Tunisia’s Olive Oil Producers Lament Missed Revenue

Tunisia’s Olive Oil Producers Lament Missed Revenue
Credit: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development/Riccardo de Luca 

Tunisia ranks among the top three olive oil exporters globally, according to Reuters. Yet it reaps only a fraction of the overall revenue. 

The vast majority of Tunisian output is sold in bulk to European nations, which often blend and rebrand the oil under Italian or Spanish labels, fetching substantially higher prices.

Tunisian olive oil producers lament the missed opportunity of reaping higher revenues selling labeled bottles.

"Although I won five gold medals in world competitions for quality in 2022, I still haven't ventured into canning due to its many obstacles and difficulties,” Mustapha Mtiraoui, an olive oil producer, told Reuters. 

He says he faces challenges raising money and access to bottling facilities, which predominantly serve Tunisia’s largest companies. 

Producers also blame delays in Tunisia's main Rades port.

 The World Bank reported an average turnaround time of 18 days, triple the time as ports in Morocco. 

Despite these obstacles, Tunisia has ambitious plans to enhance bottled olive oil production, including the renewal of older olive groves with new varieties, according to the state news agency. 

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