The Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives of the International Olive Council (IOC) met recently in Istanbul, Turkey for its 37th meeting. IOC Executive Director Jean-Louis Barjol presented the winning agency for the North American promotion campaign before presenters from ten countries reviewed olive oil import data for their respective markets.

Director Barjol used fresh data to show that in markets where the IOC has, or intends to, run promotion campaigns (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, United States and the European Union), the consumption of the virgin olive oil grade has risen 35 percent over the past eight years.

Panayotis Karantonis, the director of the Greek association of olive oil manufacturers ESVITE, reported that Greece currently consumes 225,000 tons of olive oil, or about 20 kg per person each year. Despite boasting the world’s highest per capita consumption of olive oil, Greece has seen domestic consumption drop in recent years, mainly due to the severe economic crisis in the country. Incredibly, forty-five percent of the total olive oil consumption is by olive oil farmers enjoying their own bounty.

The first seven months of the 2010-11 campaign saw a 20 percent increase in olive oil imports for six analyzed countries, with a ten percent drop in Japan. Brazil lead the pack with a 21 percent increase in imports over the same period last year.

After hitting its highest level in history, Italian olive oil prices dipped slightly, while the price of olive oil in Spain extended its historic slump.


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