Minister Davitashvili joins the 112th session of the Council of Members of the International Olive Council (IOC)
Mr Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) joined the Council of Members of the International Olive Council (IOC) at an online session - “Future of the Olive Sector”. Minister Davitashvili also extended congratulations to the attendees on the World Olive Day. Georgia became an official member of the IOC in 2019 and has been announced as the Chair of the IOC for 2020 (January – December).
The International Olive Council (IOC) was established in Madrid, Spain, in 1959, under the auspices of the United Nations. With more than 40 member states on board, the IOC aims at encouraging the primary production and expansion of international trade of olives.
“Georgia enjoys being a family member of the IOC since 2019 and has embraced the opportunity as an unprecedented alternative for developing olive sector. Georgia had been looking forward to hosting the 112th session, however, the pandemic has had a hindering effect. I would like to express my willingness to welcome upcoming session of the Council in the capital of our country” – Minister Davitashvili stated.
Minister Davitashvili briefed attendees that the Government of Georgia aspires to empower economic opportunities in the country, thus, encouraging cultivation of olive plantations in Georgia will underpin major efforts for complementing economic potential and ensure employment opportunities for the local dwellers; also, Minister made a special emphasis on the potential for cultivating and exporting olive sector in Georgia, which has been complemented by accurately tailored state policies on the sector and incumbent liberal trade environment in the country.
Technical assistance of the IOC to Georgia will complement Georgia’s upcoming year’s aspirations toward newly cultivated 100 acres of olives, which will significantly boost olive production in the country. Minister also briefed attendees on the environmental impact of olive oil production, which features olive’s positive characteristics as a product but nevertheless – olive farming ensures considerable reduction in the environmental impacts and provides significant benefits through conservation of soil and improvement of degrade landscapes.
Throughout the sessions, attendees scrutinized topics such as quality standards of olive oil, impact of Covid-19 on the consumption of olive oil, diversification of markets, role of women in the future of olive oil, as well as upcoming plans. The Chair of the IOC Mr George Svanidze also delivered opening remarks at the session.