EBRD promotes Tunisia’s olive-oil sector

By Nibal Zgheib

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  • EBRD TND 20 million loan to COGIA to boost Tunisian olive-oil producers
  • Funds to support the development of a strategic sector in Tunisia
  • Tunisia is one of the world’s five largest olive-oil producers

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting olive-oil production in Tunisia with a TND 20 million (€6.2 million) loan to Compagnie Générale des Industries Alimentaires (COGIA SA).

COGIA is a subsidiary of United Arab Emirates-based IFFCO Group, with a diversified portfolio of value added sustainable foods, consumer products and services across the Middle East, Africa, southeast Asia and Europe.  

Tunisia is one of the five largest olive-oil producers globally. The EBRD loan will support the development of the sector ‒ of strategic importance to the Tunisian economy ‒ with a view to promoting regional integration, strengthening export competitiveness, and bolstering national economic growth.

The Bank’s funds will enable COGIA to grow its sourcing, bottling and exports of Tunisian olive oil. COGIA is one of the country’s few large operators focusing exclusively on the production and export of bottled Tunisian olive oil, selling to more than 40 countries. COGIA has visibility over the entire manufacturing process to ensure the high quality of its Rahma, Allegro and SanMarco brands.

The EBRD has been involved in the Tunisian olive oil sector since 2012 and, to date, has financed six projects, including an initial loan to COGIA in 2017.

In 2015, the Bank joined a sectoral working group in Tunisia along with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other stakeholders. The group’s main objectives are to foster public-private dialogue on sectoral organisation, review the value chain with a focus on quality enhancement and establish an action plan to support the implementation of an over-arching olive-oil strategy.

Since the start of its operations in Tunisia in 2012, the EBRD has invested close to €1.35 billion in 54 projects in the country. The Bank has also provided technical assistance to more than 1,400 small Tunisian businesses.

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