Olive oil exports up by 40 percent. Top destinations: Canada and South America - Lebanon

Olive oil exports
up by 40 percent
Top destinations:
Canada and South America
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Exports of olive oil increased by 43 percent from 2012 till 2014, according to Customs. The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) attributed this increase to the incentives offered per ton to olive oil producers to help them enhance the quality and the packaging.

Exports reached 5,990 tons last year, increasing from 4,162 tons in 2012. More than 50 percent of the olive oil was exported mainly to Canada and South America. In 2012, IDAL set the norms and standards required for packaging and labeling the bottles. It assigned two global companies, Bureau Veritas and TUV, to supervise this process.

Farmers were encouraged to work on enhancing the quality of olive oil. Rachid Zowayhed, Head of the Agricultural Cooperative in Hasbaya, said that the new oil presses introduced to the market and oil storage in stainless steel containers enhanced the quality of the output. He said that this helped to increase the volume of olive oil exports.

Incentives offered for each ton of olive oil to be exported differs according to the destination. Incentives per ton exported to Canada and South America is $700 for extra virgin oil and $640 for virgin oil.

Production of olive oil reached 12,000 tons in 2011, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The price of each 15 kilogram container of olive oil ranges between $120 and $130.

According to IDAL, around 563 square kilometers of land are planted with olive trees, which represent 5.4 percent of the territory, or eight percent of the total agricultural land.

Olive groves are mainly grown in six regions extending from north to south: Koura, Batroun, Zgharta, Akkar, Rashaya Al Foukhar, and Hasbaya.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Dec 10, 2015