Avanton.com Introduces The Best Moroccan Olive Oil To The USA
Olive oil is a fat obtained from the olive, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is
produced by grinding whole olives and extracting the oil by mechanical or chemical means. It is
commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps.
Olive oil is used throughout the world, but especially in the Mediterranean countries. All production
begins by transforming the olive fruit into olive paste. This paste is then malaxed (slowly churned or
mixed) to allow the microscopic oil droplets to concentrate. The best olive oil is extracted by means of
pressure (traditional method) or centrifugation (modern method). After extraction the remnant solid
substance, called pomace, still contains a small quantity of oil.
With support from the USAID, the Moroccan olive growers can soon see their olive oil line the shelves of
supermarkets in the United States. Indeed, through its Integrated Agriculture and Agribusiness
Program (IAA), the U.S. Agency for International Development aims at facilitating access to the U.S.
market for olive growers of Meknes, by helping them modernize their working methods and offering
them the necessary technical support.
Objective: the "olive value chain" must meet the quality standards required by consumers and U.S.
authorities. It is true that the experience is still in its infancy, but initial results are promising. The
implementation of the U.S-Morocco Free Trade Agreement in 2009, which allows Moroccan olive oil to
enter the U.S. duty-free, the value of imports of olive oil from Morocco jumped from $4.1 million in
2006 to $24.2 million in 2010.
With the financial assistance and technical support of the Agency, many producers will see their
production improve and their performance increase, and will most likely affect the U.S. consumer,
known to be very knowledgeable in terms of quality. The IAA program comes following an integrated
approach, i.e. it occurs during all stages of production, upstream to downstream. Thus manufacturers
will also be involved.
This is about implementing quality control measures for the production of olive oil. These measures will
include acidity tests and training on tasting oil to judge its quality and possibly correct any flaws that
might cause problems. The total cost of the USAID assistance in the olive value chain in the region of
Meknes is 7.7 million dirhams (4.3 MDH in equipment and 3.4 MDH in technical assistance). The IAA has
set up several pilot projects related to the treatment of olives.
These projects involve the installation of modern pummeling units which serve as a model for good
production practices and will be used to improve the quality of olive oil for small farmers. These projects
will also develop transport systems, storage and traceability. Similarly, existing processing units will be
renovated and modernized. The support of the U.S. Agency for International Development falls within
the framework of its efforts to support the upgrading of certain sectors of the Moroccan economy so
that they can benefit from the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
For more information please visit http://www.avanton.com
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