Spanish olive oils producers supply as much as 80 percent of the Middle East’s olive oil needs, according to the Olive Oil Exporters Association of Spain (ASOLIVA). In 1999, Spain exported $1.2 million worth of olive oil to the UAE. By 2000, this had increased 32 percent to reach $1.6 million. By September 2001, there was a nine percent increase with export levels reaching $1.7 million.
Asoliva specialist consultant Santiago Botas said: “Our exports the Middle East make up about 10 percent of our total exports," said Botas. "In 2000, our total exports were around 400,000 tons." Spain is the leading producer and exporter of olive oil, responsible for 45 percent of the world’s total production. Annual production up to April 2002 is forecasted to exceed one million tons.
With sales of key varieties of Spanish olive oils up by more than 20 percent in recent months, Spain’s leading producers of olive oil kicked off a region-wide campaign to reinforce growth and boost consumer awareness to Spanish olive oil.
The Olive Oil Exporters Association of Spain (ASOLIVA), backed by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) and the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in the UAE, has launched an ambitious campaign to boost the continued growth of the Spanish olive oil sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Middle East.
Titled Spanish olive oil - at the heart of Arab cuisine, the one-month Spanish olive oil awareness drive will visit 12 hotels across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), Egypt and Yemen.
ASOLIVA, the Olive Oil Exporters Association of Spain, is a private, non-profit entity made up of 70 olive oil exporting companies. The Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) is part of Spain’s Ministry of Economy. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )