Georgia on the Global Olive Map
Georgia will join the International Olive Council (IOC) at the end of November, 2019. This organization has named Georgia as the third olive hub in Europe, Giorgi Svanidze, Georgian Olive founder told BusinessPartner.
As noted, in late November Georgia will become an IOC member and, in 2020, our country will preside over this organization too, Svanidze added.
The olive industry started 10 years ago in Georgia, and this is a very encouraging business, because this field has brought very efficient results, Giorgi Svanidze noted. Georgia’s adoption into the IOC is serious progress, and I congratulate everybody who loves this culture, he added.
“I would like to stress that we produce the best oil. When we submitted an application to the International Olive Council and delivered our olive oil there, they examined the product, and granted us a top quality certificate. The olive tree in Georgia grows faster in 10-12 centimeters, compared to the same tree in Turkey or other countries: the olive skin is thinner, and the stone smaller. One liter of oil is pressed from five kilograms of olive, in the worldwide average, while in Georgia the best indicator is 3.7-3.8 liters from 4 kilograms. We have received 3.7-3.8 liters. The seedling showed that ,from the very beginning, a special product would grow in Georgia with top quality and low acidity”, Svanidze said.
The Georgian Olive’s founder says the olive industry has very attractive characteristics, and it can surpass such traditional exports items as nuts and grapes.
“We started with barren lands that could not be ploughed – similar lands uniquely fit olive culture. Soon, olive fields will not only come up with grapes, hazelnut and other industries, but also surpass them. Neither hail nor drought damages the olive, irrigation is required at the outset and then the root goes deeper, vertically, and obtains resources for itself; it lives for 1000 years, and dozens of generations can receive benefits of new plants. Our people will learn about this opportunity, gradually, and shows interest”, Svanidze said.
Plant the Future, the program launched by the Agriculture Ministry, has essentially promoted the olive industry. The program covers 70% of the costs for planting seedlings and 50% of arranging irrigation systems. The program also calls for issuing a 40% grant in the case of olive production. Thus, this program has funded olive plantations on about 30,000 hectares. On the whole, olive plantations were arranged on 50,000 hectares in Georgia.
The price per kilogram is 1.5-2 GEL, and exceeds the price of some grape varieties. According to international research reports, by 2020-2025 the global value of the olive will hit 11 billion USD.
The International Olive Council has named Georgia as the third hub in Europe, and this acknowledgement opens up serious opportunities for Georgia, Svanidze said.
“The International Olive Council has named Georgia as the third hub country. Europe needs the third hub. Spain is the first one, Italy is the second, and Georgia will place its focus on Asian countries. We have free customs regime with Asia, China, Russia, Europe and this is a huge opportunity. Georgia strives to compete with Spain, Italy, Tunis, thanks to its quality, not quantity. Cooperation with these countries means the promotion of this field in our country, opening laboratories in Georgia, subsidization, trainings and so on”, Svanidze said.