Olive oil exports from Turkey could double if the country becomes a member of the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC).

Average annual exports of olive oil from Turkey are currently reported at US$250m, but the director of the Olive Growing Research Institute (ZAE) at the Turkish Agricultural Ministry, Seyfi Ozisik, today [Friday]s said they could double if Turkey joins the IOOC.

IOOC membership would enhance the status and appeal of Turkish olive oil as it could improve its brand image. Currently many foreign companies buy Turkish olive oil in bulk and resell it under their own brands, Ozisik said.

IOOC is a UN-backed organisation which regulates olive oil production and the olive oil market throughout most of the world, except for the USA. Turkey was an IOOC member between 1963 and 1998. Turkey is the world’s fifth largest olive oil producer with between 90,000 and 100,000 tonnes a year, reported AII DataPro.