Better branding, market connections to help boost Pakistan’s olive oil sector

Industry has struggled to establish itself in both domestic and international markets

ISLAMABAD   -  To boost Pakistan’s olive oil sec­tor, there is a need to revamp branding strategies and estab­lish stronger market connec­tions. This move should come as a response to the industry’s potential for growth and the increasing global demand for high-quality olive oil products.

“The olive oil sector in Pakistan has faced significant challenges due to inadequate branding ef­forts and weak market linkages. Despite having a favourable cli­mate for olive cultivation and producing high-quality olive oil, the industry has struggled to establish itself in both domes­tic and international markets,” Azeem Tariq, a senior scientific officer at National Agricultural Research Centre, told WealthPK. “The industry’s struggle includes lack of business linkages among key stakeholders such as farmers, processors, wholesalers, and re­tailers. Locally produced olive oil is primarily overlooked by major retail chains, resulting in limited distribution channels for these products. As a result, most locally produced olive oil is sold through informal channels,” he said.

Tariq said, “To address these challenges, there is a need for comprehensive branding strat­egies that highlight the unique characteristics and health ben­efits of Pakistani olive oil. This includes promoting the use of local varieties, showcasing sus­tainable farming practices, and leveraging digital platforms for targeted marketing campaigns.”

“In addition, it is necessary to establish stronger market links both locally and globally. This includes collaborating with retailers and distributors to ensure that Pakistani olive oil products are available in super­markets and specialty stores,” said the NARC scientist.

“Furthermore, the exploration of export opportunities and par­ticipation in international trade fairs and exhibitions should be prioritised to showcase Paki­stan’s olive oil on a global stage.” Talking about the challenges faced by the industry, Ahmed, an olive oil producer, said, “Brand­ing is essential to differentiate Pakistani olive oil in a crowded market. Due to lack of access to mainstream retail outlets and in­ternational markets, the full mar­ket demand cannot be tapped. By highlighting the superior quality, health benefits, and local origin of the oil, we can attract more consumers, which can ultimately help expand the market share.” He said the government’s sup­port and incentives would play a crucial role in this initiative. “Programmes aimed at capac­ity building, technical assistance and financial support for small and medium-sized olive oil pro­ducers should be implemented to boost production and improve product quality.”

As Pakistan’s olive oil indus­try gears up for growth, these efforts will contribute to a more vibrant and competitive sector, benefiting both producers and consumers. With a renewed fo­cus on branding strategies and market connections, the future looks promising for Pakistani olive oil on the global stage.

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