Shoham olive oil from Kfar Kish in the Lower Galilee and Saba Haviv olive oil from the Upper Galilee recently entered the Japanese market. Dr. Adi Na'ali, who manages the olive department of the Plants Council said penetration of the market is part of an international trend that the council is seeking. He returned this week from Canada, where people were enthusiastic about the product. In light of growing production, he said the department is exploring work with a number of government offices to enter other markets.
Haya Shoham noted that her product was the only olive oil to enter an exclusive list of Japan's top 100 foods. Men'em Jahshan of Saba Haviv said, "The Japanese came to us through the quality seal of the olive department because they're interested in oil varieties, which characterizes what Israel grows. Israeli oil is considered expensive relative to European oils, but the Japanese know and appreciate quality. They sent us experts on their behalf to taste the fat and choose the varieties that best fit Japanese tastes and palate."