BALIKESİR – Doğan News Agency
The 13th Ayvalık Olive Harvest Days, aiming to promote the olives produced in Turkey’s northwest, started on Nov. 3 in Balıkesir province’s Ayvalık district with a traditional “gratitude parade.”
“We want to help raise olive oil consumption in our country. Our latest olive oil produce will undoubtedly help Ayvalık olive oil to reach a much broader spectrum of consumers around the world,” said Ayvalık Chamber of Commerce head İbrahim Kantarcı.
This year’s event promotes world-renowned Turkish olives with the slogan “Olive oil: A national value, a global objective.”
Olive oil producers, members of the Ayvalık Oil Producers’ Association, Balıkesir Mayor Ersin Yazıcı, and other local officials have attended the harvest celebration.
In a panel event at the festival, speakers discussed ways to promote and develop Ayvalık’s olive oil, in a conversation moderated by daily Hürriyet economy columnist Vahap Munyar.
Some panelists said they saw olive oil as “the crude oil of the future,” while others drew attention to pricing policies that the producers have to follow at a time when production is growing. Around three million tons of olive oil is produced annually.
Speaking at the festival, Ayvalık Mayor Rahmi Gençer said olive oil consumption was previously 800 grams per person but has now risen to almost two kilograms.
In 2016, Ayvalık was accepted into UNESCO’s temporary list and now the objective is to remain there, Gençer added.
According to data from the Ayvalık Oil Producers’ Association, Turkey’s olive oil exports rose to 39,449 tons in the last 10 months on amount basis, with a 339 percent year-on-year increase.
On a value-basis, Turkey exported olive oil worth $152.6 million, with a 266 percent year-on-year increase.