Tunisia is a country in North Africa that has become a big contender in the global olive oil industry. Tunisian olive oil has been rising in the ranks of quality olive oil producers for many years. I had the good fortune of working with the Tunisian olive oil team at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City a few years ago. The event was located in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. This culinary event is the largest specialty food trade show in North America. Annually, it brings specialty food’s top manufacturers, buyers, and leaders all together under one roof for three days. More than 180,000 products, 25,000 buyers, and 2,500 exhibitors will be part of the show.
I learned a lot about how passionate Tunisia is about making high-quality olive oil and bringing it to market in the United States. Just like many Mediterranean countries Tunisia has a long history of producing olive oil. However, in recent years Tunisia has struck liquid gold with its high-quality, low-chemical, non-industrial, hand-picked olive oil production. This country has risen the olive tree of success to become the world’s second-largest olive oil-producing nation. This is not a small feat and something that the Tunisian government and the dedicated olive oil producers are very proud of.
Ultimately 80% of the olive oils produced in Tunisia are Extra Virgin and classified as natural since the majority of Tunisian farmers do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This leads to the ever-so-popular organic olive oil sector. Amazingly, Tunisia’s organic production is reaching 25,000 tons per year, 40% of which is exported throughout the world.
Needless to say, olive oil plays a very important role in Tunisian culture and the Tunisian economy. The olive oils that they supply to the world are of high quality. Therefore, Tunisia is excited to be named the second-largest exporter of olive oil to the United States in 2023. This is a great accomplishment!