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Consortium of EVQ on aggressive marketing of European olive oil in India
Monday, 27 June, 2011, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bangalore
In a major effort to increase the consumption of olive oil in India, the Consortium of Guarantee of Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVQ) has launched a dedicated promotional campaign titled—Oliveitup—to increase the market presence of its European olive oil in India.

The campaign which was for a three-year period had completed 12 months and the consortium had ascertained that consumers in India regarded olive oil as one of the healthiest among conventionally-used edible oils.

According to Pina Romano, president, Inter-Professional Organisation for Olive Oil, the aim of the campaign is to tap the Indian market and increase the use of olive oil in traditional cuisine. There are several training sessions to disseminate the knowledge of olive oils of European origin in terms of varieties, quality and health attributes.

There are about 1,300 varieties of olives in the world and Italy is the largst producer  with about 540 varieties followed by Spain with 182, Greece with  52 and Turkey having 45, stated Romano.

According to the consortium, quality extra virgin olive oil is the result of the perfect combination of environment, technologies and best agronomic practices in all the production chain steps, regardless of the different quality typologies that olives cultivate.

To preserve all nutritional properties and the rich flavours and aromas supply of quality extra virgin olive oil, the consortium has drawn out stringent set of rules and procedures that, from farm to fork, insist on ensuring high quality standards. Only if producers maintain high quality standards, the extra virgin olive oil will convey all nutritional properties.

As part of the promotional drive, there would be tasting sessions on European olive oils to give the Indian consumer a first-hand experience on taste recognition of the quality product.

Isha Khosla, nutrition and consultant, stated that incorporating olive oil in Indian diet would reduce the growing incidence of cardiac and diabetic disorders in the population.

The growth of olive oil imports in India recorded CAGR of 30 per cent and India imported 3,988 million tonnes of the oil in 2010. In terms of oil usage for cooking, it was  one-third quantity of other oils used and could be reusable 3 to 4 times if filtered after each use, stated V N Dalmia, president, Indian Olive Oil Association.

In terms of affordability to Indian consumer, it was actually priced one-ninth of the actual price, which was Rs 40 per litre, compared to brands in sunflower, soya, coconut, ghee, mustard, palm and corn oil, stated Dalmia.
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