George Svanidze, the founder of the company Georgian Olive, associates the increase in the olive harvest in 2020 with favourable weather conditions. “The weather has been very good for olives this year. The olive harvest has grown by about 2.5 times. We will be able to give the exact figure by the end of March. In addition, the number of olive plantations has increased. During the olive harvest, we opened the factory at six in the morning and queues of farmers stood to hand over the produce. We are very pleased that farmers have begun to actively plant olive plantations. Big companies have begun to show more and more interest in breeding this crop. We have already signed several cooperation agreements, for example, with KTW. It is about planting hundreds of hectares of olive plantations. Also, an agreement was signed with the Partner Fund. Of course, every year we are increasing the area of our own plantings,” Georgi Svanidze said to Business-Partner.
Earlier, George Svanidze told EastFruit that the International Olive Council (IOC) plans to fund the development of olive culture in Georgia. According to him, there are plans to create an international laboratory in Georgia within the organization’s grant programs, which will issue certificates of global importance. Under this program, the IOC will send agronomists to Georgia.
Mr Svanidze does not specify the volume of the grant program and financial resources for the development of the olive industry in Georgia but assumes that the program is designed for at least ten years. “Georgia has a very good geographical position. Therefore, if olive groves are planted here and new olive processing facilities are built, Georgian products will go to Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, and China through Georgia. Since we have signed an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, our products will be delivered to the listed countries without tax,” emphasized the founder of Georgian Olive.
In the interview with EastFruit, the largest olive grower in Georgia noted with satisfaction that more and more small and large farms are already interested in establishing olive orchards: “These are groves of various sizes from 5 to 200 hectares. The best thing is that farmers are interested in cultivating this crop and they have begun to plant olive orchards en masse in Georgia. Olives have been harvested for centuries. Growing olives is a business that will benefit our children.”
In the company’s 11 years of existence, Georgian Olive has planted about 1 million olive trees in the Signagi municipality of the Kakheti region in Eastern Georgia and built an olive processing factory in the village of Sakobo in the Signagi municipality. “The more olive plantations there are in Georgia, the more products we will have and the better it will be first and foremost for our population. Today, it is difficult for us to negotiate with large retail chains, since we do not have the required amount of products,” says George Svanidze.
Initially, seedlings were imported from Turkey and now also Spain. Until recently, Turkey was the main partner of the company. The olive processing plant employs over 100 people. The products are organic, biologically pure extra virgin olive oil and packaged olives both of which are exported and also sold on the domestic market in the supermarket chains Agrohub. Starting in 2021, the company’s current crop will appear in Goodwill hypermarkets.
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