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Food

Good Year for Greek Olive Oil, But Faces Keen Competition

ATHENS – Makers of some of the world’s best olive oil – but often outmarketed and selling much of it to other countries who brand it their own – Greece’s olive oil producers expected a big crop in 2022 but has fierce rivals.

Olive oil quality consultant Vasilis Fratzolas told Kathimerini that “Just 2.3 percent of packaged olive oil sold globally is Greek, while Turkey – a recent arrival to the game – holds a share of 2.5 percent and Tunisia 12.5 percent.”

Greece produces 225,000 tons of olive oil a year on average, of which only 45,000 tons is packaged. It also exports 8o percent of its production – unbranded and unlabeled – to Italy, which has been badly hit by pests, the paper said, but still far outsells Greek oil internationally.

Drought-stricken Spain expects a 50 percent drop in production, giving Greek producers a golden green opportunity but in the past they’ve shown little inclination to promote or export one of the country’s best commodities.

“Germany and the United Kingdom do not produce olive oil but export it, which means that Greek olive oil is being moved around without being identified,” Maria Katsouli, head of the Athena International Olive Oil Competition told the paper about the problem, long going on.

The failure to market is despite Greek olive oils regularly winning major awards in international competitions but many are from smaller producers and major companies in Greece – as did Greek yogurt makers – are seeing the global arena seized by inferior products with better promotion.

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