The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations support the production of extra virgin olive oil in Tunisia. This includes innovative training activities, supported by EU funds, on how to make high-quality olive oil and promote it to promising export markets.
Thirty restaurant and hotel chefs gathered in the coastal town of Sousse in October to learn more about the distinct qualities of Tunisian oil. “In Tunisia, our chefs often lack knowledge about olive oil. The problem is that high quality products aren’t well known or understood,” says Slim Fendri, owner of Domaine Fendri in Sfax. “At the training, chefs learned how to identify excellent olive oil, which will help us distribute it more widely.”
Millers, who press the oil, play an important role in ensuring a high quality product. They were therefore treated to a second workshop which explained the various steps to obtain extra virgin olive oil.
In total, around 100 participants took part in these workshops in Zaghouan and Siliana. They included professionals and agricultural experts, who will continue the training activities in the future, alongside official partners.
The activities are part of a wider programme of the EBRD and EU to boost trade and competitiveness in Tunisia and Morocco as well as Jordan and Egypt.
About 80% of Tunisian olive oil is exported to the European and international markets. Offering a high-quality product will benefit consumers and it will also help local farmers, millers and producers to reap the rewards of the upcoming harvest season.