Tunis/Tunisia — The United Kingdom has increased “Tunisia’s olive oil quota tenfold” after the 2019 UK-Tunisia Association Agreement which came into force on January 1, 2021, said British Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly.
“Tunisia’s olive oil quota has gone from 600 tonnes to 7,723 tonnes tariff-free since January 1, 2021,” Cleverly pointed out at an olive oil tasting event held at the UK embassy in Tunis Monday.
He praised the high-quality of Tunisian olive oil, saying “I have no doubt that when British citizens taste the Tunisian olive oil, they will become addicted to it.”
The UK Minister of State commended the close collaboration established between the two countries, saying it a very visible example of cooperation” that has also covered energy generation, education, science and technology.
«Similar agreements help improve the lives of farming communities in Tunisia by creating more jobs and provide, on the other hand, a greater choice for British consumers, UK ambassador Edward Oakden told TAP. It is a great advantage of both sides, he pointed out.
Oakden called for further increasing Tunisian olive oil exports to the UK, while laying emphasis on the cost and quality compared with the offers the country used to get from the European Union (EU).
He spoke of “win-win” relations, stressing the need to develop cooperation in other fields, particularly in agriculture which represents “14% of the Tunisian economy”.
Director for Tunisia and Libya Lydie Sheehan commended the cooperation between the two countries in several fields particularly in textile and agricultural products.
This cooperation dates back to before the Brexit, she said.
Sheehan pointed out that the British government has worked “with CEPEX and other SMEs for a very long time to help them access the UK market and increase exports.”
The Minister of State, who tasted the Tunisian olive oil, said he greatly admired its high-quality.
Standard, organic and flavoured olive oil with garlic, four herbs, lemon and chili peppers… were presented by 4 Tunisian exporting olive oil companies namely Terra Delyssa, Rivière d’Or, Ruspina, and A&S.
The event was attended by officials from Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), the Tunisian-British Chamber of Commerce and CEOs of olive oil companies.