Olive growers and millers in Greece would like the government to assume a central role in establishing a new public consulting commission to promote olive oil exports.
At a national online meeting organized by the Association of Greek Olive Oil Standardization Industries (Sevitel), producers and exporters agreed to form the commission, which they would like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the public agency for exports, Enterprise Greece, to coordinate.
According to the meeting’s participants, broad coordination of olive oil and table olives production coupled with a national strategy that gives value to olive oil exports is crucial for the sector’s growth.
“Such commission will have a role as advisory body. We could say that the current year is the season of Greek olive oil. It is an opportunity to open new markets to the product. Still, in order to accomplish such goals, we need coordination and strategic planning,” Giorgos Oikonomou, director general at Sevitel, said, hinting at the current bountiful olive harvest.
As reported by AgroTypos, at the meeting, many of the sector’s representatives and experts stressed the need for branded Greek olive oil exports. The majority of Greek olive oil exports are currently unbranded bulk shipments.See Also:Bulk Exports from Greece Help Fuel the Italian Olive Oil Industry
Antonis Gravanis, director of the small and medium companies division in Enterprise Greece, underlined how the National Olive Interprofessional Organization (Edoe) and Sevitel must coordinate their efforts not to miss the increasing global opportunities.
Both the new commission and olive producers should look at new markets, such as the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, according to the economic and trade advisor for the Permanent Representation of Greece in the European Union, Eftychia Bakopoulou.
Speaking at the meeting, Bakopoulou claimed certifications and standards, such as the E.U.’s certifications PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), for Greek olive oil and table olives increased their chances of success in new markets.
As reported by GargalianoiOnline, Alkiviadis Kalambokis, president of the Crete exporters association, remarked that the olive sector’s organizations and associations have long asked the government to establish an electronic registry of olive transactions, a crucial tool in monitoring production and trade. Registries have already been adopted in other E.U. countries, such as Italy.
Among the priorities, Kalambokis listed the need for a new license for olive producers. He also stressed accelerating VAT refunds and promoting Greek olive oil worldwide.
According to some of the meeting’s participants, Greek identity and the country’s unique history should be considered essential when promoting exports.
Dimitris Anastopoulos, an olive oil importer and trade advisor, noted that many competing olive-producing countries, such as Turkey and Tunisia, actively associate their national identity with the product. Hence the need to tap into the Greek mythos, history and olive oil’s origins to strengthen national identity and export revenue.
The meeting covered all current challenges for olive producers and exporters. According to Dimitris Douzmanis, Sevitel’s exports advisor, further growth in the sector will depend on its ability to associate Greek identity with the product and to offer credible tools that verify and authenticate the quality of the olive exports.