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Greece holds 20% of olive oil production in the world

25 August 2011 / 15:08:18  GRReporter
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Greece ranks third in the olive oil production in the world and the country's economic analysts estimate that this is one of the products that could help the broken Greek economy. Although not a product of high-tech developments or great innovation, olive oil is a commodity of demand, which is able to raise greater market share. The purpose of Greek producers today is to have more significant presence on foreign markets at a time when Greece is trying to find its new economic model. Currently, manufacturers are looking for new opportunities in the USA, Western Europe, Australia and China.

The Greek company of Crete Creta Farms is currently trying to strengthen its influence in the Australian market, focusing on the big Greek community there. "Australia, which is the sixth largest country in geographical terms, is a real challenge for Creta Farms given that the population is about 30 million people and the Greek community is very strong. There is an incredibly rapid increase in the consumption of olive oil and in the last two years it reached 20 per cent, " said the President of Creta Farms Manolis Damazakis for the Marketing Week magazine.

Besides Australia, the US market is also part of the targeted expansion of exports of Greek olive oil. In this connection, the Ministry of Regional Development and Food has agreed on special partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation between Greece and the USA, which initiated a campaign to promote the Greek products in North America. It is about participation in food fairs and promoting products, and promotional materials.

Greek olive oil producers are seeking to expand their presence in the Chinese market, which have shown unexpectedly high interest in the Greek product in the past three years. Currently, the three major importers of olive oil in China are Italy, Spain and Greece, as the companies from these countries cover 90% of the imports in the country. According to the latest report of the International Olive Council, the imports of olive oil in China have increased by 60% in 2009-2010. Over 20.5 thousand tons were imported into the east country and 90% of the amount has come from EU countries, namely Spain (42%), Italy (39%), Greece (7%) and Portugal (1% ).
 In April this year, the Bureau of Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Greek Embassy in Beijing in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry organized a series of events to promote the Greek product. The program of events, among other things, includes a week of Greek cuisine in China, presentations of Greek olive oil for Chinese journalists and potential customers as chefs, retailers and importers of Greek olive oil. The Greek producers have targeted to another large country with potential to absorb much of the production of olive oil - Russia. 96% of the olive oil in the country is also imported from European countries. 62% of the Russian market is held by Spain, 25% by Italy, but only 6% of the olive oil the Russians consume comes from Greece.

The main goal of the producers is to increase their influence in all major markets, on which the Spanish and Italian counterparts are still dominant. The National Branch Organisation of Olive Oil have prepared the Golden Myth program to promote the Greek olive oil in North America, China and Russia and its budget will reach € 4.2 million. Other € 5.5 million are expected to be allocated for new projects for the promotion of exports.

In view of the recession of the domestic market, the companies are trying to make their products more attractive and affordable to the empty pocket of the Greek consumers. In addition to the ads with the familiar messages for the healthy substances of the olive oil, producers have started to make smaller packages. The company Altis made an Internet blog devoted to olive oil. It contains detailed information about the traditions in Greece related to the consumption and production of olive oil, and helpful tips on how to use it in the preparation of homemade cosmetics.

Advertising costs of olive oil do not follow the direction anticipated in period of crisis and increase. Competition is strong and companies spend serious money to attract the attention of the over-satisfied consumer. According to Media Services, in the first half of 2011 the media consumed 25% more money on advertising the product compared with the same period of 2010. Market analysts estimate that this is due to the change in consumer behavior as they begin to pay attention to the smaller manufacturers, which drains the resources of large companies in the sector.



Tags: EconomyMarketsOlive oilExportsGreeceChinaRussiaUSA
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