The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) will launch a special campaign across six Indian cities next month to promote the use of olive oil.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Habib Essid, executive director of the Madrid based International Olive Oil Council said; "We will highlight the benefits of olive oil in the media. We will hold conferences and host dinners, with food cooked in olive oil. We will be meeting the Minister of Food and Agriculture. We may even sponsor activities like essay writing in schools on the benefits of olive oil."
During its visit to India which starts on March 8, the council will also sponsor a cookbook of Indian and international dishes that can be made with olive oil.
In the recent meeting the council identified India as a target country where olive oil should be promoted. ¨We realised from a study conducted by us that it is a very important market. India is well aware of the medical aspects of olive oil, but it has yet to use olive oil in cooking. Our efforts would be to encourage such use, ´´ said Essid.
It is not going to be easy. As a report prepared by P&A Consultores and Agreron International says, ¨Olive oil is based on certain consumption and cooking habbits of the Mediterranean diet. But when we come to international markets it has to be borne in mind that culinary habits are very difficult to change. There is an obvious need to adopt the olive oil uses to the local gastronomies, as well as to look forward to new applications.¨
But Essid is bullish about the Indian market. "We are confident of a good response", he said.