Olive oil reforms
The olive oil is a growing market in Lebanon. Its production is estimated to be about 23,500 tons a year, according to the Baseline Study for Apples and Olives in Lebanon.
But although samples of olive oil are sent for testing to laboratories when exported, the Agriculture Ministry, and Consumers Lebanon reported that some brands were available on the market containing toxic chemicals, like benzopyrene and acrolein during the extraction stage of olive oil production, which could hurt health, such increasing the chances of cancer.
But according to local producers, “the majority of locally- manufactured olive oil is good-quality. “Almost 40 percent of olive oil that enters the country illegally is low-quality and marketed as extra virgin oil,” they say.
Consumers Lebanon and the National Committee for Oils and Fats (NCOF) called the Agriculture Ministry to set forth a draft law on food security. This would monitor imported and locally-manufactured olive oil, entailing the glass packaging, the bottling date and the origin labeling in addition to setting up a new certification program.
According to the marketing study for Olive, Olive Oil and Apple in Lebanon conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, “olive trees cover more than 21 percent of the total cultivated area (58.8 thousands hectares) with a total production varying between 70-85 thousand tons in low production years vs.165-190 thousand tons, in high production levels. The study refers to the last agricultural survey conducted in 2005.
“The largest portion of the olives production is destined for local markets, where about 70 percent is consumed as olive oil where the rest is destined for pickling More than 56 percent of the total farm holders are engaged in oil culture activities, a total of 111,000 farmers, with an average holding size of less than 0.5ha for more than 50 percent of olive farmers. The total number of olive trees is estimated at around 14 million trees. Lebanon exports yearly 1400-1900 tons of olive oil of which less than 30 percent is virgin,” the study states.
STRATEGIES & PLANS
A fundraising event, entitled Think Green, will be held by Zero Waste ACT for all its business members on September, 10,2013, at WHITE, Dora.
The Green Mind Association invited all Green Mind Award Participants, finalists, runner ups and winners to the GREEN MIND DAY on Jan-16-2013 in Beirut, to create a platform where interested Venture Capital and Potential Investors met with participants.
A green initiative launched by Ashrafieh 2020 project aims to transform Ashrafieh into a tranquil and unpolluted area.Green spaces allow residents to walk and ride bicycles.