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Tunisia: Sousse to have its own DOC oil, soaps

Soap and olive oil from the city of Sousse, in Tunisia, will soon have their own DOC label, ANSAmed reported Thursday.

They will be launched as such by MADEL, ”the first public-private partnership ever set up in Tunisia to develop local products,” according to Hmila, a Sousse finance official, who spoke at the two-day European Development Days conference on supporting inclusive and sustainable growth for human development.

”Before the revolution, the Tunisian state was highly centralized, with municipalities only contributing 3-4% of GDP,” Hmila explained.

“Now the democratic transition favors decentralization, so local communities are gearing up for a more active role.”

Made up of the chamber of commerce, cooperatives, and producers and farmers associations, MADEL came together to create jobs and wealth by valuing local products in a sustainable, inclusive way, in what is Tunisia’s third largest city.

”Sousse has a strong identity. Our Medina (or old Arab quarter) is on the World Heritage list,” said Hmila.

”Our project is sustainable, because we will conserve local resources. It is inclusive, because 30% of our population is poor, especially the women. Just as there is Dijon mustard, there will be Sousse oil. It’s never happened in Tunisia before.”

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