Agrifood in Tunisia
Agrifood industry is one of the strategic industrial sectors in Tunisian economy. It is uniquely positioned in the industrial fabric and is the third job provider in manufacturing.
This is reflected by:
More than 1 060 companies, 201 of which are totally exporting;
2 048.8 TND Million in exports in 2014;
60.4 TND Million of foreign direct investment made in 2014.
France, Italy and the Netherlands are the main investors in Tunisia. the 1st world exporter of olive oil (campaign 2014-2015). the 1st world exporter of dates in terms of value (campaign 2014-2015).
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK OF AGRIFOOD INDUSTRY
Along with airport, maritime, road and telecommunication infrastructures which are among the most advanced in Africa, Tunisia has a quality technological infrastructure dedicated to agrifood industry. The Bizerte Agrifood Technology Park "AGROTECH" that covers over 45 hectares stands out as a facilitator-coordinator of the Tunisian food industry and is complementary to various existing bodies and institutions. This network has 31 partners (23 Tunisian and 8 foreign) and a core of industry professionals composed of 102 companies. In addition, Tunisia has put in place research centres and several support structures such as the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA-Tunisia), the Agency for the Promotion of Agricultural Investments (APIA), the Technical Agrifood Centre (CTAA), the Technical Centre for Organic Agriculture (CTAB), the National Federation of Food (FENAAL), the Association of Canned Food Industries (GICA) … SYNERGY BETWEEN RESEARCH CENTRES AND COMPANIES I
A FAVOURABLE INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT
The investment incentives code provides for the following:
> A reduced Tax rate of 10% for export earnings and agricultural projects,
> Investment subsidies for agricultural development,
> State participation in employers’ contributions to social security schemes and in infrastructure expenses in regional development zones,
> Investment is made upon simple declaration,
> Possibility for foreign investors to hold up to 100% of the project’s capital without prior authorisation,
> 7% grant on primary processing of agricultural and fisheries products and their packaging, > Grants allocated to support regional development that can reach 25% in specific areas for project implementation and 30% for organic agriculture,
> Possibility for foreigners to invest in agriculture in the framework of agricultural land lease.
BOOMING ORGANIC PRODUCTION
Tunisia has strongly developed its expertise in organic farming. It is the 2nd African exporter of organic products. It mainly involves olive oil, dates, vegetables, aromatic and medicinal plants and vines.
About 80% of Tunisian organic produce is exported.
Tunisia exports over 60 organic products to 5 continents.
Private inspection and certification bodies exist in Tunisia such as ECOCERT, IMC, LACON, DEMETER and serve several value chains involved in organic farming such as olive growing, fruit-tree crops and forestry, vegetable crops and fodder...
Specific incentives for organic agriculture have been implemented by the Tunisian government to encourage the development and improvement of this industry’s performance.
AVAILABLE AND SKILLED HUMAN RESOURCES
Tunisian human resources are skilled, qualified and competitive at all levels. Consistently in line with business needs, they represent a rich pool of talent constituting one of the major assets of the country through their proficiency in foreign languages, sense of adaptation and creativity.
The availability of human resources with proven expertise enables Tunisia to be well ranked in terms of cost competitiveness.
The disciplines of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary science are a real source of expertise with over 1,200 Tunisian graduates per year.
SYNERGY BETWEEN RESEARCH CENTRES AND COMPANIES
>Tunisia has an interfacing structure between the socio-economic world and the research community aimed at identifying and reconciling supply and demand from the university and the business world.
A real synergy exists between research centres and companies operating in Tunisia through 64 laboratories and 270 research units devoted to the disciplines of life sciences and biotechnology. Moreover, some groups, like Danone and Poulina integrated biotechnological applications into their production systems.
COMPLIANCE WITH STANDARDS
In Tunisia, the development of quality standards, covering the sanitary, organoleptic, technological and quality aspects, has been a key element in improving the competitiveness of the various branches of the sector.
Since 2001, Tunisia has been following the international standard in terms of food safety management systems developed by ISO (ISO 22000).
In addition, a specific control and prevention system, known under the international name "Hasard Analysis Critical Point" (HACCP) has been adopted.
Packaging and olive oil bottling
Packaging and semi-preserves of fruits and vegetables
Cooked and semi-cooked dishes
Canned products (tomatoes, sardines, harissa, ...) and semi-preserves
Processed seafood products and development of blue fish products
Fish and shellfish farming
Essential oils ...