Turkey’s leading olive oil producer, Marmarabirlik, is preparing to open storage and processing facilities in Cologne, Germany.

The move is widely seen as an opportunity for the Turkish firm to circumvent the European Union’s import quota on Turkish olive oil.

We expect that Marmarabirlik will become the export champion of the olive olive oil sector on behalf of our active 30,000 producers and eight cooperatives.- Hidamet Asa, chairman of Marmarabirlik

“We have been carrying out transit trade since 2015 to overcome the EU’s export quota on Turkey’s olive oil,” Hidamet Asa, chairman of Marmarabirlik, told a Turkish state run news agency. “Our new storage facility in Cologne will be an important logistic center for transit trade. We will sell olive oil from Cologne to Europe via the Marmarabirlik brand.”

By basing their EU distribution center in Germany, Marmarabirlik can press olives into olive oil and more affordably re-export it to other EU member states.

Marmarabirlik would also be able to use the facility for processing olive oil and re-exporting it outside of the EU without paying any tariffs.

“The ‘inward processing regime’ allows EU operators to process imported oil and re-export it outside the EU without paying duties on oil imported for processing,” Kinga Malinowska, a European Commission trade spokeswoman, said.

According to the International Olive Council, olive oil production in Turkey increased 18 percent in the 2016/17 season and is expected to further increase by 62 percent next year.

© Olive Oil Times | Data source: International Olive Council

Marmarabirlik, which is a cooperative association composed of producers and vendors, is the world’s largest table olive producer and has seen its income quadruple in the past seven years.

Asa said that the cooperative had sold about 16,000 tons of products in the first six months of the 2016/17 business year.

“We expect that Marmarabirlik will become the export champion of the olive and olive oil sector on behalf of our active 30,000 producers and eight cooperatives,” Asa said. “Our aim is to increase our production and augment our income by increasing our exports by $30 million in the coming years.”

The storage facility is expected to cost €2 million with the German Development Agency providing grant funds to spread the cost.

“A high-capacity storage facility is planned to be built on 3,000 square meters of land which will be provided on a very favorable conditions from the municipality of Cologne,” Asa said. “Thanks to the new investment… Marmarabirlik’s foreign sales will increase incrementally.”

European countries are just one of the markets that the Turkish firm is targeting with its olive oil. Asa said that Marmarabirlik also aims to increase exports to other Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

“The availability and diversity of our products in European markets will increase the sales of Marmarabirlik abroad,” Asa said. “We have set up the Middle East, Arabian Peninsula and Far East markets as the targets and started to work on these regions in order to increase our sales.”

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