An olive farm in Tuscany, Italy.

An Italian farmer organization is hosting delegations from the U.K. and Taiwan in a bid to boost olive oil sales.

Buyers and journalists from both countries are currently visiting Italy with the possibility of entering into contracts to begin or expand trading in the best extra virgin olive oils from Tuscany, Campania and Lombardy.

The Italian trade agency ICE and Italian olive oil consortium Unaprol are also involved in the marketing event.

The British and Taiwanese delegations will meet representatives from several companies producing olive oil from the three different regions, who will showcase offerings from the olive oil heartland of Italy.

Workshops will also be held in Salerno, Florence and Salo and delegates will be guided around several olive farms where harvest updates will be presented as well as visiting mills that use state-of-the-art equipment and extraction technologies.

According to the organization of farmers, Coldiretti, the aim is to demonstrate Italy as a world-leader in terms of olive oil production from the three regions which illustrate Italy’s diversity in the category.

The three areas chosen for the tour, according to a Coldiretti spokesperson, were “the province of Salerno, which alone accounts for about 60 percent of all production in Campania; Tuscany, where the concept of territorial marketed tied to good extra virgin olive oil was born…and Lombardy, because it is the region where the largest volumes of packaged products in Italy are sold.”

“The decision to organize the incoming visit from buyers and journalists from Taiwan and the United Kingdom to Italy is the continuation of a long program of collaboration that these two countries have developed,” he added.

Coldiretti said the U.K. has historically been an exceptionally difficult market to break into as other vegetable oils such as sunflower dominant market share. However, British consumer preference is slowly changing.

“The British sector of vegetable oils and fats in worth £420 million ($628 million). Olive oil is the fastest growing segment of vegetable oils and fats, but accounts for only 16.3 percent of the sector and faces competition from the seed oil market that accounts for more than two-thirds of the sector.”

Regarding Taiwan, the organization said the country’s 23 million consumers, with a per capita income of approximately $21,000 and a country GDP of almost $500 billion, represents a huge market potential.

Source: Coldiretti, Italy

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