become complacent in this mature and stable market.
With table olives representing a major export for Spain, and particularly for the autonomous Andalusia which accounted for 73 percent (€514 milion/$602 million) of the country’s total in 2017, a collaboration between the private and public sectors is seen as key to boosting exports, a strategy now in its twelfth year.
As such, India and the UK represent major opportunities at either end of the spectrum, and according to Extenda, this new agreement and continued cooperation is “key to the development of promotional campaigns for table olives in two markets of high importance for the Spanish sector.”
Perhaps most significantly, this agreement also sees the renewed endorsement of the “Olives from Spain” campaigns that have sought to boost Spain’s brand recognition across the world by fostering the association between high quality and Spanish origin.
This strategy has taken advantage of the global rise in popularity of the Mediterranean diet, citing the country’s geographical and cultural heritage as evidence of the authenticity of its products.
These campaigns aren’t limited to India and the UK, though. The message is one that’s been tried and tested from Canada to Russia in keeping with Extenda’s aim to build “a strategy sustained over time, and directed at those markets of interest that stand out each year.”
Exploiting almost every available medium, the agency has used graphic design, online marketing, international trade fairs, and gastronomy exhibitions to raise the profile of the Spanish olive, using English to cut through cultural and linguistic divides as a modern-day lingua franca.
Given that this is the third time significant funds have been allocated to expanding the UK market, and the fifth consecutive year that India has been targeted, it seems likely that these are two fronts on which Spain will continue to vie for dominance for the foreseeable future.