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Greek Olive Oil Scarce in German Markets

Although Greek olive oil is considered to be of the best quality among the Mediterranean producing countries, German supermarkets are overwhelmed by Italian olive oil which is often mixed with Greek oil parts, noted a Deutsche Welle report.

The Italian oil monopoly in German supermarket shelves (70%) and the scarce present of Greek olive oil has been discussed by Johannes Eisenbach and the German Hanns Seidel Foundation meeting on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Eisenbach, who is coordinating a network of approximately 1,000 small and medium-sized organic farms in Greece and Cyprus, noted that drastic measures must be taken so that Greece’s oil can get a bigger market share.

According to the report, the blending of olive oil is a bargain for Italian traders, who can purchase the Greek oil at just 1.70 euros ($2.15) per liter before selling it at a much higher rate. Eisenbach proposed that Greek producers stay away from Italian producers for four years in order to raise the Greek olive oil share in the German market.

Greek producers “could learn from Italian distribution companies that have built up a relationship of trust with German supermarket chains after decades of guaranteed delivery, fixed prices and agreed quality” reads the report. Economic transport costs, diffculties in harvesting the Greek olive groves situated on slopes, the past years’ ease of making a living out of the EU subsidies must all be overcome to change the current situation. There are also initiatives launched to inform and educate olive oil producers in cultivating their land with higher quality and quantity standards and without using pesticides.

The German family-owned business Jordan Olive Oil has been producing extra virgin oil and virgin oil in Greece for the past 20 years and told DW that honesty between the producer and consumer must be always present. Proper education of the public in terms of the product’s route from production to sale, guaranteed delivery from Greece, transparent marketing and logistics, and right distribution could help Greece take its rightful place in the olive oil market, it noted.

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