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Olive and olive oil consumers demand restrictions on exports

The drought crisis in Europe continues to negatively affect olive and olive oil production. Many European countries, especially Spain, are in an effort to collect olive oil. However, it is clear that this situation is also having an impact outside of Europe and is causing concern in countries such as Turkey. Turkish olive and olive oil consumers are demanding restrictions on exports due to the possibility of a decrease in the domestic market and an increase in prices.

However, Prof. Dr. Mücahit Taha Özkaya, a faculty member at Ankara University Faculty of Agriculture, opposes this demand and emphasises the importance of exports. Özkaya points out that worldwide olive oil production constitutes a very low proportion of vegetable oil production. Özkaya states that out of approximately 200 million tonnes of vegetable oil produced worldwide, only 3 million tonnes is olive oil and 95% of this amount is produced by 10 Mediterranean countries. However, he mentions that the olive oil consumption of these countries is only around 25 per cent. This situation shows that the demand for olive oil in the world is higher than production and that there may be a shortage.

Özkaya emphasises that olive oil should not be seen as an oil used only in the kitchen and likens it to a diamond. Stating that olive oil is also an important vegetable oil in terms of health, Özkaya draws attention to the fact that it will become a diamond with the potential to earn more with high value-added products.

Turkey's olive oil production is around 200 thousand tonnes and is sufficient to meet domestic demand. However, the country's total vegetable oil need is around 2.5 million tonnes and a large part of this is met by imports. For this reason, producers should be given incentives to grow value-added products, Özkaya said, and suggested farmers to use organic fertilisers and obtain quality products.

There is an expectation of low yields for the next olive season. The climatic conditions and diseases experienced in Spain and other countries may have negatively affected the health of olive trees. In this case, prices are likely to increase with a decrease in the amount of production.

In conclusion, the concerns of Turkish olive and olive oil producers about exports are understandable, but experts emphasise that focusing on high value-added products and continuing exports is a more sustainable solution. It is stated that olive oil, which is also important in terms of health, can contribute to the national economy by turning it into a high value-added product. In the next olive season, a possible decrease in the amount of production may cause prices to rise. However, the importance of increasing added value with quality products should be taken into consideration.

In summary; Olive oil should not be seen as an oil used only in the kitchen. Olive oil is a very important vegetable oil in terms of health. Marketing it as a product with high added value by emphasising this feature will turn diamond olive oil into diamond olive oil. Thus, our producers will gain more profit from qualified olive oil.


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