Jordan, the source leaves the olive oil industry staggers

Farmers and owners of olive press on Thursday said that uncontrolled imports have led to an oversupply in the market, threatening the local industry of olive oil.

stakeholders in the sector, said poor promotion policies and a flow of imported olive oil have been left with large quantities of olive oil harvest this year, not to be moved.

Ahmad Saadoun, owner of Al Amin Irbid based on oil presses, said that excessive amounts of olive oil from neighboring countries, especially Syria, have created an imbalance in the local market.

"Individual traders import large amounts of olive oil to sell low quality cheap prices in supermarkets and malls," he said, claiming that marketers are bringing more than the limit of legal imports, leaving nearly all producers olive oil can not sell their shares.

Saadoun said that because most people are "struggling" financially, they tend to buy imported olive oil because it is cheaper.

"This forced some olive oil producers to sell their products at a financial loss," he said, adding that some farmers who rely on trade olive soon could "change of activity" in full.

Ezzeldin Faqir, a shareholder in Al Barakeh Olive Oil Press in Ajloun governorate, agreed that the olive oil brought into the country illegally is the main reason behind the oversupply in the market.

He said that imports olive oil from Syria have affected 122 olive presses and farmers across the country.

"The olive oil industry is one of the main pillars of Jordan's economy and may collapse soon," said Faqir.

He urged the government to implement strict controls to curb olive oil "contraband" in the country and make more efforts to promote local production of olive oil.

According to Musa Saket, director of the Jordan Olive Products Exporters Association, the industry stakeholders gathered this week to Agriculture Minister Tayseer Smadi to discuss the issue.

During the meeting, the minister promised to ask the Jordan Customs Department to halt the smuggling of oil in the Kingdom, he said.

In order to "reactivate" the industry, Saket said the government should go one step further with the suspension of imports of olive oil and exerting greater effort to promote Jordanian olive oil at home and abroad.

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