République Tunisienne Tunisian Republic
Ministry of industry

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09 Novembre 2018

Tunisian olive oil: From ancient times to present

 

Olive cultivation in Tunisia dates back to the 8th century BC, before the founding of Carthage by the Queen Dido. Phoenicians were the first to introduce this agrarian activity to North Africa which has flourished since then, especially when Romans established intensified irrigation techniques.

Many generations, caught by the magnificence of olive groves, never stopped gravitating around the rooted tree and its heavenly fruits. Sometimes stun, sometimes fervent, they sculptured the lines of a never-ending story, a millenary passion which continues to gleam within the green country, Tunisia.

Olive growing for Tunisians is more than an agricultural activity. Anchored in women and men’s roots, it is a means of expression, a language of taste, crystallizing prose into a liquid with eclectic flavors.

This everlasting circle of purity poets is so gleaming, more creative than ever. From north to south, hand-picked olives produce a liquid gold with multiple nuances, frantically sketching the limits of natural taste.

When nature rhymes with culture, the result enchants and leads to recognition. This explains the multiple gold medals won in 2018 at the most prestigious international competitions such as SIQEV, BIOL, Los Angeles IOOC, New York IOOC and AVPA.

Having a panel of well-known brands in France, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia plans to launch a new promotional campaign following the demand of olive oil sector representatives; The aim is to sensitize targeted segments on the importance of consuming extra virgin olive oil rather than other fats.

Recently, an official statement issued by the National Olive Oil Board of Tunisia “ONH” revealed that olive oil exports realized during the current campaign (2017-2018) had reached a total of 191 512 tons on August 31, 2018. Although exports to the European Union represented 71% of the exported quantities, 21% were exported to North America.

With more than thirty companies certified USDA Organic, Kosher, ECOCERT, FSMA and brands which successfully penetrated the Canadian and French market, Tunisia is ready to expand its commercial horizons to new demanding markets.

By Slim Sayadi

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