The Executive Director of the International Olive Council (IOC), Abdellatif Ghedira, visited Tunisia in early November to inaugurate the virgin olive oil tasting course organised by the National Oil Office’s (ONH) international training centre, alongside the Tunisian Minister of Agriculture, Abdel Monem Balaati, the IOC’s Deputy Executive Director, Jaime Lillo, the ambassadors of Palestine and Algeria, and representatives of the diplomatic missions of Libya and Morocco in Tunisia. The course is aimed at technicians and experts from the IOC’s Arab member countries. These participants received financial support from the intergovernmental organisation within the framework of its work to enhance the technical cooperation and encourage the exchange of experiences between member countries. Ghedira recalled that the main aim of the training was to acquire more knowledge and to open up to other experiences in the field of olive oil, but also to consolidate the culture of olive oil quality and to raise it to the level of excellence. He also called on participants to work together to meet the challenges of climate change, continue working together on developing the sector, enhance the quality of Arab oils and strengthen their presence on foreign markets.
The Tunisian Minister of Agriculture then received the IOC’s delegation at the Ministry’s headquarters to take stock of the longstanding cooperation between Tunisian institutions and the IOC, examine its prospects and discuss the climatic challenges facing the olive oil sector and the sector’s development opportunities.
The Minister recalled the importance of the olive-growing sector for Tunisia – economically, socially and historically – and emphasised that the relevant authorities in the Ministry were working tirelessly to develop the sector and increase the exports of quality olive oil.
For his part, the Deputy Executive Director of the IOC expressed the Council’s wish to strengthen its cooperation with this major olive-growing country, and took the opportunity to present to his guests the programme for the upcoming 118th session and the celebration of World Olive Day, scheduled for November 23d.