March 2019 Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor Magazine

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Harvest 2019 on the horizon

2019 March

Harvest Outlook Part 1 Olive industry “New wave� Tree nutrition R&D: Olive oil composition & home cooking Regional Round-Up







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March 2019 Issue 111 Incorporating Australian Olive Industry Journal Published by the Australian Olive Association Ltd Publisher Australian Olive Association Ltd Executive Editor Greg Seymour Managing Editor Gerri Nelligan Advertising Gerri Nelligan Production Sandra Noke Subscriptions A one-year subscription (four issues) is: Aust $44 (AOA member discount rate $40), NZ $56 and OS $100 and includes a copy of the annual Australian and New Zealand Olive Industry Directory. Visit to subscribe. Circulation & Advertising Enquiries Contributions Articles and other contributions are welcome and will be published at the discretion of the editor. Photographs are best received as high resolution jpg files via email, and as separate attachments not embedded. Printing Lane Print & Post Adelaide Australian Olive Association ABN 57 072 977 489 PO Box 6661, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 Australia Ph: (+61) 0478 606 145 E: ISSN 1448-5486 Conditions The opinions expressed in Olivegrower & Processor are not necessarily the opinions of or endorsed by the editor or publisher unless otherwise stated. All articles submitted for publication become the property of the publisher. All material in Olivegrower & Processor is copyright © Australian Olive Association Ltd. All rights reserved.No part may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means (graphic, electronic, or mechanical including information and retrieval systems) without written permission of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information, the published will not accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any consequences arising from reliance on information published.

News Confidence remains in NSW DPI Oil Testing Service Med Diet named 2019 Best – in 6/8 categories Dates announced for 2019 Australian International Olive Awards

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Regional round-up GSOGA bus trip to Boort 2019 Hunter Olive Show Tasmanian Olive Council elects new President Peninsula Olive Festival OSA working bee at NOVA site NE Vic growers host tour by plant pathologist

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Harvest outlook Queensland 14 New South Wales 16 Western Australia 17

Grove Management Tree nutrition and resistance

R&D Insights – Hort Innovation



Profile Steaming ahead on a new wave


Olive R&D Changes in chemical compositions of olive oil under different heating temperatures similar to home cooking


Olives New Zealand Olives NZ hosts EU delegation Focus Grove Project keeps kicking goals

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Olive Business Label compliance with Australian Consumer Law Keeping your fresh EVOO fresh

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Olives & health Health round-up


Products & services


What’s on/Advertiser index


Cover: Harvest dawns at Longridge Olives in South Australia’s Limestone Coast region. Image: Lisa Rowntree, Longridge Olives. Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 3


Gerri Nelligan Managing Editor

It’s March already, which means harvest 2019 is not far away for early-cropping growers. And, like the past few years, it’s a mixed bag in terms of expected outcomes: really tough for some and luckily pretty good for a few. For most, a lack of rainfall is again the culprit.

In this edition, we look at the situation in Qld, NSW and WA in the first round of our annual harvest report, as well as activities happening around the states and regions in our new Regional RoundUp feature. We love sharing news of what grower groups are getting up to, so send us yours for the next edition! There’s also a great profile on four of the ‘new wave’ of younger olive growers, the latest industry news and events, advice on tree nutrition and labelling compliance, and plenty more. Hope you enjoy the read. Editor Gerri Nelligan and the OG&P team.

Edible Oils Chemist Jamie Ayton took delegates through the Oil Testing Service’s laboratory processes during last year’s National Olive Conference field visit to Charles Sturt University and the NSW DPI facility.

Confidence remains in NSW DPI Oil Testing Service The NSW DPI Olive Testing Service at Wagga Wagga recently released a statement in response to concern from some growers about reports the Service had lost its IOC accreditation and the possible implications. “Having held International Olive Council (IOC) accreditation consistently for 19 years for chemistry analysis and 10 years for sensory analysis, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Oil Testing Service was not successful in achieving IOC accreditation for sensory testing for the period 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019. The laboratory has, however, retained IOC accreditation for chemistry testing for this period,” the statement read. The IOC accreditation is one of a suite of accreditations currently held by the Oil Testing Service, each highly respected in the global market and with robust accreditation processes: • National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA): Chemical and Sensory Analysis accreditation • American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS): Chemical and Sensory Analysis accreditation

International Olive Council (IOC): Chemical Analysis accreditation. The Testing Service has assured clients that, in practical terms, this means that producers can confidently continue to use the laboratory’s testing services and that the accreditation change will not impact any ability to trade. As both the IOC Standard and the Australian Standard (AS5264-2011) are regarded by the government as voluntary trade standards, the only instances in which IOC accreditation is relevant is in the unlikely event that an international buyer requires this assessment, or if there is a trade dispute between that buyer and the seller regarding the true classification of the product. “In addition, if you have regularly entered awards or competitions where NSW DPI testing services were used, we can assure you they remain valid. The sensory assessments for the AIOA EVOO and other Australian competitions were carried out by an AIOA sensory judging panel,” the laboratory stated. AOA OliveCare® Code of Practice Administrator Peter McFarlane said that the

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industry organisation is satisfied with the level of accreditation and expertise provided by both of Australia’s oil testing facilities. “The NSW DPI Wagga and Modern Olives labs currently have both chemical and sensory analysis accreditation from both NATA and the AOCS, with additional IOC chemical analysis accreditation for the Wagga lab,” he said. “The AOA has full confidence in the accreditation and standards of both laboratories, and will continue to recognise and use the services of both for OliveCare® signatory product accreditation, market surveys, and AIOA EVOO competitions.” The NSW DPI has reassured clients that it “will continue to provide the high quality sensory and chemistry testing services experienced in the past while we work to regain full IOC accreditation later this year.” For further information, or to discuss the Oil Testing Service’s current accreditation status, please contact the NSW DPI team on 02 6938 1957.


Med Diet named 2019 Best – in 6/8 categories The 2019 US News Best Diet rating left no doubt as to the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, ranking the olive oil-rich eating regime #1 in the Best Diets Overall category with a score of 4.2/5. The US government-endorsed DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) came in second, followed by the descriptively-named Flexitarian diet. Interestingly, both emphasise an increase in plant-based foods and a decrease in saturated fats, also integral elements of the Mediterranean diet and a shout-out to fruit-derived, mono-unsaturated olive oil.

Olive oil at the core

The Best Diets website in fact references the consumer-friendly Mediterranean diet pyramid developed by the Harvard School of Public Health and non-profit food think tank Oldways, which lists “core foods to enjoy every day” as “whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil”. It also refers to olive oil as “a cooking staple in Mediterranean recipes, and a key salad dressing ingredient”.

Med Diet rankings

The Mediterranean Diet took the top spot among the 41 diets reviewed for the 2019 rankings, named #1 in the Best Diets Overall category for being “relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease”. It also claimed the #1 position in five of the additional seven diet categories, moving down the rankings only in terms of weight loss: • #1 - Best Diets Overall • #17 (tie) - Best Weight-Loss Diets • #1 - Best Diabetes Diets • #1 - Best Diets for Healthy Eating • #30 (tie) - Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets • #1 (tie) - Best Heart-Healthy Diets • #1 - Best Plant-Based Diets • #1 - Easiest Diets to Follow


MED DIET The ranking process

Now in its ninth year, the annual US News Best Diets listing ranks the current most popular diets across a number of categories, rating their effects on everything from heart health to weight loss. US News staffers create in-depth profiles for a shortlist of top diets, investigating how each works, whether it does what it claims, possible health risks and the practicalities of following the diet. The profiles are then reviewed by a panel of nationally recognized experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease, and rated across seven categories: ease of following, ability to produce short-term/long-term weight loss, nutritional completeness, safety and potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease. The experts’ ratings are then converted to scores and stars from 5 (highest) to 1 (lowest), from which the eight Best Diet category rankings are calculated. The Med Diet’s total came in at 4.2/5 overall, scoring 2.9 and 3.1 for short and long-term weight loss respectively, 3.8 for being easy to follow and an undisputable 4.9 for its health benefits. Source:

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 5


Dates announced for 2019 Australian International Olive Awards Harvest is drawing closer, which means fresh, new season oils are on their way. As is the chance for peer review and a celebration of the best of the 2019 harvest via the Australian International Olive Awards. Australia’s premier EVOO and table olive competition, with the added benefits of international status and promotion, the Australian International Olive Awards is the “must enter” event on the competition calendar. So SAVE THE DATES NOW and make sure you get your entries in for the chance to be named Best EVOO of Show or Table Olive of Show for 2019: • Entries open – 1 July 2019 • Entries close – 30 August 2019


• •

Showcase your EVOO and table olives to the world!

Judging – 12-14 September 2019 Presentation dinner, Albury, NSW – 18 October 2019

Full details will be available in May on the competition website:

It validates our initial reason for going into the shows. Being small, we never had a lot of money for advertising, so we agreed we’d enter the awards and see where it takes us. Sure enough, once you get a medal or two it becomes very contagious. Carol and Tony O’Neil, Cradle Coast Olives Best EVOO of Show 2018

TasteBook™ Round 5 explores varietal variance Round 5 of the AOA’s TasteBook™ sensory training program is set to begin – and if you’re keen to get your head (and tastebuds) around the nuances of single varietal oils, this one is definitely for you. Being held from mid-March to mid-April, Round 5 will focus on single varietal extra virgin olive oils, including Picual – a varietal loved by some but a quandary for others. The samples have been sourced from different regions of Australia, providing an opportunity to also explore regional differences and the influences of climate and soil. In a departure from the usual format, and to enable the depth of varietal oil comparison, Round 5 will focus solely on EVOO and no

table olive samples will be included. Bookings will once again be via Eventbrite and the questionnaire will be distributed via SurveyMonkey, the latter allowing for multiple family or business members to participate in the training. The invitation to take part in Round 5 will be emailed to all previous participants, however the program is open to all interested industry members, their associates and the general public who would like to share the experience of appreciating, describing and understanding the quality and nuances of extra virgin olive oil (and usually table olives!). If you’re interested in participating or would like to know more about the

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TasteBook™ program, contact project organiser Dr Soumi Paul Mukhopadhyay at

PHONE: 03 5272 9500

Regional round-up

For boutique growers, the GSOGA members’ tour of Boundary Bend’s Boort grove was ‘like our experiences on steroids’.

GSOGA bus trip to Boort In November 2018 Goulburn Strathbogie Olive Growers Association (GSOGA) members organised a weekend bus trip to Boort, where they were guided through the groves and production facilities of two very different sized olive businesses. GSOGA President Michele Sheward said they took both new information and inspiration back to their groves. “On the Saturday we visited Boundary Bend’s Boort grove. We were welcomed and shown around the facility, which was an amazing experience for all who attended,” she said. “We learned about the different varieties grown there and how they performed. For boutique growers it was like our experiences on steroids. “The following day we visited Salute Oliva, a boutique organic olive grove in Boort. Once

again we were warmly welcomed and given a guided tour of the grove and facilities, with much to be learned along the way. “This was a wonderful example of how best practice is being maintained while also being a successful business.” Michele said there was much positive feedback and appreciation for the event, which provided an insight into how vastly differently-sized groves make their operations work to their respective scales of production. “It basically showed one extreme to the other in terms of size of grove and what they do, and I’m sure everyone took home some new ideas,” she said. “And the more people get together, the more you learn. Everybody has their own problems and a lot think it’s their problem alone, but then you find it’s a very similar situation in a lot of other places and for

others growers too. Finding out the way other people deal with it is very interesting.”

Future events

With that in mind, GSOGA organizes a number of events each year, covering varying topics and formats. The most recent, aptly titled Beyond EVOO, explored other uses for olive oil, with presentations by soap and cosmetics producers, and ‘show bags’ provided by the Olive Wellness Institute. Most GSOGA events are open to nonmembers, and details are published in the Friday Olive Extracts industry e-newsletter.

For more information on GSOGA activities, events and membership, contact President Michele Sheward at

2019 Hunter Olive Show Dates have been announced for the 2019 Hunter Olive Show, which will replicate timing for the 2018 event. Details are: • Entries open – mid-August • Entries close – Friday, 4 October • Judging – Saturday, 26 October • Awards presentation – Thursday, November 14 Treasurer Alan Smith said the event has been scheduled to allow table producers time to get their 2019 crop processed, and to take into consideration the late Tasmanian harvest. “And as always, we continue our aim of running an affordable olive show, with the help of our sponsors and a very dedicated group of volunteers,” he said. “Our 2019 entry fees therefore remain the same: oils $39 per entry, table olives $29 per entry, with a charge as required for testing of $20.”

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Entry forms are available on the Hunter Olive Association website or email Alan Smith at for more information.

Regional round-up

Tasmanian Olive Council elects new President In mid-February the Tasmanian Olive Council (TOC) elected a new President, welcoming Freshfield Grove owner Fiona Makowski to the leadership position. Taking over from outgoing President Christine Mann, Makowski said she’s looking forward to both the challenges and opportunities of the role. “I’m excited (and a little nervous) to be taking on the role of President of the TOC, and I feel I’ve got some tough acts to live up to!,” she said. “There’s lots of experience in our membership, and what feels like an increasing number of new growers too, so I hope to continue to encourage the sharing of information amongst us. “I think we would all describe ourselves as time-poor, so last year we took the step of holding some of our meetings by video conference. This worked well, enabling some growers to join us who can’t usually attend a physical meeting.”

Plans afoot

She’s also looking forward to a number of activities the TOC is organizing or involved with around the state throughout 2019. “We’ve got a couple of field days planned this year, one to visit some olive trees that I believe are almost 150 years old, and another on the topic of pruning,” she said. “The TOC is continuing to sponsor the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards in 2019 and we’re looking forward to partnering with them into the future to help grow the olive categories in particular. We also hope some of our members will take the opportunity to get involved as Associate Judges this year. “Lastly, fermented foods are a hot topic in Tasmania at the moment, so we’re linking up with some experts in that field to help us learn more about how to produce fantastic table olives.”

New Tasmanian Olive Council President Fiona Makowski. Image: Natalie Mendham,

You can read more about Fiona in our feature article on the ‘new wave’ of Australian olive growers on page 34 of this edition.

Peninsula Olive Festival Fleurieu Peninsula olive producers will once again be taking the industry to the people this year, with the Peninsula Olive Festival one of the hot calendar items on the 2019 Tasting Australia program. One of the Australian olive oil industry’s newest teams, Mel Hollick and Brook Wyett combine their wine and agricultural industry experience to maintain two picturesque groves on the Fleurieu Peninsula, nurturing around 17,000 trees. Somehow they’re also finding time to host a day of food, wine, fun and learning with a heavy emphasis on all things olive. Educational and hands-on activities include how to taste EVOO, how to pickle olives, pruning demonstrations and harvest demonstrations, and local producers will have an array of olive products available for tasting and sales. They will be joined by local chefs and producers providing tastings and sales of regional fare, and local musicians, wineries, brewers and distillers will keep guests entertained and hydrated. Add-on options including local produce hampers and a progressive lunch are also available, with pre-booking essential.

Event details

Saturday, 6 April 2019 from 10am-4pm at Peninsula Providore, 2250 Bull Creek Road, Tooperang, SA.

Producers or olive industry contractors wanting to get involved can contact Mel Hollick on 0402 225 314 or, and catering bookings can be made at www.

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 9

Regional round-up

OSA working bee at NOVA site Olives SA are holding a working bee at the NOVA (National Olive Variety Assessment) site, part of the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus and venue for the South Australian AOA IPDM Field Day held in December. OSA President Michael Johnston said the March 16 activity will be the first in an ongoing collaborative project between the state grower organisation and the university, aiming to restore and resurrect the research facility as a learning and teaching site. “It’s been neglected for quite a while and needs a good clean-out, so the plan is to give it a bit of much-needed TLC. There’s a lot of suckering, so the number one thing will be getting rid of the suckers and the dead wood,” he said. “It’ll be a long half day of pruning, cleaning up and tree shaping, under the guidance of long-time olive guru Peter Cox. He has a strong history with the site, and invaluable experience in demonstrating pruning and other grove maintenance, so it’ll also be a learning opportunity for anyone not as confident in their tree management skills. “We wanted to get in and get it cleaned up before the harvest year begins, because then we’re all going to get caught up in our own harvests, and we’ll be scheduling ongoing activity post-harvest. “Hopefully it’ll be a start to eventually bring it back up to a viable plantation. It’s an incredible resource and should be of importance for the whole of Australia; we just have to get it healthy again so we can make use of the facility.” Event details Saturday, March 16 from 9-2pm, at Roseworthy Campus, Mudla Wirra Rd, Roseworthy. Water will be available but please BYO food and tools: pruning saws, loppers, secateurs and a small tomahawk or axe for removing suckers.

Dr Michelle Wirthenson and Fleurieu Peninsula grower Mel Hollick checking tree health during the AOA IPDM Field Day grove inspection at the NOVA site.

For more information, contact Michael Johnston on 0419 815 839 or There’s more information about the NOVA olive research site and the restoration project in the September 2018 edition of Olivegrower & Processor.

NE Vic growers host tour by plant pathologist Esther Townes Olive consultant Dr Vera Sergeeva was invited privately to visit a number of NE Victorian groves in November 2018. Unfortunately, her international schedule prevented participation by many producers in the area, however Mt Sugarloaf Grove, L’Oliveriae and Gooramadda Olives were available for visits. The Wooragee Primary School and the Wodonga TAFE Department of Horticulture/Agriculture, which both use their small olive groves as a teaching tool, also took up the opportunity. As rank amateurs in caring for olive trees, Graeme and I were delighted to receive her helpful, professional advice regarding the condition of our grove, especially relating to our concerns with olive lace bug (OLB), sooty mould and anthracnose. We noted her comment that too high a percentage of yellow leaves on the trees is their message of ‘stress’ of some kind. We realise that each olive grove has unique challenges of soil type, rainfall

Growers Monika Bronsgeest and Esther Townes with Dr Vera Sergeeva during the NE Vic grove visits.

patterns, tree varieties and economies of scale. Vera’s practical, broad-ranging advice, with her preference toward organic, non-chemical solutions, has enabled us to devise strategies which we are convinced will increase our trees’

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capacity to resist disease, while improving the long-term future of our grove. Our private research leads us to believe that usage of chemicals is a short term solution only and has been found, in WA at least during their endemic OLB breakout, to be ineffective for the long term health of the trees. In brief, we are now improving our groves’ soil structure and texture, growing pollen food for beneficial predators of aphids and olive lace bug, pruning the trees to decrease hiding places for diseases, and monitoring local rainfall during times of critical fruit development. What Vera has made us aware is that we should not over-fertilise or over-water this ancient tree, especially where anthracnose could be present. The yellow tinge across our groves has become much, much greener, and we hope for continual improvement in this difficult time of changing weather patterns. Thank you, Vera.


2019 National Olive Conference & Trade Exhibition – SAVE THE DATES Wednesday, 16 October – AOA AGM, followed by Cocktail Welcome Function & Exhibition Opening Thursday, 17 October – Conference, followed by Conference Dinner Friday, 18 October – Conference, followed by AIOA Presentation Dinner Saturday, 19 October – Optional Workshop and Field Visit Program We’ll bring you more details in the June edition of Olivegrower & Processor, and regular updates in the weekly Friday Olive Extracts industry e-newsletter.


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Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 13

Harvest outlook

Harvest outlook In our annual round-up of the harvest outlook around Australia and New Zealand, in this edition we see how the season is looking in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. As usual, where possible we’ve revisited the growers we spoke with last year to see how this year compares. Queensland Edina Olives, Gin Gin Neville and Lucy Smith have had a seriously rough trot as olive growers. When we caught up with them last year they’d had no commercial crop for the previous seven years and had been battling rampant olive lace bug for the last two. Pruning to eradicate the pest saw good regrowth but the bugs returned while the fruit did not. So they came to the conclusion that Queensland’s climate is no longer amenable to olive growing, and decided to continue tending just a fraction of their 1600 “beautiful and healthy” but non-fruiting trees. Unfortunately, even concentrating the TLC on a small part of the grove hasn’t resulted in a crop this year. “We’ve got no olives at all. We have 144 trees that I conserved, that we were taking a lot of care with, and even those this year didn’t produce one flower,” Neville said. “They had everything you could possibly give an olive tree: I did soil tests and fertilized them, we irrigated twice a week until the water level started to get low, and we had a winter chill – a couple of mornings down to minus 6 and minus 8 on the ground – but still produced nothing.” The culprit this year was, like for so many others, the ongoing drought across some parts of Queensland. “It wasn’t the nutrients and wasn’t the winter chill so that doesn’t leave much more than moisture as the problem,” Neville said. “The last time we had rain was June, with just a few millimetres here and there since, and all the vegetation is dead or dying. Maybe what was what was wrong with the olives was that the irrigation we gave them of 70L twice a week didn’t really work because the ground moisture wasn’t high enough. We just don’t know.” What they do know, though, is that olive lace bug don’t like hot, dry conditions. “They like the humidity,” Neville said. “Since we’ve had this extremely dry weather, they did come around in October like they usually do but only on a small scale. Then in March I expected them to do the same thing but again, it was only minimal. So the weather does have a lot to do with it. “I haven’t sprayed them, though, so they’ll all be hiding under there ready to come out next year.” Despite all of that, the Smiths somehow continue to be philosophical about the situation and have no intention of giving up olives completely. “I can’t keep my fingers out of the dirt so I’m going to keep going with my 144 trees - you never know your luck in a big country,” Neville said. “And they’re saying now that Arbequina are the ones that do the best in Queensland, so I might put in a trial patch of Arbequina and see what happens. “As I see it, everybody growing olives up here should treat it as a trial.” 14 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

Gin Gin Palm Tree Darlington

The Bradfield Scheme During Olivegrower’s discussions with Neville he raised the issue of water diversion, creating infrastructure to move the floodwaters in northern Queensland inland to the channel country and beyond. He raised the concept of a modified version of the Bradfield Scheme, connecting the north Queensland rivers and linking them to the Darling/Murray. “It’ll fix up the problems with the Murray Darling system and open up large areas of Queensland and northern New South Wales for agriculture. It’d become the food bowl of Australia,” he said. “It’s definitely feasible and with what’s happening right now floods in one part of the state and drought in the other - it needs to be a priority.” Something to contemplate … Rash Valley Olives, Palm Tree The 2016 harvest saw the last ‘reasonable’ crop in Roger and Shirley Harrison’s grove. Continuing drought has left them unable to irrigate - and moisture stress leading up to flowering and fruit-set has given them little fruit to nurture anyway. So while much of northern Queensland is reeling from floods, the Harrisons are in the same boat as the Smiths. “Our total rainfall for January was 6mm, and we got 50mm last week (mid-February) while Northern Queensland was awash. It’s pretty dry here at the moment,” Roger said. “And as for olives, we’ve reached the end of the line! “We’ve had another failed crop this year, making it two in a row, following two extremely dry winters. We’ve also had no run-off into our dam for around six years now, so we’re really pushing it uphill. So (being ever so fast to catch on) I’ve concluded olives are the wrong thing to try to grow in a non-Mediterranean climate.” They’ve also made a similar decision to the Smiths about the future of their grove. “To cut down on the workload - mainly pruning, but also pest and weed control, etc - we’ll rip out most of the trees (we can’t leave them unattended!) and keep just a hundred or so for our own supply of olives. “We’re also selling our press to a buyer in South Australia and, should we ever get a half-decent crop, we’ll find someone with a press to extract the oil for us. “Shirley’s been keen to give up for a while now, but I’m the everoptimistic one who kept saying ‘Next year will be better’. But you can only bash your head against a brick wall for so long ...” And while he’s undoubtedly taken a turn towards pragmatism, the ever-present optimism we’ve seen from Harrison over the years hasn’t completely disappeared. “I am keeping one of our 500 litre floating lid tanks, a couple of

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Harvest outlook

the 50 litre ones, and the gravity cotton-wool filter unit. How’s that for unbridled optimism?” So in Harrison’s own words “that’s the sad story”. “It started in 2002 when we first planted, and we had some really good harvests along the way, but unfortunately, it’s just the wrong area to try to grow dry-land olives successfully.” More information: Worendo, Darlington And the story doesn’t get any brighter speaking with our third regular contributors, Rob and Sue Overell. Like the other Queensland growers, consecutive years of drought have rendered their trees unproductive yet again this year. “It’s our third year running with no crop. We’re in dire drought here,” Rob said. “We did get some flowers but we got big hail storms in later spring and we lost the lot. The other day I think I found two olives in about 500 trees.” Unlike the others, however, they’re keeping all of their trees. “We’re living in amongst the trees now, we’ve built a cottage there, and our son is still keen to use them. So we’ll still continue looking after them and the years we get a crop that’s going to be great, and if we don’t get a crop there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re just not stressing about it any more.” They have, however, reduced the level of maintenance they do in the grove. “We’re making it manageable while we’re not getting a crop,” Rob said. “We still fertilise and apply boron and trim them but we do minimal other work, and we don’t go over the top with pruning. A lot of the trees we’ve let grow very big – we’d prune them if we want to maximise production but we don’t any more - although we do prune many of the smaller trees. “And we don’t irrigate the olives any more. There’s a total ban on irrigation here, so they’ve got to just go with the natural rainwater now. Until recently that had been 1mm, and two nights ago we got 7mm but it didn’t even wet the ground. It just crackles underfoot.” The trees are, at least, healthy, with no pest and disease issues of note. “We had one bad year with lace bug about four or five years ago but nothing since then,” Rob said. “It took multiple sprayings to get it under control because I used an organic spray to start with and it just wasn’t effective enough. The mistake was not getting them earlier. That said, it knocked them back for a year but after that we got a good crop. “And they look nice – in fact they’re absolutely stunning from a distance – they’re just obviously feeling the conditions and they’re just not very productive.” More information:

New South Wales Olives from Broke, Broke Marie Kearns is a new contributor to our Harvest Outlook feature (many thanks and welcome, Marie!). With her family, she runs a small grove of 550 trees just outside Broke in the Hunter Valley, planted with a north-easterly aspect and for table olive production only. Varieties include Kalamata, Sevillano, Manzanillo, Picholene and Azzapa, with a few Frantoio for pollination, and their award-winning olives are produced using natural fermentation methods. The 2018-19 season got off to a good start, she said, but needed a lot more rain to have achieved a really positive result. “Flowering this year was pretty good, although later than last year, 16 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

Broke Razorback

and similarly fruit set looked promising. “We have had a very hot, dry December and January, however. We have been irrigating quite heavily over the past two months (three times a week for around two hours each) and still would often find the fruit quite shrivelled when we arrived at the grove on Friday evening. “Luckily we’ve had some good rain in the past few weeks and following that, the fruit we have is looking good.” There’s just not that much of it, she said, and they have a couple of possible reasons why that may have occurred. “Unfortunately many of our Kalamata trees just haven’t got any olives, and the Picholine are also sparse. The Sevillano, Manzanillo and also the Frantoio have good volume. “We pruned quite heavily in spring this year and also left quite a lot of Kalamata on the trees last year, as they were late ripening. They were in the section with very little fruit on and we were away in early June, so we didn’t get to them. “We wonder if either of these issues might explain the fruit in these trees just not developing.” On the upside, the dry year – combined with good grove management practices - has been positive in terms of pests and diseases. “We have had little in the way of pest problems this year, and we have a routine for spraying for fungal problems which helps us keep on top of that,” Marie said. So now they just need a bit more rain in the lead-up to that smaller harvest, which looks like deviating from its usual mid-February to April time-frame each year. “We expect harvest will be slightly later this year, probably starting early March and going through to June,” Marie said. More information: Razorback Olive Grove, Razorback Danny Fahri’s harvest story generally follows a biennial pattern, with good crops one year followed by disappointing crops the next – in most cases caused by extremes of weather. Which means last year’s “worst year on record” should mean a positive change of fortune this year. Unfortunately, Farhi told us, it just hasn’t happened – and it’s all down to those extremes of weather. “There’s nothing to tell you (about the harvest). This year is worse,” he said. “It’s because we’ve had no rain, nothing. Olive trees need late winter rain and if you don’t get it, you won’t get fruit. And everything here is struggling now: too much hot weather, burning flowers, not enough moisture. All the farmers are in the same boat and there are no crops - every year I have hundreds of types of birds appear; this year you can hardly see any birds around because there’s nothing for them to eat.” Fahri says his 2019 olive crop is “very little” but that the grove is surprisingly healthy, despite the harsh conditions.

Harvest outlook

“Last year the crop was low but this year it’s even lower,” he said. “I used to sell my oil in bulk but this year it’ll be just enough to process and bottle, to keep my regular customers going. “But we had a little bit of rain on and off recently and the trees are looking pretty good – nothing on them, of course, but they’re thriving and healthy – and I’ve got no diseases whatsoever. That’s the only thing that’s good about it being so dry; that the pests don’t want to be here.” And like many other growers, Fahri is still prepared to hope that the next season will be better. “I’ve got beautiful healthy trees with a lot of fresh shoots getting ready to flower, so if it follows up with September rain I’ll get a good crop,” he said. “You need the moisture to open the flowers so they get pollinated properly and as long as we get that, I’ll have a lot of fruit. You’ve got to be positive, and I don’t give up that easily. “So bring on next year, keep praying for rain and let’s see what happens.”

a few hot days but not day after day of extreme temperature, which can happen.” Which means Wildy hasn’t been tempted to reinstate his full irrigation regime. “Last year I irrigated much less due to forced circumstances – the pump break down. Yield and quality were still reasonable so I am irrigating less than my previous normal practice,” he said. “The decision to irrigate less is made easier because of the relatively mild summer and escalating electricity prices.” Previous pest and disease issues are also manageable this year, with the exception of the large-winged variety. “There was no sign of anthracnose last year, so hopefully that is now under control and can be kept so with copper sprays. Olive lace

We’ll continue looking after them and the years we get a crop that’s going to be great - Rob Overell, Worendo, NSW

Western Australia Ian Wildy, Sherwood Springs Mumballup’s ideal olive-growing climate means consistently good crops are the norm for Ian Wildy – with the occasional hiccup serving as a reminder that he is, of course, a farmer. Last year’s was looking like one of those, combining poor flowering, an unseasonally mild summer and a broken irrigation pump, but ended up simply “a strange season”, with earlier ripening, higher oil yield and silver medal quality. This year is looking more like the ‘consistently good’ old days. “There was average to good flowering across all varieties and a bit later than last year, which was early, so closer to the longer term average,” Wildy said. “And fruit set was a bit disappointing given the flowering but still reasonable, although there was a lot of variation from tree to tree.” Which is probably down to that olive-friendly weather throughout the growing season. “We had good winter rain but there’s been no summer rain of significance, which is good from a scale and anthracnose perspective. Summer temperatures have been on the mild size of average, but warmer than last year which was particularly mild. And we’ve had

bug is back but isolated to a twig or two on a few trees, and I am dealing with it by pruning off the affected foliage and spraying when on the ground,” Wildy said. “Twenty eight parrot (Port Lincoln Ringneck) numbers are increasing, however, and they are nipping off quite a bit of green fruit. I expect them to transfer their attention to the Marri when they start flowering in a few weeks, otherwise some method of control may be necessary.” Which all points to things returning to the grove’s previous consistency – in all but timing. “In terms of quantity the crop is looking about average and similar to last year. The fruit may be a bit smaller than most years,” Wildy said. “And given the generally average conditions, I would expect the quality to be satisfactory and similar to previous years. We seem to be able to produce a fairly consistent product. “But we expect to harvest a couple of weeks later than last year because of the later flowering, so late May-early June.” More information:

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Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 17

Harvest outlook

Talbot Grove, York Water during flowering and fruit set, followed by kind weather during the growing season, saw a larger than usual crop on Frederik von Altenstadt’s Talbot Grove last year. It was up there in quality too, taking gold and a Best of Class award at the 2018 Perth Royal Olive Awards. This year started on a similar note but the weather hasn’t been quite as kind. “Flowering was good - maybe not the best we’ve ever had but good,” von Altenstadt said. “We had a fantastic lot of rain in winter and spring leading into October but we didn’t get any rain during the flowering and fruit set period, so it was already dry by then. I have a little bit of water and I gave it all I’ve got: it made the difference and flowering was still good. “Fruit set was more or less the same, good but not fantastic.” Which is more than he can say about the weather during the growing season. “Since October we’ve had no real rainfall. We had two or three insignificant showers - less than 3mm - so nothing that would make any difference since flowering,” he said. “It’s very rare not to have any rain during summer and that is critical for me because I’m basically dryland. In nine out of 10 years we get some decent rainfall somewhere along the line during summer and that does the job, but no rain doesn’t really work and this could be one of those years. “It would only be the second year since we’ve been producing that it’s been an issue and if we get some in the next two to three weeks it might make a difference, otherwise the oil could turn out very bitter. Also, of course, it will mean a very small quantity.” And while irrigation might be the solution for some, von Altenstadt doesn’t have much water available so is strategic with how – and when – he uses it. “With the little bit I have – supplementary you’d call it – we concentrated most of that during flowering and fruit set,” he said.

Quantity wise, our crop looks average to slightly better than average at present – Mick Ryan, Donnybook, WA “I have a little bit left, which I’ll use during the next month or so to get a bit more oil and increase the quality. It’s definitely only supplementary irrigation.” He’s also battling increased pest and disease issues this year. “I have not had a black scale problem for more than 15 years but that has really proliferated. A new species has now invaded from adjacent bushland, which they have not done before,” he said. “We’ve had large ants before and they would crawl up one tree, I would trace them and I’d have a few square metres I could treat with my knapsack. This year, though, the ants have been coming from this piece of bush and I haven’t been able to trace them. I haven’t had a strategy to combat them, so about 20% of my grove has black scale. “The ant specialist in the local Department of Ag has now given me a more focused control strategy and I did that about a month ago. It seems to work and ant numbers are quite reduced but of course it will take some time to recover. “So I thought I had it all under control and then 20 years later something new happens. Someone mentioned it could be changed conditions in their habitat, and they have to leave to find what they need. Or maybe it’s just the year they have proliferated.” Either way, von Altenstadt no doubt wishes someone could give him a strategy for controlling rainfall, as the outcome of this year’s crop is dependent on it. 18 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111


York Mumballup

“This is the time we need rain,” he said. “At this stage it’s definitely below average, and if we get 30mm next week it’s going to be completely different from if we get no rain at all. More information: Preston Valley Grove, Donnybrook Mick Ryan’s Preston Valley Grove is another in the rare ‘comparatively consistent’ category, with crops satisfying as a minimum and good in most years. The year, we’re pleased to hear, is a ‘most’ year, with things going pretty smoothly from flowering and through the growing season to date. “Flowering last spring was good, and fruit set was too,” Ryan said. “The summer in the South-West has been cooler than normal and, apart from around Margaret River, dry. We have generally had days in the low to mid-30’s and cool nights, with no temperatures above 38 this year. North of Perth the temperatures have been hotter, and there’s been occasional storm activity.” Despite the cool summer, Ryan has irrigated this year. “We have irrigated but mainly to promote growth in replants. We removed all our Barnea in 2016 and replaced with Coratina, so these get irrigated weekly. Our system means we need to also irrigate other parts of the grove at the same time.” But other than tending to young trees, he said there’s been little to stress about in the grove and things are looking good – and normal – right across the region. “We’ve had no real pest and disease issues; the occasional sighting of lace bug and scale but nothing of consequence or concern,” he said. “Quantity wise, our crop looks average to slightly better than average at present and this seems to be the indication within the South West region. There’s nothing to indicate quality will be worse than normal, and it looks like harvest will be at the normal time of late April through into June. Our varieties mean we typically have an extended harvest period that allows us to spread out to enable contract harvesting and processing.” More information:

Harvest outlook

Register of small-batch processors – are you listed? Thanks to all the small-batch processors who have sent us their details: they’re now on our register, which we reference to connect processors with people wanting to utilise their services. The Olivegrower and AOA teams regularly receive enquiries from people looking for small-batch processors – both ‘home’ olive growers with a good crop wanting to produce their own oil, and growers with smaller-than-expected grove crops. With that in mind, we’ve put a register together which enables us to connect producers with small crops and processors who can process for them, to the mutual benefit of both. We’d like to include all processors across Australia and New Zealand willing and able to process small batches of olives, preferably individually but also those offering group crushings.

If this is you, please send your details to Olivegrower editor Gerri Nelligan, including contact and pricing details, minimum quantities required, and whether you will crush individually or on a “mix and percentage” basis. We’ve got a good list already, and it’s worked well in recent years, so we’re keen to make the register as complete as possible. If you’re not on it already, please send us

your details so we can add you to the list – it could mean valuable additional work for your business. In particular, we’re keen to hear from small batch processors in South Australia and Queensland. To be included on the register, please email your details to Olivegrower editor Gerri Nelligan at

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 19

Grove maintenance

Best Practice Series

The OliveCare® program is all about helping olive producers achieve quality. With that aim, the Best Practice Series of articles discusses how to increase the yield of premium EVOO through best practice management strategies from the grove to the consumer.

Tree nutrition and resistance Peter McFarlane, OliveCare® Administrator Jim Rowntree, Longridge Olives, Coonalpyn, SA Peter McFarlane: At the AOA integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) field days we observed several groves with mild to serious infections of Cercospora leaf spot. Longridge Olives owner Jim Rowntree, who presented at the Launceston field day, raised an interesting question on “cause and effect”. Jim thought the Cercospora infected trees looked stressed and needing nutrition. He posed the following questions: “Is the widespread incidence of Cercospora leaf spot the exacerbated by poor tree nutrition/water stress, or is Circospora leaf spot infection causing poor tree health?” “Does a Cercospora infected grove need a copper spray or nutrients, or both?”

Soil testing and leaf analysis

Jim recommended Cercospora infected groves have soil pH (mineral availability) tests and leaf analysis to assess the nutrient status

of the grove. It’s a worthwhile undertaking, given that one of the principles of IPDM is having “happy trees” that are able to better resist pests and diseases. He provided the following approach to fertilising: • broadcast as much of the macro (and some micro) elements as possible; • top up whatever can be done in the irrigation water; • foliar spray on the micro (trace elements). Jim Rowntree To explain further: There are macro and micro (trace) elements in fertilizer. Macro elements are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur. Depending on the soil type there are many variations on the types of broadcast fertiliser available based on these macro elements. I try to broadcast the best cost fertiliser that covers as many of these elements as possible.

Black dust - spore mass on underside of the leaves. Image: OliVera.

Note: one has to be careful to check that the fertiliser chosen does not negatively impact the pH or micro-biology of the soil. I see this as a storage of these basic macro elements. There are several trace elements that can be added to broadcast fertiliser and still be accessible to the plant. It depends on the soil type which elements will bind to the soil and be unavailable (here we add copper, molybdenum and zinc). Nitrogen mainly, but some other macro elements, can leach through the soil so


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20 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111


2 Day Workshop, Boort Resource & Information Centre and Salute Oliva, Victoria. Covering every aspect of processing quality from the grove to the laboratory. Combines the expertise of international processing consultant Pablo Canamasas and award-winning producers Peter and Marlies Eicher of Salute Oliva. Visit for more details and to register or contact, phone: 0478 606 145. This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation olive research and development levy, co-investment from the Australian Olive Association and contributions from the Australian Government.

Grove maintenance

these are topped up by adding them to the irrigation water. Trace elements can also be added to the water but it is generally thought that these are better applied via foliar spray because these elements can quickly bind to the soil and become unavailable.

Foliar sprays

In susceptible varieties inoculum of yellowing, partial infected leaves may fall, leading to defoliation of branches. Images: OliVera.

Foliar sprays are used in a few different ways: • fungicides, pesticides and fruit loosening sprays. Use as required; • to quickly correct a nutritional deficiency. In a situation where there signs of nutritional imbalance are showing, foliar spray is a quick way to get the fertiliser into the plant. This can be macro and micro elements; • trace element foliar spray. Different soil types will bind various elements, making them difficult for the plant to uptake. Trace elements are only required in small amounts and it is quite effective to foliar spray these for direct uptake. I usually spray on Kontrace, Spraytrace or several other options that are blended to do this. Usually extra boron and manganese are added to the pre-flowering application. I will generally foliar spray trace elements three times per year: one at the end of winter, one pre-flowering and the last one after the leaf analysis is done in late January or early February.

Leaf analysis

Leaf analysis is best done when the tree is working hard, so late January or early February when the fruit is filling. The shortfalls show up best then, so we routinely do this. However, if there is a leaf problem or some other reason to take a sample any other time of year, it should still show any major issues – refer to the example leaf analysis report with this article.

More information

Example leaf analysis report, providing a snapshot of the nutrient status of your trees.

22 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

A comprehensive description of olive grove nutrient needs and testing can be found in Chapter 9 (Fertilisation) of the Olive Growing Manual (El Cultivo Del Olivo), available for reference on the AOA website Specifically, sampling is addressed in 9.3 (soil in 9.3.1, leaf in 9.3.2) and fertiliser application in 9.6 (soil in 9.6.1, foliar in 9.6.2). Additionally, 9.4 is a useful guide in terms of putting a fertilisation plan together. Soil pH test kits are readily available from gardening and agricultural suppliers. Soil and leaf nutrient analysis services are available from a number of laboratories around Australia, including the NSW DPI The website also has a guide to interpreting test reports: go to Services-Laboratory Services-Soil testing.


R&D Insights contains the latest levy-funded R&D project updates, research findings and related industry resources, which all happen under the Hort Innovation Olive Fund. Hort Innovation partners with leading service providers to complete a range of R&D projects to ensure the long-term sustainability and profitability of the olive industry.

Get on top of the detail at AOA Olive Oil Processing Workshop “Success at the plant depends on details” … and those important details are exactly what you’ll learn about at the AOA Olive Oil Processing Workshop, being held in April in Boort, Victoria. Making great EVOO is all about ensuring quality at every stage of the process, so the comprehensive two-day course covers every aspect of processing quality, from grove management for optimal fruit quality to best-practice processing and storage. Along the way you’ll learn a lot about olive oil chemistry, and no doubt find the answers the many of the “why did/ does that happen to my oil?” questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

Guiding participants through this wealth of information are international processing consultant Pablo Canamasas and award-winning producers Peter and Marlies Eicher of Salute Oliva. Their combined expertise and practical experience will ensure that complex detail is presented in a user-friendly format, making this a course for growers and processors at every stage and capacity.

Key elements Pablo Canamasas said that, while the course is broad-ranging in its content, several key elements will be firmly in focus across the two days.

International processing consultant Pablo Canamasas will guide participants through a wealth of information on processing quality.

“Regardless of whether you are a small or large facility, or whether you want to produce quality or volume, success at the plant depends on your knowledge on the actual olive fruit,” he said. “You need to understand the fruit condition at arrival in order to select the best possible equipment adjustments to achieve the desired results. Understanding fruit maturity, fruit moisture and fruit size is key to your chances of being efficient at the plant. For this reason, understanding fruit condition will take a significant part in the course. “The second most important aspect


Workshop Recap WHAT: AOA Olive Oil Processing Workshop WHEN: Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 April 2019 WHERE: Boort (Boort Resource & Information Centre/BRIC and Salute Oliva); Accommodation at Boort Lakes Holiday Park REGISTRATION: Is now open and places are limited. Book now – this is one course you can’t afford to miss!

Award-winning producers Peter and Marlies Eicher will share their experience in making high quality extra virgin olive oil during the day 2 practical session at Salute Oliva.

I will be emphasising is paste preparation. Paste preparation (which you sort out once you have assessed the fruit condition) represents 90% of the job done at the plant. If you get it right, then you’ll most likely be efficient in extracting the oil without compromising quality. “The equipment adjustment will also be covered in detail. Attendees need to understand the physical processes occurring during crushing, malaxing and centrifugation. As we go through each step, we will also discuss how oil quality is being affected by our technical and operational decisions.” These elements will all be covered in ‘real time’ on the day two hands-on processing session, as Canamasas and the Eichers produce extra virgin olive oil using the processing line at Salute Oliva. “The aim is to assess olive fruit arriving at the processing plant in terms of maturity, moisture level and general conditions and then select the correct processing parameters,” Peter said. “These will include grid sizes, temperatures, malaxing times and set up of the decanter, as well as

processing aids such as talc or enzymes to optimise quality and yield of the olives on hand. “Marlies and I will share with the course participants our experience in making a high quality extra virgin olive oil with the equipment we are using at Salute Oliva, and what we have learned over the years we have been doing it.” Which is where we come back to learning about those all-important details. “The important take-home message is the fact that success at the plant depends on details. My experience is that you may be great in understanding fruit quality and in making the appropriate technical decisions, but if you relax and assume that things will go as you planned then you are in trouble,” Pablo said. “You have to be on top of things for as long as the decanter is running, and many times inefficiencies show up due to small details that you didn’t take into consideration. “Which is why this course is so valuable: the fact that on the second

MORE INFORMATION: And registrations on the OliveBiz website -

day, they will have Peter and Marlies running the plant and helping them to make sense of everything that was discussed the day before. And going over all those important details as they go through the processes. “These two are in my opinion some of the best and most technicallysound people I have ever met in the world olive oil industry, particularly when it comes to small operations. Salute Oliva is an example of success in terms of grove management, olive oil making, brand development, and eventually, in offering a great bottled product. “They are an asset to the course in themselves, and if I was a grower I would grab the opportunity to learn from them.” And from Canamasas, whose experience both in Australia and as a consultant internationally makes this presenting team – and the workshop – simply unmissable. This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation olive research and development levy, co-investment from the Australian Olive Association and contributions from the Australian Government.`


The IPDM team got literally to the root of grove issues at the Pomonal field day. A struggling tree was removed for inspection and discussion by (from left) horticultural consultant Mike Thomsett, Louise and Mark McKenzie, disease expert Dr Len Tesoriero and grove owner David Margetson.

IPDM Field Day program: it’s a wrap The last of the AOA integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) Field Days has been run but the effects are reverberating in groves across the country. The national program was organised by the AOA and Western Sydney University as part of the olive levyfunded project: An integrated pest and disease management extension program for the olive industry (OL17001) and saw a team of industry experts travel across the country for a series of intensive day-long workshops. Combining focussed IPDM information with product quality, marketing and broader grove management topics, the events provided an “olive-growing 101” overview in a single day. Project lead Dr Robert-Spooner Hart said the program was an unmitigated success. “We had close to 300 attendees over the 10 workshops, with numbers in

the high 20s to mid-30s at most and peaking at 47. Given the size of the industry, that’s fantastic,” he said. “And it wasn’t just the locals that were coming: some people travelled huge distances for the opportunity to attend because they weren’t able to make it to one closer to them. One guy at the Mornington Peninsula event had come from Sydney, and in Bright we had people from Griffith, Wagga and Goulburn. That was really impressive.” And the attendees were in turn impressed, Spooner-Hart said. “Feedback scores were 4.5/5 overall – very good to excellent – for pretty much all of the activities. General comments were that they liked that there was a mix of topics, and that the info on grove management linked to pest and disease; and they liked the whole day experience, going out into the field for part of it rather than just a show and tell inside.

“Many said how great it was to talk to other growers, and also to talk to us in an informal session. They thought that was really good, to be able to talk to us one-on-one, rather than stick their hand up in a crowd and ask what they might think is a dumb question or of no interest to anyone else. “And teaming with the AOA really worked. We might have got half the numbers turning up if we just did IPDM over half a day, but we had both new and experienced growers who’ve come and listened to IPDM, to grove and quality management, to marketing, and took it all in. “Another important thing is that we went to some places that felt they’d been neglected. People in Queensland and WA are normally expected to travel to the east but we’ve been proactively reaching growers all over the country – ‘We’ll come and see you, have a chat and see what your issues are.’ That’s exactly what we needed to do with


Detailed knowledge of the life cycle of olive pests was part of the empowering information shared by Dr Spooner-Hart at the field days.

Missed the Field Days? All the presentations from the AOA IPDM Field Day program, and the video of the Roseworthy, South Australia event, are available for viewing at any time on the Olivebiz website –

Research Recap PROJECT NAME: : An integrated pest and disease management extension program for the olive industry (OL17001) AIM: Develop, co-ordinate and provide industry with appropriate IPDM extension services focussed on sustainable management of black scale, olive lace bug and anthracnose RESEARCH PARTNER: Western Sydney University FUNDING: Hort Innovation Olive Fund PROJECT DURATION: Three years KEY ACTIVITIES TO DATE:

Grower survey conducted to identify current IPDM knowledge gaps

Initial extension materials developed

Program of 10 IPDM field days held across six states

Field day video produced

IPDM and that’s why we went out there, so we could meet with the local growers and have them talk about the local issues, and then provide information specific to those issues and their needs. “And we went to a mix of groves, from New Norcia which is 150 years old to a grove that was five years old, so we got to see a whole lot of different things: we were eyeballing all across Australia, looking at different pest and disease problems, and we learned a lot. So we’re now in a good position to put together further documentation which will be part of the larger IPDM program.” Dr Spooner-Hart said he believes the collaboration with the AOA is key to the program’s success, in both the short and long-term. “I wanted to work with the AOA because we didn’t want a project that would just end with a final report. We wanted to leave a legacy for the industry and something that would be ongoing, updated and accessible. The logical way to do that was to work with the industry association, and the industry association is the logical repository for all the information in the long term. “The presentations are already available on the industry information website, OliveBiz, and we want to get a number of other formats of information out to growers as well. We’re looking at web-based tutorials, which they can go to any time, and single page fact sheets – a potted ‘Everything you want to know about black scale’. We hope to give that kind of information out to pesticide

The next stage of the project will see the production of easy-reference fact sheets on issues including black scale.

distributors as well, so they have copies to hand out to people asking about pest and disease management. “We’re also going to put out an IPDM management manual – sort of a ‘how to’ - and we’re going to update the field guide, both in terms of information and the way it’s available, so it’ll be accessible electronically. A lot of people these days just want to download something on their phones. “Then at the end of it all we’re going to be doing another survey to find out if things have changed - and if they have changed, whether it’s because they know more, and then we want to know what they’re doing differently. In other words, we want to know how much of a difference we’ve made. “The key thing is that all of that is going to be available through the AOA – and available to the whole industry, with the opportunity for whoever comes after me to have it in a form that’s easy to edit and update. “This is a project about results now and then longevity. It’s putting all of these things in place so that there’s good information readily available to the industry, and with the opportunity to be updated as needed. “It’s about empowering people, and you’re empowered when you have the knowledge. It’s not rocket science but it’s really giving growers that sense of confidence in their own abilities.”


National Xylella Co-ordinator Craig Elliott (right) headed to WA as part of the AOA IPDM Field Day roadshow, joining team members (from left) Peter McFarlane, Mike Thomsett and Dr Robert Spooner-Hart in Russell Lewis’s Chapman River Olives grove.

Xylella Co-ordinator gets straight to work Just weeks after his appointment to the role, National Xylella Coordinator Craig Elliott headed to WA as part of the AOA’s IPDM Field Day roadshow, meeting olive growers and speaking with them about the biosecurity needs of our industry. “It was a really good week and a big learning curve for me getting out on the ground with the olive growers,” he said. “I don’t have a strong background in olive production - which is actually a good thing, because it means there hasn’t been a really big outbreak of disease in Australia.” Elliott gave field day participants a summary of the risk posed by Xylella in Australia, and the work being done to protect against an incursion. “Xylella is now the number one plant biosecurity threat for Australia, and the olive industry is particularly vulnerable,” he said. “The Australian government is taking extra steps to stop it coming in but, being a bacteria, there’s still a very good chance we’ll be dealing with it sometime in the future. “Given what happened to olive production in the south of Italy, that means it should be front of mind for the olive industry. Growers need to be aware of the risk and to have biosecurity measures in place at their own property. That’s imperative: every grower needs to put a biosecurity plan in place and implement it. “One of the first questions I put out to the growers at the workshop was how many were aware of Xylella and about half said they were. That’s actually a big uptake for this sort of message

but it means we’ve still got 50% of the industry to get it out to. “And we need to get those crucial biosecurity practices happening across the board: things like having a secure, clean area where access is restricted and a dirty area where people come and get cleaned down. “Growers have to be really aware that this is likely to come into Australia, to be ready to deal with it and to be active in how they’re managing their properties.”

Project plans

“The olive industry can feel very confident that he will give us the best chance possible of staying Xylella free.”

Research Recap PROJECT NAME: Xylella co-ordinator (MT17006) PROJECT AIM: To ensure national awareness of the threat of Xylella fastidiosa, and to develop crosssectoral biosecurity preparedness and prevention strategies

Elliott said that, while the project has only recently rolled out, there’s plenty of action happening already.

PROJECT PARTNER: Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI)

“In terms of the work we’ll be doing, we’re looking at what the impacts would be in Australia, and how we could contain and eradicate it here,” he said.

FUNDING: Hort Innovation Apple and Pear, Avocado, Citrus, Cherry, Dried Grape, Nursery, Olive, Prune, Raspberry and Blackberry, Strawberry, Summerfruit and Table Grape Funds

“It’s still very early days but we’ve also started some discussion with researchers about understanding the native vectors, and therefore how it might be carried here, and we’re looking at using remote sensors for detection. “The focus is on creating the best methodologies and practices to ensure we detect it early and respond quickly.” And after spending a week in the field together, AOA CEO Greg Seymour said he’s confident that Elliott can do that. “He’s really got his head around the situation. It’s one of the most complex jobs in Australia and they’ve picked the right bloke to handle it,” Seymour said.


Xylella fastidiosa is the current #1 plant biosecurity risk for Australia

Australia is currently free of Xylella but it has recently spread across olive-producing European countries

To date destruction of infected plant material and control of carriers are the only control methods

Key to Australia’s protection from Xylella is the ability for early detection, with containment and eradication tools at the ready


Research Recap PROJECT NAME: Churchill Fellowships (LP16002) AIM: To support Australian levypaying horticulture industry members to undertake research projects that involve visiting and gleaning insights from abroad, with their findings having the potential to provide benefit to the Australian community. The focus of the Hort Leadership Fund scholarships is to cultivate new ideas to drive innovation and transformation within Australia’s horticulture industry PROJECT PARTNER: Winston Churchill Memorial Foundation FUNDING: Hort Innovation’s Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative PROJECT DURATION: Four years KEY INFORMATION:

Three Hort-sponsored Fellowships are on offer annually, each valued at approximately $26,000

The Fellowship provides full funding for an international project requiring investigation and covers international travel, accommodation, living allowance and insurance

The Fellowships are open to any industry participant with an idea for a research project that can benefit the horticultural sector; no prescribed qualifications are required in order to apply

Fellowship recipients can travel overseas for a minimum of four and a maximum of eight weeks to conduct their research

Olive grower Peter Birch gained invaluable knowledge about pruning and harvesting efficiency from his 2001 Churchill Fellowship. His insight into the Colossus harvester has helped it become a mainstay of the modern Australian industry.

Hort-funded Churchill Fellowships now open for application Applications are now open for three Hort Innovation-funded Churchill Fellowships, enabling recipients to travel the world to access industryrelated knowledge not readily available in Australia. Jointly funded under the Hort Innovation Leadership Fund and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, the Fellowships recognise the horticulture industry’s important contribution to the nation’s economy by investing directly in the growers who deliver it. Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand says the Hort Innovation - To Cultivate New Ideas In Horticulture Fellowships are designed to drive innovation and transformation in the horticulture industry. “Horticulture growers are already some of the most innovative business people in Australia,” he said.

Apply now Applications for 2019 Hort-funded Churchill Fellowships are now open More information Application forms, along with detailed information including application guidelines, FAQ and a video overview of the application process, are available on the Churchill Trust website www. Applications for 2019 Fellowships close on Tuesday, 30 April 2019

“These Fellowships allow them to gain insight into international technology and processes, harness that knowledge and grow the nation’s collective horticultural understanding by sharing it with the industry.”

How they work A Churchill Fellowship offers the opportunity to travel overseas to investigate a topic or issue that you are passionate about. The high international regard for Churchill Fellowships provides a pathway to access expertise from around the world that is not typically available, along with a high level of visibility and credibility. Applications for 2019 Churchill Fellowships close on April 30. Find out more and apply at www. Note: when applying, make sure you nominate for one of the Hortfunded Fellowships. A sponsored Fellowship offers the dual benefit of representing the Churchill Trust and the sponsor, and can provide a higher level of visibility and credibility. The high regard for the sponsor can also increase the opportunity to share your Fellowship findings with the Australian community. Churchill Fellowships are funded by the Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, with coinvestment from the Winston Churchill Memorial Foundation and contributions from the Australian Government.


OWI resources and events raise health practitioner awareness The initial phase of the olive levy project Educating health professionals about Australian olive products (OL17002) is almost over, and it’s been a year of non-stop information-sharing activity by the team at the Olive Wellness Institute. Contracted by Hort Innovation in April 2018, the project aims to increase the use of olive products in the daily lives of consumers by equipping Australian health care professionals (HCPs) with the knowledge they need to advise about their health benefits and uses. They’ve done that in a number of ways, combining the opportunities presented by online and social media resources with presentations and product demonstrations at events to reach the broadest possible audience. Using the Olive Wellness Institute (OWI) website as a repository for all the collective resources, the last six months in particular have been a hive of activity, with major achievements including: • new resources tabs fully developed and uploaded onto the website, separated for specific target audience categories (e.g. general, growers & processors, HCPs, academics & lecturers, social media resources) • two university presentations - The Science of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Cooking with Olive Oil - uploaded for academics and researchers, providing slides and an audio overlay of suggested evidencebased transcript • first two of a series of webinars for health care professionals Extra Virgin Olive Oil covered in November 2018 and Olive Leaf Extract in February 2019 • Systematic Literature Reviews across 10 health areas completed, and interactive human body infographic uploaded • articles by expert authors on a wide variety of topics uploaded on a weekly or bi-weekly basis

The Olive Wellness Institute’s Jacqui Plozza introduced growers to the Event Kit and other resources at last year’s National Olive Industry Conference & Exhibition in Wagga Wagga. Top: OWI-branded EVOO, olive leaf tea and EVOO-based chocolate have provided a great ‘take-home’ message for event and webinar participants.

• monthly newsletter distributed • ongoing updating of Olive Science Database for recent evidence, and Australian-specific evidence segregated • social media strategy strengthened, Instagram platform live. The OWI team has also been busy in the physical world, taking the information to health care professionals and wider audiences across the country via: • awareness events, including dinners with target audience influencers and at the Laureate University for natural medicine/nutrition students • attendance at events held by health care professional bodies, including

the Australian Society of Lifestyle Medicine, the Australian Natural Therapists Association and the Nutrition Society of Australia • university sessions, educating natural medicine and nutrition students and collaboratively launching Olive Oil Week in the Laureate student clinic. And they’ve given the information a literal ‘take-home’ message, developing Olive Wellness Institute branded EVOO, olive leaf tea and EVOO-based chocolate, which have been distributed at events and to webinar participants. Project lead Sarah Gray said they have also been aware of the important role that the industry plays


Survey reflects increased knowledge At the project’s commencement a survey of 100 health care professionals was undertaken to gauge their baseline understanding of olive products. A follow-up survey was carried out in December to measure the change in attitudes resulting from the project activities and provide insight into remaining knowledge gaps. The results are extremely positive, Ms Gray said, for both the R&D project and the olive industry. “Awareness of Olive Wellness Institute has more than doubled since the initial survey, with more than one in five HCPs now having heard of Olive Wellness Institute,” she said. “Website visitation has increased sixfold and 100% of HCPs who have visited believe it is useful as an ongoing resource. “HCPs who have awareness of Olive Wellness Institute are also more familiar with some of the more niche olive products and are more likely to:

perceive the health benefits of OLE

be more aware of EVOO’s overall benefits

promote both EVOO and OLE think EVOO/OO suitable for cooking. “We were particularly pleased with the increased knowledge about the benefits of olive leaf extract, with 62% of HCPs aware of Olive Wellness Institute likely to promote it to their clients. Compared with 39% for the average HCP, that’s a fantastic result.”

The first two in a series of webinars for health care professionals have been highly successful, with 230 practitioners taking part and engagement rates of 80% for the EVOO session and 91.5% for olive leaf extract session.

in communicating the health benefits of olive products, so have included industry-specific information and events in the mix. “Our grower event kit was developed and released to growers and processors around the AOA Wagga Wagga conference, where we presented an overview of our activities and the OWI resources to the industry,” she said. “We also presented to the AOA Board at their November meeting, and to growers attending the AOA IPDM project Field Days in Toowoomba and Halls Gap. “We’ve since followed that up with a survey of levy payers, to gauge the usefulness of the resources produced to date and obtain feedback on further information and resources which they feel would be helpful. That’s still in progress, and will form part of our activity planning going forward.”

Research Recap PROJECT NAME: Educating health professionals about Australian olive products (OL17002) PROJECT AIM: To increase the use of olive products in the daily lives of consumers by equipping Australian health care professionals with the knowledge they need to advise about their health benefits and uses PROJECT PARTNER: Boundary Bend Limited

This R&D Insights insert has been funded by Hort Innovation using the olive research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower‑owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.

Pests & diseases

Understanding APVMA permits for agricultural chemicals All agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals in Australia, such as insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, must be registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). For growers, APVMA registration means a chemical product can be supplied for sale and used safely according to the label directions. The APVMA can only register chemical products and actives for those uses that a registrant applies for. This means that some products become registered for use on one crop, to target one pest in a single situation, while others are registered for multiple uses, in multiple situations and to target a range of pests and diseases. There are times when horticulturalists and farmers can benefit from using a product in a way that has not been applied for by a registrant where the market may be considered too small to justify the investment

necessary. In these circumstances growers and industry may pursue a minor use permit from the APVMA to allow for off-label use of an agvet chemical. This is a huge advantage to gain access to chemicals usually used on crops other than olives that may boost your productivity. APVMA Executive Director, Registration Management and Evaluation, Alan Norden said that the use of agvet chemicals to control pests and disease plays an important role in the production and quality of Australia’s crops.

“A robust permit application process provides growers with access to a wider variety of agvet chemicals while maintaining the protections to the health and safety of people, animals and the environment as provided for by registration,” Alan said. Alan explains that a minor use is defined as the use of a chemical product that would not produce sufficient economic return to justify an application for registration. Minor use permits can be a boon for growing operations in niche crops.

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Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 31

Pests & diseases

View current permits The Hort Innovation Fund project Olive industry minor use program (OL16000) supports the submission of applications and renewals for minor use permits with the APVMA. You can view the list of current minor use permits for the olive industry, along with complete and accurate information on these permits, on the APVMA website: au/permits. Details of the conditions of use of the permits can also be found on the APVMA site. “Olives are considered to be a minor use crop by the APVMA,” Alan said. “The olive industry can apply for minor use permits that allow access to a wider range of agvet chemicals that are not considered economically viable to registrants to seek registration for use on olives.” There are currently 15 minor use permits in place across Australia for use on olive crops. These can be found on the APVMA PubCRIS database, and also on the AOA website. Another, for the treatment of anthracnose on olives, is in the pipeline currently undergoing research.

Minor use permit application process

Anyone can apply for a minor use permit, but the permit must be held by an Australian entity with a physical address in Australia. The application must satisfy the human safety, efficacy, crop safety and trade criteria. To satisfy these criteria and apply for

a minor use permit, you need to follow four simple steps: 1. Become a registered user of the APVMA’s online portal, portal.apvma. 2. Prepare your application using the application form, which details the information required to satisfy the regulatory criteria.

32 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

3. Compile your supporting evidence, using scientific argument, extrapolation from registered products, similar previously issued permits, overseas registrations and/ or data generated for the particular use to support their application. 4. Submit your application via the online portal and pay the application fee. The application is then assessed by an APVMA risk manager, consulting when required with scientific evaluation areas such as chemistry, health and environment. Alan explains that even when extensive residue, chemistry or environmental assessments are required the applicant will only pay the $350 fee, which is what makes minor use permits so economical. Minor use permit assessment timeframes vary depending on the differences of the new use when compared to existing registered uses, and are typically 5-8 months. Uses in new food crops and in new application equipment typically require assessments in areas such as residues, trade and/or environment to determine if the proposed use is acceptable. Once a minor use permit is approved, the person or industry who applied for the permit becomes the permit holder. However, the permit can indicate who is able to use the permit or where the use can occur.

Pests & diseases

Although the permit holder may be in a particular sector, if under persons who can use the product under this permit it states ‘persons generally’ then the permit is open to anyone who wishes to use the permit and can comply with the permit conditions. Once a minor use permit expires, the particular use granted by the permit is no longer allowed and it is an offence under the Agvet Code to continue use. “An expired permit can be renewed, but the applicant may be required to provide further data or information to support its continued use,” Alan said.

Emergency permits and permit-to-label project

In emergency situations, applicants can apply for an emergency use permit. These permits are used in situations where the proposed use is generally unforeseen, such as the outbreak of an exotic pest or disease or where unusual weather patterns bring more pests or diseases. An emergency use permit is free, but justification must be provided to prove that the use is a genuine emergency. Emergency permits are completed on a priority basis and the assessment can be completed in a very short time period. Another way the APVMA is streamlining the permits process for growers is by migrating existing permits to registered labels at a reduced cost to industry. This will eliminate the need for some existing permits and reduce future demands for permits, meaning growers will get improved access to much needed chemical products. One of the permits currently being considered is azoxystrobin use on olives against Anthracnose.

The AOA’s role in pesticide registration The AOA plays a vital role in enabling olive growers to maintain access to a range of tools for pest and disease management. The organisation’s activities range from submissions to governments and regulators on spray-drift management and regulation, pesticide and policy reviews, organic production and certification systems, to providing regular biosecurity advice to authorities, just to name a few. The most regular activity, however, is the AOA’s interaction with the APVMA regarding pesticide registration. “The APVMA system is complex and the registration/permit process is lengthy because of the APVMA’s obligation to make safety for community and environment a paramount consideration,” AOA CEO Greg Seymour said. “The AOA therefore provides technical and industry information to the APVMA, either directly or in more recent times via Hort Innovation, which enables research and registration priorities to be determined and funding allocated to undertake the necessary work with maximum efficiency. “The AOA also works with other horticultural industries with similar

needs to identify the opportunity for cross-industry registration and permits. This helps reduce costs and increases the volume of research able to be undertaken.

Industry permit holder

“In the realms of global pesticide registration, olives are considered a minor crop and this means we often need to have permits to legally use some of them. The APVMA issues the permits to the AOA to hold on behalf of the olive industry, so that all olive growers can use the nominated pesticides under the conditions outlined in the permit. “This avoids every grower having to apply for an individual permit for every chemical they use that is not legally registered for use on olives – an unviable alternative. “And as a permit holder, the AOA has many important obligations to ensure there is safe and legal use of the pesticides regulated by the permits it holds. Again, we meet these obligations on behalf of the industry.” The AOA holds 11 of the 15 current APVMA olive minor use permits on behalf of the industry, with the others held by agencies including Hort Innovation. There are also six label registrations, with an additional three pending.

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 33

Profile feature

Freshfield Grove owners Fiona and Glenn Makowski on their “fantasy property” north-east of Hobart.

Steaming ahead on a new wave Among other myths about our industry is the belief that olive growers are either ‘tree change’ retirees or large company operations. The truth is that there’s a ‘new wave’ of younger grove owners joining the industry, bringing fresh ideas and enthusiasm in spades. We spoke with a few of them and asked them about their life as growers, and for their thoughts about the industry. Fiona Makowski, Freshfield Grove

An anatomic pathologist by profession (they diagnose cancers and other diseases), Fiona Makowski added olive grower to her CV in 2014 when she bought Freshfield Grove, north-east of Hobart. She manages a thousand 16-year-old trees on 2.5 ha, with the rest of the property share-farmed for sheep and cereal crops. Production Makowski’s production is predominantly EVOO but she’s keen to change that into the future. “When we brought the property there was a press here so we bought that as well. It’s a very small press – 80kg/hr – and I did some contract pressing for the first time this year. It was terrifying,” she said. “But it went fine. It was small quantities for other small growers and they were very happy with the outcome, so it was all good. “I’ve been doing tiny quantities of table olives for a few years but that was just for us, and I’ve now sold a small amount. I did a few more than I’d usually do, was more rigorous about the food safety side of it and got them tested. “And about three years ago I tried making olive leaf tea. It was really well received but is time-consuming to produce and I can’t find a way of making it that’s economically viable. So I’ve put that on the back burner at the moment.” Markets She currently sells mainly locally – another thing she’s keen to change. “I’ve been selling at the weekly main food/farmer’s market in Hobart. We’re also

I’m generally learning that doing something is better than doing nothing because then you can learn as you go. - Fiona Makowski stocked in the local IGA and a few other small shops in the south,” she said. “I can ship nationally and further afield but the shipping cost is restrictive. It makes it difficult to keep the end price affordable and I haven’t yet worked out the best pricing model to incorporate the shipping.” Personal involvement Makowski says for most of the year she’s “pretty much it”, across all aspects of the business. “I look after everything in the grove in terms of pruning, tree health, etc, getting advice where I can from local agronomists and other agricultural people,” she said. “I’m doing all the business side of thing – accounting, marketing - as well. Packing is me too, and so is the pressing. “There’s my husband as well but he travels a lot for work. He helps out when he’s here and generally does anything involving the tractor. He gets home and I give him a list. “And this year I did employ casuals to help me pick. Just three people for a couple of weeks.”

34 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

Entry point Like many growers, Makowski’s entry into the industry was somewhat coincidental. “My husband’s from Hobart and we were living in the UK. We’d come to Tassie from time to time and look at the real estate to see what fantasy properties are around,” she said. “We’d always wanted to have an acreage property and we started noting there were a few olive groves. We fell in love with the industry and, from a practical point of view, thought it had a lot of potential for growth. We also knew Tassie makes really good products. “Prior to that I had no knowledge of agriculture, so it’s been a very steep learning curve. I still feel that I’m not very far up it.” Life in olives now Is panning out pretty well, Makowski says. “It’s hard to remember now what my expectations were at the time because everything’s constantly shifting as you learn, but I still love it,” she said. “I feel as if I’ve made a lot of progress in the last 12 months as to how I’m applying what I’ve learned, but a lot of the time it seems that there are not really definite rights and wrongs. A lot of what people do is down to what suits them because of location or skills or equipment, or how many family and friends you’ve got to help. So what works for one really can’t be applied to someone else. “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking I don’t want to do the wrong thing but I’m generally learning that doing something is better than doing nothing because then you can learn as you go.

Profile feature

“For example, there was a pruning demo and since I got back I’ve pruned 400 trees with a chainsaw. Some are a bit on the wonky side but the grove is looking so much better. I’m really excited: I did it in three days and it’s completely revolutionised how I’m feeling about the pruning. “So it’s taken longer than I expected to start seeing the benefits of what I’ve been doing but I feel like I’m getting some traction in the marketplace and people are starting to recognise my products. There’s also a definite demand for table olives in Tasmania and as I structure the business to make it viable, that needs to include table olives. It will probably also involve me doing contract pressing.” Industry pros Makowski said the people are what really make ours a great industry. “The first conference I went to, I was really struck by how open and helpful everybody was,” she said.

“I think there’s a real passion and belief in olive oil and olives being awesome products, and people generally just really want to find out how they can share that with other people.” And cons “As a bit of a control freak, it’s not having control over lots of things – like weather. That’s a bit frustrating. That would be the same for all small food producers: you can only control so much in your immediate environment and then there’s all the stuff you just have to make the best of. “Also the cost of postage, which limits selling our products further afield to some extent. For small producers to be viable it helps to have access to a wider market than you can physically touch from here in Tasmania.” Where to from here? That viability is an important part of Makowski’s end game plan. “Ultimately I want it to be a viable business

that will cover its costs, including labour. And to make a product that’s of value to people and that they’re able to afford to buy,” she said. “We bought this property with the intention that we’ll be here forever, so my dream is to be able to grow it and watch it develop over the next few decades. “And I think there’s potential for a very bright future in the industry. Australians are becoming more aware of the benefits of olive oil and there’s an increasing interest in table olives, particularly with the growth in fermented foods in general at the moment. “Australian food also has a very strong reputation overseas, so there’s definitely a demand for our table olives elsewhere in the world too.” More information:

Gamila MacRury, Gamila at Beechworth

Gamila MacRury has a heads-up over many small-scale olive growers, her ‘day job’ as an engineer providing a skill set many would kill for. She has 600 trees on her 12 acre property, and also grows saffron. Production and markets MacRury’s fruit is used exclusively for table olives and she also produces olive leaf tea. Her nine-year-old trees are just reaching maturity, so she’s only been marketing her olives for the past 18 months. “At this stage it’s only farmers markets and this season I’m starting into retail shops,” she said. “I mostly do Melbourne, because I live near a bunch of Italians who like my olives but have their own. I do the two Melbourne markets on one weekend and the Beechworth market on another but because I still work full time, the more markets I do the less farm time I have. So I do the first and third, with alternating weekends to work on the farm. “I also sell online but with the weight and cost of postage – $8 for a bag of olives and $9 for the postage - selling olives online is in reality unfeasible.” Personal involvement MacRury says the business is “fundamentally, just me. I do everything and mum, who’s a gardener by trade, helps out with labour and advice. “I’m an engineer who grew up around horticulture, so I figure out what the plants need and how to keep them happy. I design all my own feeding and spraying programs, irrigation, and I pick, process, monitor, taste and market them.

Gamila MacRury incorporates her engineering skills into all facets of her grove and business, Gamila at Beechworth.

“This is probably the last year I’m going to be able to do that, though, as by 2020 nearly half the grove will be at full capacity. We’ll probably be pulling off close to 6T – which is either a big problem or a big opportunity. Last year I took five weeks off work and did the harvest full time and I’ll need to do that again this year.” Entry point Olives weren’t actually on MacRury’s radar when she bought the land. “It was a deceased estate, the right thing at the right price. There was no plan, I just wanted to own some land,” she said. “Then I bought some crappy olives from a nursery in Melbourne - $2 each in the junk section – dug 20 holes with a pick, mattock and spade, and the next year did the same

with another 60 trees. Again, they were just random trees but that year I found myself a petrol augur, which made life much easier. In year three I got more serious about it - 150 Kalamatas plus pollinators from Modern Olives, and a tractor - and then in the fourth year I planted the rest of them. “As horticulturalists by background, we always come at things from a soil and climate perspective, so it was ‘What could work in this climate? Olives would be quite good’. And the property is too small for viability with oil, so it was always table olives - although I didn’t put any thought in at the time about how they were going to be processed.” Life in olives now MacRury believes there’s now more

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 35

Profile feature

for MacRury, and she’s had good dealings with the majority so far. “The industry in the formal definition has been very welcoming with their time and energy, and there’s been lots of positivity,” she said. “From a more microscopic perspective, I’ve got a couple of growers down the road who’ve been great – again, very welcoming and open to me using their trees as a supply backfill.”

- Gamila MacRury And cons “There are also people who are going to be causing pest and disease issues because they’re not working their groves, and I suspect there’s a relatively small percentage of actual farmers in the industry. That comes with all sorts of potential issues. “The lack of market education around table olives is an issue, particularly into the food service industry and around naturally fermented product. You can have that conversation with consumers, but the food service challenge is going to be a much harder one: there’s a massive difference between what they’re used to in terms of the flavour of a commercial olive and the taste of a naturally fermented olive.” Where to from here? “The goal is that the business will be financially self-sufficient and I won’t need offfarm income, nor will my physical labour be the facilitator of the business’s success. So while I’ll always bring that creative influence, I’ll potentially have less of that direct activity and

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And for the industry? “I see the number of abandoned groves increasingly exponentially unless there’s significant proactive support given for onboarding new buyers. I think the table olive sector is going to continue to grow, and it will be interesting as to how we differentiate ourselves between caustic treated and naturally-fermented olives – if we do. I think there’s a lot of opportunity in it. “I also think a lot of existing growers are going to fall by the wayside. The oil producers are of the size where they need to be doing a vast amount of marketing work to be able to differentiate – on top of all the other things to produce a good bottle of oil – and I don’t think many of them have that skill set or energy. “So then the question is how many brands do we need? Maybe we should be looking at having some boutique brands and the bulk of oil going into co-ops, being sold more viably under the one label.” More information:

• Complete packaging service - just send your oil to us and we will do everything • Self fill packaging - ‘self fill’ supplies so that you can pack your own olive oil • ‘Bag-in-drum’ IBCs, drums and replacement liner bags



will have more time to put into the marketing and education, that I don’t currently have time to pursue. “And there’s also a personal side to that. My house is on the property: I like the place and the garden and the feel, so I can’t see me selling the place. Therefore my preference is for it to be self-sufficient in lots of ways, with people who are competent and trusted in their roles, so I can do the bits of the business I want to do - rather than try and juggle everything.”

In 2017 I got 700kg, after 100kg in 2016, so there was a massive learning process in dealing with that expansion.

es vic er

Olive O

opportunity in the table olive sector than she expected. “I chose it because it doesn’t have the competition of oil, and you can do it on a smaller footprint, but I had no real idea of how much opportunity there is, as there are so few dedicated table olive producers. And I suspect there are going to be people who either get out of oil or come in looking at table olives instead of oil. “As an engineer I put together processes, systems and structures, which means I can put out a product that is relatively unique and has the potential for a process to be created around it, rather than a bit of magic. So the question is whether there’s a consulting opportunity there on how to create proper table olives.” And in the meantime she’s continually learning – sometimes the hard way. “Three growing cycles ago my trees got a bit sad, so I fed them appropriately, then I fed them the same last year – but the canopy had increased 300-400%, so it was nowhere near enough,” she said. “I also sprayed 57 Kalamatas around the base but wasn’t careful enough and I lost them; and in 2017 I got 700kg, after 100kg in 2016, so there was a massive learning process in dealing with that expansion. “And I’m still trying to work out processing timing. I had demand for olives five months before they were ready for sale, so I did a couple of markets then pulled them because they just weren’t ready. So now do I try and change the processes so that fruit is ready earlier or just accept that in my climate my fruit will take 18 months to be ready? I suspect it’s just like wine: you have to suck it up and wait and wait, and then wait some more.” Industry pros The “interesting mix of people” is a positive



• All your packaging needs - from 1 litre casks up to 1000 litre bulk ‘bag-in-drum’

Mobile: Kent 0428 829 024 Mobile: Michelle 0448 965 349 PO Box 114 Riverton SA 5412 Email: 36 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

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Michael Esposito, Kangaroo Island Olives

As general manager of Kangaroo Island Olives, Michael Esposito crosses 16kms of ocean to reach his family’s 65-hectare farm in Nepean Bay. Managed by his father, the grove includes Kalamata, Koroneiki, Frantoio and Manzanilla, and the company produces both EVOO and naturally-fermented table olives. Markets While the Espositos make the most of being part of a celebrated food and tourism destination, Michael said they’ve also built a strong - and appropriate - customer base further afield. “The local market on Kangaroo Island (KI) is our predominant market. We service all the cellar doors, farm gates, tourist attractions and food service providers, and we’re represented at the Penneshaw and Kingscote farmers markets,” he said. “On the (SA) mainland we’re in selected retail outlets, including the KI provenance store in the Adelaide Central Market and featured gourmet supermarkets. We also service selected restaurants and hotels with both oil and olives. “Food service is an interesting target market: we pick and choose our customers and they pick and choose us. “It’s important we supply customers that value the product and want to work with us, and who understand that we don’t have an endless supply. So rather than cast a big net and get as many cafes and restaurants as we can, we’re measured about who we can supply.” Personal involvement Esposito said the business is set up to counter the distance from their mainland markets. “My father is permanently based on KI and manages the grove. He’s hands-on farm operations while I’m based in Adelaide focussed on sales and marketing. It’s a family business, so my mother and siblings are involved on an indirect basis. “We rely heavily on seasonal workers and contract partners. We try and keep our overheads as low as possible, so we bring in farm hands as required and use contract processing and packaging service providers. At this point in time there aren’t the economies of scale on KI to build a processing facility but as more groves come into bearing, I see a future for both table olive and oil processing on the island. “On a personal note, I balance work with family life and study. I’m currently doing my Masters in Agribusiness through the University of Adelaide and writing a research paper on the Australian EVOO value chain. It centres around the grower and flushes out ways to maximise returns.”

Michael Esposito crosses 16kms of ocean to reach his family’s 65-hectare farm in Nepean Bay.

It’s important to supply customers that value the product and want to work with us, because we don’t have an endless supply. - Michael Esposito Entry point Like many from European backgrounds, Esposito said it was his childhood initiation into olives which pulled him back later in life. “Olives have been there since I was a kid. My family planted the grove 20 years ago as a hobby and that slowly grew into a boutique business. Now it’s grown into a career and enterprise,” he said. “I come from a mining background and spent time working for BHP at Olympic Dam, in risk and environmental management. About four years ago, when my wife and I moved back to Adelaide, I decided to become more active in the olive business.” Life in olives now Esposito said he’s pleased with the way that decision is panning out – both for the family’s business and the island’s industry. “We’ve taken the approach that we want to grow sustainably. Dad’s always been a ‘slowly, slowly’ kind of guy and we’re under no pressure whatsoever to compromise our product or our brand. We’re focussing on the basics: growing good olives, value adding and looking after our customers. “We’re putting in another 3000 trees as we speak, mostly Kalamata, and we’ve got more room for expansion. We’re also working with other olive growers on the island, with a plan to expand the local industry.”

Industry pros “Connecting with the agricultural side of the industry” is a big plus for Esposito but he also gets a buzz from the business and judging aspects of his job. “I’ve got the opportunity to get outdoors, get my hands dirty and do some real work, then on the admin side I’ve got the sales and marketing, supply chain management, accounting, etc. It’s a good balance,” he said. “I also like the fact that it’s seasonal, unlike other fruit and veg growers that are harvesting all year round. Olives are just once a year, and that’s plenty for me. “And judging is a highlight every year. I’m in my fifth year now – the Royal Adelaide Olive Awards, the AIOA, the Fleurieu Food show – and I really look forward to those events. You never stop learning, particularly when you’re sitting across from top judges from Italy or Argentina or Japan.” And cons On the downside, Esposito said some producers take a negatively competitive approach towards marketing and pricing. “It would be nice if the industry worked together a bit more. The price cutting that goes on is a bit disappointing,” he said. “When you’ve only got a finite amount of product to begin with, you can’t afford to lower your price: your return needs to warrant the effort. “Like any industry, the food business comes with pros and cons but if, like us, you focus on quality olives and olive oil, keep it simple and don’t try to get too fancy, there aren’t too many negatives.” Where to from here? Esposito’s aim is for “a really good, successful co-operative based model” which will grow the island’s olive industry. “We want to grow sustainably, by establishing new plantings and investing in

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 37

Profile feature

infrastructure together with fellow growers on the island,” he said. “Medium to long term I can see a co-operative approach towards olive growing and marketing on KI. We’ve got to be smart about where we put our time and energy, and working together on a small island we can leverage that quite effectively to achieve the economies of scale that make it profitable. From a production point of view, once you’ve got that pooling of resources you’re able to significantly reduce costs. “In terms of sales and marketing, we’ve adopted a pull marketing strategy, so to set up a farm gate shop would be in competition with our retailers - and to be honest, that’s not where our passion lies anyway. I think as a region, using a co-operative brand and

selling under the one label is definitely the best way to go. You’re not competing as much for shelf space or market share. And if you want to explore exporting then a co-operative approach is definitely the answer. “Under a co-operative it becomes ‘our brand’. Look at the WA rock lobster industry or parts of the grain industry: those groups share their resources but they also share the profits.” And for the industry? “The industry leader, Boundary Bend, has laid a good pathway: they’re a world-class operation as far as commercial groves are concerned. And while it’s not all applicable to boutique growers like me, there’s a lot we can learn from them. They are also doing a good job at promoting the health benefits of

EVOO and every olive grower in Australia can leverage from this. “I believe there’s a lot of upside in table olives, our industry awards are world-class, and we’ve got some very knowledgeable people in the game. The popularity of cooking shows and home cooking in general is also sparking an interest in gourmet food in Australia and that’s leading to an increased demand for local, gourmet products. “I find once people try good quality EVOO it’s very rare they’ll go back, so as long as we can maintain a high-quality finished product, keep costs low and prices high’ish, I think the winds are very promising.” More information: www.

Imogen and Leon Bettio, Elisi Grove

On the look-out for a long-term business investment, a “crazy” suggestion from a relative led Imogen and Leon Bettio to their dream jobs as producers of award-winning EVOO. Leaving construction administration and architecture respectively, the couple now own and run Elisi Grove on the banks of the Murray in South Australia, tending 4,112 trees on eight hectares. Production The Bettios produce both EVOO and table olives, with an emphasis on individual batch characteristics. “We use a small two-phase press run by Leon’s father and brother at Rio Vista Olives. It is only three minutes down the road, so we are able to have the olives crushed within a few hours of picking,” Imogen said. “We are passionate about single variety EVOOs. Just like wine, each olive variety has its own unique characteristics and pairs well with different dishes, so we select a few each year to showcase for their unique flavours. “This year we also experimented with a small batch of our Kalamata olives. We handpicked from central trees, and used a sea salt brine and a natural yeast foraged from the grove. The result was amazing flavours and nutty red wine notes.” Markets With an aim to “have premium EVOO available to all who want to enjoy it”, the Bettios have a broad yet selective market. “We’ve found social media a great way to make our products available to people, and they are able to see exactly where their product is coming from and the process involved. “But we are very selective in how our EVOO is sold. We have become good friends with an Italian emporium in Adelaide called Mercato, and they are just as passionate about Australian EVOO as we are. We regularly do in-store tastings of our single

A “crazy” suggestion from a relative led Imogen and Leon Bettio to their dream jobs as producers of award-winning EVOO.

varietals and each year we work with them to create an Italian provincial-style blend, for the store and also their food service. “We are also stocked in a few boutique stores and restaurants in Sydney, and we do farmers markets in the Blue Mountains and Sydney. We love sharing the different EVOOs with customers and seeing their reactions as they taste the difference.” Personal involvement Like most small growers, the Bettios are involved in every facet of their business, from maintenance of the grove to harvesting and marketing. “It’s just the two of us and we enjoy working together as a team. It’s a new business, so obviously has its challenges, but we realise this is a long term project and the hard work is already starting to pay off,” they said. “During harvest time we have family and friends all wanting to help. It’s great: hard work but also a special time to spend together and share the new season’s oil. And Leon’s bother Jared is a huge help with the pruning.

38 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

“We also work collaboratively with our family at Rio Vista Olives, and have all our olives processed and bottled through them, and they look after the routine care of the grove while we are in Sydney.” Entry point It was Leon’s father who steered them towards olives as their investment, having himself purchased a grove at nearby Mypolonga and another in the Adelaide Hills. “We thought he was crazy. Leon is from an architectural background and I’m from construction admin, so looking after olive trees was not on our radar,” Imogen said. “We did a lot of research and finally decided we would go out on a limb and do it. Having our family already in the industry took a lot of the apprehension away, as we knew we had their support and experience we could call on. “Leon comes from an Italian background and grew up in the Riverland, so each year his family would pick and process wild olives, and olive oil was a staple. Even though he went

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into architecture, he was always obsessed with growing vegetables and fruit, so the idea of working less in an office and more outdoors was a big pull!

People in Australia are becoming increasingly interested in high quality, local made foods, and the potential for discovery of single varietals and their use in foods is huge. - Imogen & Leon Bettio “And we’d always used olive oil daily and enjoyed it. We also felt that people in Australia are becoming increasingly interested in high quality, local made foods, and that the potential for discovery of single varietals and their use in foods was huge.” Life in olives now It’s all gone incredibly well so far. “We are really happy with our initial results: we love the flavours of our oils and olives, have won gold medals and get great feedback from customers and chefs,” Imogen said.

“We feel we have been able to continue the legacy of the older experienced growers and producers who still provide constant input for us during the process. We also feel it is very important to always keep listening and learning.” Industry pros The team attitude of the industry is the stand-out positive, the Bettios say. “That’s something we have experienced with growers in both Australia and Europe. They love sharing their experience and expertise because EVOO is something we are all passionate about. We all want to work together to help communicate to consumers the health benefits of EVOO, how to ensure that it really is EVOO, and that you can and should cook with it! And cons “Like anything, the challenge is always to get the value for the quality product you produce, so as to keep improving the grove and to be able to do this year in and year out. But that’s an invigorating challenge for now.” Where to from here? Longevity and quality are top of the Bettios’ business – and life – plans into the future. “We would love our business to continue to grow a reputation for great tasting, top quality EVOOs and olives, and for people to be able to visit our grove, enjoy food, and see and experience the process,” they said.

“We want to continue to produce a premium product and make it available to consumers while holding fast to our ideals. To stay a small boutique grove, so we can maintain our joy and passion. And our dream would be to be certified organic - a long process but one we have started. “But we’re in it for the long run. We are currently researching the possibility of planting another variety on the grove and seeing where this whole thing takes us.” And for the industry? “We would love to help build a culture of top quality and enjoyment, where people are excited to try EVOOs from different varieties, producers and different regions, much like wine and cheese. Where you get an EVOO list as well as a wine list at a restaurant,” Imogen said. “Australia is becoming known for producing world class EVOOs and table olives, and if as growers we all share with our customers the benefits of EVOO it will become more of a home staple. “By working together we can grow the market for quality EVOO and olives, and consumers can begin to know and talk about the characteristics a different region, olive and producer are known for.” More information:

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Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 39

Olive business

‘Mini Cordoba’ in Japan Dr Vera Sergeeva was invited to Japan last September to present on Anthracnose management at a workshop organised by the Shozu Olive Research Institute, Shodoshima Island. She also visited the Institute’s laboratories, met with research scientists and visited an experimental olive farm. Impressed with the opportunities presented, she gave us an overview of the island’s innovative industry. Shodoshima (Shodo Island) is the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea and the birthplace of olive cultivation in Japan. The island’s Mediterranean climate made it an ideal place for growing olives, with the first crop achieved in the early 1900s. Since then the island has been a leading producer of Japanese olives and olive oil, and is known as “Olive Island”, with olive-related tourism an increasing part of the economy. Sergeeva describes the island as ‘like a mini Cordoba’: olive trees are grown everywhere - in groves, along the roadsides and as garden trees. A lookout point is home to a 1000-year-old fruiting olive tree, transported as a bare trunk from Andalucia in 2011, and Shodoshima Olive Park is home to some 2,000 olive trees. Nearby, Shodoshima Olive Garden’s olive tree-lined paths lead to a museum on the history of local cultivation, an exhibition room and a grove offering tours. Guests can also visit the oil processing facility during milling season, and the restaurant, cafe and souvenir shop provide the opportunity to sample and buy products including olive oil, olive candy, olive cosmetics, olive noodles and olive ice cream.

Olive oil in Japanese cuisine

The Olive Garden restaurant’s menu has a strong focus on olive oil, and olive oil is increasingly being used in traditional Japanese dishes - sashimi served with olive oil in the style of Italian carpaccio, olive oil in high-quality canned sardines and tuna, and EVOO in sauces and dressings.

Olive ‘food brands’

As well as producing award-winning olive oil, Kagawa has created two offshoot food brands from its olive industry, “olive beef” and “olive yellowtail”. Waste organic matter from olive pressing is added to feed for cattle, and dried and powdered olive leaves to that of farmed yellowtail fish, producing in both flesh with a high level of oleic acid which doesn’t oxidize or lose colour due to the high levels of polyphenol in the olive waste. Olive leaf tea is also farmed extensive using the same production processes as for Japanese green tea, with one farm covering 90 hectares of the island.

Vera Sergeeva at the Shozu Olive Research Institute’s experimental olive farm.

Shodoshima EVOO

Then there is Shodo Island EVOO. The island’s olive oil production is described as being “carefully executed using calculated skills and precision, starting with handpicking olives at the exact time for the perfect flavour”, and is known for its exceptional quality. The small number of commercial olive plantations mean Shodoshima EVOO is very expensive, selling at US$44-63 per 180ml bottle. And Japanese consumer interest in olive oil is increasing, particularly for the good stuff. IOC statistics show that virgin and extra virgin oils account for 71% of total imports, with olive oil another 25% and olive pomace oil only 4%. Imports increased by 25% in just five years, from 45,571T in 2011-12 to 56,854T in 2016-17.

Local production

Yet Japan remains a very small producer. The country’s total olive acreage is 500 ha, with 90% under intensive farming, and growing olives is not always easy. The June to September growth season coincides with Japan’s typhoon-heavy rainy season, while trees are easily damaged by diseases and indigenous pests such as olive weevil that pervade during the humid summer. On Shodoshima, however, years of expertise in olive cultivation have seen olive varieties selected to suit local growing

40 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

conditions - Arbequina, Frantoio, Nevadillo, Manzanillo, Mission and Lucca. The use of resistant cultivars reduces losses from anthracnose and eliminates chemical expenses for disease control, increasing the industry’s viability.

The future

The Shozu Institute also conducts research on varietal development and improved cultivation techniques for increased production, which Sergeeva said is matched by an unwavering enthusiasm for manual cultivation. “Shodoshima olive oil is the product of years of effort and innovation on the part of the island’s farmers and, with olive products now a key element of the island’s economy, we can expect them to continue to push their product toward perfection.” Some ideas we can utilise here, perhaps – and from those import figures, undoubtedly a market for our own high-quality Australian and New Zealand EVOO! And if you’re interested in looking into olive beef production, there’s a detailed article in the September 2015 Olivegrower & Processor, including data analysis of oleic acid content and flavour. If you’ve misplaced your copy, back issues from 2012 onwards are available on the OliveBiz website –

Olive R&D

Changes in chemical compositions of olive oil under different heating temperatures similar to home cooking Authors: Xueqi Li, Grant C. Bremer, Kristen N. Connell, Courtney Ngai, Quyen Anh T. Pham, Shengling Wang, Mary Flynn, Leandro Ravetti, Claudia Guillaume, Yichuan Wang, Selina C. Wang

The suitability of EVOO for cooking continues to be a hot topic, so here’s some valid science on what happens to olive oil at kitchen heating temperatures. It’s great information you can share with consumers to help dispel the myths – not to mention more proof that when it comes to quality, (olive) oils ain’t oils! Abstract

Four olive oils with varying amounts of total phenols were exposed to four different heating conditions. Chemical parameters such as free fatty acid, peroxide values, UV absorbency, total phenols, individual phenols, α-tocopherol, squalene, oleocanthal, fatty acid profile and smoke point were measured before and after heating to evaluate the impact of heating conditions on the oils. We found olive oils have a reasonably high smoke point that is suitable for typical home-cooking conditions and that fresh olive oil with low FFA and high phenolics are important for the conservation of olive oil quality and health benefits. A larger degree of oxidation occurred with increase of heating time and temperature, oils with high level of phenols produced less polar compounds than oils with lower levels of phenols, including refined oils. A significant amount of total phenols and individual phenols such as oleocanthal remained after heating at 121 °C for 10 and 20 minutes, most of squalene stayed intact even after heating at 220 °C.


Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is an important constituent of the diet in the Mediterranean area. It has been widely associated with the prevention and reduction of numbers of diseases such as cancer, inflammatory and joint issues, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. In comparison with other vegetable oils, EVOO exhibits high resistance to oxidation. The appreciable oxidative stability of EVOO is mainly due to its characteristic composition of high monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid (C18:1) and the presence of a significant amount of minor components with strong antioxidative properties. Organizations such as the International Olive Council (IOC), the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have

established standard limits on the quality parameters of free fatty acids (FFA), peroxide value (PV), ultraviolet absorbance (UV) and organoleptic characteristics (odor, taste and color) for olive oils in order to define different characteristics and grades of olive oil and olive-pomace oil. Among all the olive oil grades, EVOO is the most prized, with its top quality attributes producing from olive fruit only by mechanical means. Due to the unique organoleptic characteristics and health benefits, EVOO is widely consumed raw, but more often is being used in domestic cooking. In the process of heating, a series of chemical reactions can occur which includes hydrolysis, oxidation and polymerization, leading to irreversible loss of nutritional components in olive oil. In the past, extensive studies have been conducted on how different heating conditions (e.g. heating temperature and time duration) affect the quality of olive oils. However, many of these studies were done using heating conditions that would exceed those of used in home food preparation to accelerate the reaction rate of olive oil (e.g. frying at 180°C for 1.5 hours-25 hours or heating at 170°C for periods of 3 hours). In addition, it was not clearly shown in literature how different oils with varying initial quality parameters would behave under the same heating conditions. To study this relationship, we used four different heating temperatures that were commonly used in home cooking, with four olive oils with different amounts of total phenolics. Significant chemical parameters were measured before and after heating to evaluate the impact of heating conditions on the oils.

Results and discussion

Free fatty acid (FFA): FFAs are natural degradation products of the triglycerides in olive oil and a high acid content is not desirable. To be classified as EVOO oil must have an FFA level of less than 0.8 % (as

Methodology Olive oil samples: four olive oil samples were used in this project • high-phenolics EVOO (452 mg/kg caffeic acid equivalent total phenol content) • medium-phenolics EVOO (309 mg/kg) • low-phenolics EVOO (140 mg/kg) • refined extra light olive oil (12 mg/ kg). The initial fatty acid compositions and smoke points were obtained (Table 1**). Heating conditions: four heating temperatures/durations were adopted: • heated at 121 °C for 10 min and 20 min respectively (in the range of a medium stove top heat) • heated at 180 °C for 10 min (temperature typically used in the currently available published studies) • heated at 220 °C for 10 min (around smoke point temperatures). Factors determined: a range of quality indices and chemical parameters were determined and measured/quantified for each sample: • free fatty acid (FFA) • peroxides value (PV) • ultraviolet coefficients (UV) • total phenol content polar compounds • squalene • alpha-tocopherol • individual phenolics • oleocanthal • fatty acid profile • smoke point. Statistical analysis was undertaken on different parameters with factors as olive oil type and/or heating conditions. Pairwise tests were also conducted to compare between different types of olive oil or heating conditions.

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 41

Olive R&D

Figure 1. Changes of FFA (% oleic acid) under different heating conditions for each oil sample

oleic acid). During the refining process, FFA is removed; therefore refined olive oils have very low levels of free fatty acidity. Figure 1 and pairwise t-test both show that FFA did not change significantly in different heating conditions. None of the EVOO samples exceeded the upper limit of FFA set by the IOC. Our results of refined olive oil were consistent with some other researchers and found that FFA increased with heated oil, though additional experiments will be necessary to explain the decrease seen in the EVOO samples. Peroxides value (PV): PV is the measurement of primary oxidation and a marker of rancidity, generally reflecting the age of the oil. Figure 2 shows that PV increased the most for refined and low phenol oils after heating at 180oC. A smaller increase in PV was found under heating at 180oC for medium phenol EVOO and heating at 220oC for all the oil samples. Peroxides are the primary oxidation products of autoxidation: at higher temperature they decompose into secondary oxidation products which would lower the observed PV, as seen in the case of 220oC. Previous research also found that the antioxidant effectiveness of phenolic compounds in virgin olive oils can be significantly diminished if the initial PV is high, which might explain the rapid increase of PV in the low phenol oil sample at 180oC and slight change of PV in the high phenol oil sample when it reached high heating temperatures. Analysis of PV also showed that oil sample, heating condition and the interaction had a significant effect on PV. Ultraviolet coefficients (UV): a high degree of UV absorbency (shown by K

values), reveals that the oil has undergone oxidation. As expected, both commonly referenced K values (K232 and K268) increased during the heating process and all of the K232 values exceeded the upper limit of EVOO when the oil was heated at 180oC and 220oC. Our results showed the largest increase in both values when the oils were heated at 180oC and 220oC, regardless of their initial phenol content, which was consistent with results previously reported. Heating oil at 121oC for 10 minutes had a very modest effect on both K values (and therefore oxidation) for all of the oils. Phenols (individual and total):

phytochemicals found in olive oil which are natural antioxidants that have free-radical scavenging activity. They can be destroyed by auto-oxidation through age and poor storage. A reduction in individual phenolic concentration, especially hydroxytyrosol (from 9.83 mg/kg to 3.79 mg/kg), has been shown to occur in pan-frying temperatures of 180oC for 30 min. As one of the phenolic compounds with the highest antioxidant activity in olive oil, the extensive loss of hydroxytyrosol is most likely due to its protection of the lipids from oxidation. Of the measured phenols, oleocanthal had the highest temperature tolerance while hydroxytyrosol had the lowest, which was in accordance with previous studies. Another important phenolic compound, tyrosol, showed a much smaller change with different heating methods among all the oil samples, which was also in accordance with previous study results. Total phenol content, expressed as mg/ kg caffeic acid equivalent, was as high as 452.08 ± 0.57 mg/kg in high phenol EVOO sample and as low as 11.61 ± 0.59 mg/kg in refined olive oil before heating. Refined olive oil had very low levels of total and individual phenols due to the refining process. The loss of total phenol content was observed for all oils: 40.80% (184.45 ± 0.23 mg/kg) of loss in total phenol content was found in high phenol EVOO under heating at 121°C for 10 min, while 78.41% (354.48 ± 0.45 mg/kg) of total phenol loss was observed with heating at 220°C for 10 min. Other oils followed a similar pattern, where heating at 121°C retained most of important phenolics (Table 2**) while heating under higher temperature in air stream caused significant loss of total phenol content.

Figure 2: Changes of PV (milliequivalents oxygen/kg oil) under different heating conditions for each oil sample

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Olive R&D

Key results: • fresh olive oil with low FFA and high phenolics increases conservation of oil quality and health benefits • heating at 121°C is preferable than heating at 180°C and above to preserve phenols • healthful compounds such as hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleuropein, oleocanthal and squalene are reasonably heatresistant • olive oils have a reasonably high smoke point that is suitable for heating Interestingly, oils that were heated at 121°C for 10 mins and 20 mins had comparable amount of oleuropein, oleocanthal, and total phenols, showing that a heating temperature of 121°C is a reasonable temperature for home-cooking without destroying these phenol compounds. The oils with the highest initial specific phenol and total phenolic contents ended with the highest contents after all heating conditions (Table 2**). Alpha-tocopherol: α-tocopherol is a type of vitamin E with strong activity that helps protect cells from oxidative damage. The small amounts of α-tocopherol left after heating at 180oC and 220oC were not quantifiable, however there were quantifiable amounts after heating at 121oC (Figure 3). It has been observed that α-tocopherol degraded sharply to almost inexistent after 3-6 hours of frying at 170 °C. Similar to phenolic content, EVOO samples which had higher initial concentration of α-tocopherol ended up with more α-tocopherol after heating. In this case, medium phenol EVOO reserved most α-tocopherol as it had the highest α-tocopherol concentration (0.19 g/L) to start with. A previous study elucidated that polyphenols from EVOO were effective stabilizers of α-tocopherol during olive oil cooking, which was in alignment with our study. Squalene: squalene plays a cardioprotective role through a variety of biological mechanisms. Squalene appeared to be relatively stable under all heating conditions, especially at 121°C (Figure 4). Our results are consistent with previous findings that the squalene content of the frying oils was reduced during frying, but it was higher in fried VOO (428mg/100g oil) when compared with cooked fats (5.9mg/100g fat) after frying at 175 ± 5 °C for 6 minutes. Refined olive oil samples suffered the most loss when heating at 220°C compared to other olive oil samples. EVOO rich in dominant antioxidants such as α-tocopherol and phenolic compounds might be

Figure 3. Changes of α-tocopherol (g/L) under different heating conditions for each oil sample

Figure 4: Changes of squalene (g/L) under different heating conditions for each oil sample

responsible for the minor loss of squalene during heating as observed here. Polar compounds: nonvolatile alteration compounds formed from oxidation and thermal reaction of oil during cooking or frying. Figure 5 shows a trend of increasing polar compounds as heating temperature and time increase. Polar compounds have been found to rapidly increase in correlation with low antioxidant activity; as the amount of antioxidants decreased, the reactions that formed polar compounds can compete for the reactive oxygen species. This phenomenon was especially pronounced in

refined olive oil heated at 220°C. Fatty acid profiles: fatty acid composition of the oil gives information about the percentages of individual saturated and unsaturated fats. Most fatty acids essentially remained the same for all oils after each heating condition. A decrease occurred in unsaturated fatty acids oleic acid (C18:1), linoleic acid (C18:2), and α-linolenic acid (C18:3) among all the samples, presumably by oxidation, especially after heating at 220°C. As a result, a slight increase in the proportion of saturated fat including C16:0 and C18:0 occurred. In general, the

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 43

Olive R&D

fatty acid profiles showed very little to no perturbation based on heating conditions for each oil sample. Smoke point: smoke point is an indicator of chemical breakdown of the fat to glycerol and FFA, and a higher smoke point enables the oil to be heated to a greater temperature before degradation starts to occur. A high level of FFA decreases the smoke point of an oil. This is consistent with our findings: the smoke points for refined, low, medium and high phenol oils were 240°C, 215°C, 208°C and 205°C, respectively, as the high phenol oil had the highest level of FFA.


Our results showed that initial total phenol content of an oil and heating temperatures that are associated with common home cooking influence how the chemical parameters of an oil change. Heating at 121°C is preferable than heating at 180°C and above to preserve the phenols and therefore the health benefits of olive oils. While total and individual phenols and antioxidants suffered loss after heating in all oils despite different initial total phenols, healthful compounds such as hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleuropein, oleocanthal and squalene appeared to be reasonably heatresistant.

Figure 5: Percentage change of polar compounds under different heating conditions for each oil sample

Contrary to the common belief that extra virgin olive oils have low smoke point and should only be consumed raw, our study showed that olive oils have reasonably high smoke point that is suitable for heating. Also that fresh olive oil with low FFA and high phenolics are important for the conservation of olive oil quality and health. Future studies would include addition of food to see if the same trends are observed.

Note: due to space limitations, this is an edited version of the original research document. The complete version, including all references, technical information on methodologies and detailed chemical results tables (**), can be found on the Olivebiz website: www.olivebiz. under “Feature Articles” on the dropdown menu.

CLASSIFIEDS Got something to sell, or that you want to buy? Reach your target market with Olivebiz Classifieds: To arrange a listing, contact Gerri at 44 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

New Zealand

Olives NZ hosts EU delegation In February Olives New Zealand hosted a lunch for a visiting EU delegation, as part of a national tour of New Zealand agricultural and horticultural producers. The delegation included EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan and members of his team, the EU Ambassador to New Zealand, and various officials from the EU embassy and the NZ Ministries for Primary Industry (MPI) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Organised at the request of the Ministry for Primary Industry, the lunch was hosted at the Leafyridge olive grove in Masterton, Wairarapa by Olives New Zealand President Craig Leaf-Wright and his wife Ruth. Olives NZ Treasurer Charles Chinnaiyah and Executive Officer Gayle Sheridan also attended. Sheridan said the delegation wanted to learn more about New Zealand products and agricultural industries, particularly those utilising sustainable practices. “They were here to discuss the proposed free trade agreement between New Zealand the EU, and are interested in New Zealand both as a ‘new world’ producer of high-quality EVOO and for the potential to become a full member of the International Olive Council,” she said. “New Zealand was represented late last year at an IOC meeting by the Madrid Embassy and there was a subsequent very positive meeting with Jamie Lillo, Deputy Director of the IOC, to discuss the benefits for New Zealand becoming a full member. These discussions are continuing with the MPI and Olives NZ.”

“They also talked with us about Geographical Indications in branding and that is something we will look into further as well,” she said.

Olives New Zealand President Craig Leaf-Wright (left) hosted a lunch for the visiting EU trade delegation, including EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan.

Focus Grove Project keeps kicking goals

The four-year Olives New Zealand Focus Grove Project is drawing to a close, with results continuing to show the success of the practical research in improving and ensuring the long-term viability of the industry. “Typically those groves following the Focus Grove recommendations have increased the average harvest per tree to 25-30kg (from less than 10kg) with some exceptional trees producing 50kg,” Olives NZ Executive Officer Gayle Sheridan said. “These groves have also managed to even out biennial bearing and are consistently reporting their best ever harvests. “They are also reporting very good Leafyridge fruit set after having followed the new recommendation for preventing All the focus groves achieved impressive results last year, with substantial crops of good-sized Anthracnose, and are looking to produce fruit on healthy trees. at least as big a harvest this year as they The final round of Focus Grove Project field days is being held in March. We’ll update on the achieved last year... “The forthcoming field days should findings – and that expected bumper harvest – in the June edition of Olivegrower & Processor. prove very interesting!” Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 45

Olive business

Label compliance with Australian Consumer Law Peter McFarlane OliveCare® Code of Best Practice Administrator “The term ‘extra virgin’ is widely understood by consumers to mean a premium product. Consumers should be able to trust that what’s on the label is what’s in the bottle,” according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The making of an unsubstantiated ‘premium claim’ or ‘credence claim’ is regarded by the ACCC as misleading and deceptive conduct. It is therefore of concern that the December 2018 market survey found many products labelled as EVOO were in fact not of this classification under Australian and international standards. One Australian product also made an unsubstantiated ‘premium claim’ using the term ‘Ultra-Premium EVOO’, implying this product was of even higher quality, when testing found this product to be of the lesser virgin olive oil classification. Three Australian products claimed to have been produced according to International Olive Council quality standards, but were found to be of the lesser virgin olive oil classification when assessed against the IOC Standard. Ref: ACCC Advertising and selling guide –

Best Before Date

The Best Before Dates (BBDs) on several EVOO products were not supported by freshness testing (Australian Standard only). EVOO brand owners should base their label BBDs on objective testing, rather than using a two year ‘rule of thumb’. This is especially the case for milder oils that have lower oxidative stability. One (imported) product failed to include either a Best Before Date (BBD) or a Lot Number as required under the Australian Food Standards Code.


New Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) laws have applied to Australian food products since 1 July 2016, and became mandatory on 1 July 2018. However six (24%) Australian EVOO product labels were found NOT to have the required CoOL format - including three OliveCare® certified brands, in-spite of our constant reminders about the new CoOL law over the past two years! Interestingly, the 20 Australian EVOO producers surveyed have chosen a range of CoOL labelling options, including; • Made in Australia from 100% Australian ingredients: 19% • Product of Australia: 33% • Grown in Australia: 19% • Not compliant with required CoOL format: 29%. A full report on the 2018 AOA market survey will be published in the coming months on the AOA website:

Are you promoting EVOO … Everyday? The AOA consumer awareness and education (CAE) campaign, Everyday, has been a great success, taking the message out to our target audience – consumers – about how great our quality Australian EVOO is for cooking, health and … everything, Everyday! Everyday is a purely social media based campaign, where clicks mean everything, so let’s all help keep the momentum going by doing our bit for the industrywide team effort. Here’s what you can do to keep sounding those messages loud and clear:

• • • • •

visit the Everyday site regularly keep sharing the content with friends share to your own pages too keep liking the pages use the email graphics, signatures and social media information provided in the Members Kit/User Guide.

Go to … Everyday!

46 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

Olive business

Keeping your fresh EVOO fresh In the competitive EVOO market quality is the key to sales, and producers are becoming more aware of the need to implement practices to retain product quality and increase shelf life. Time and (record!) high temperatures both negate freshness, so here’s a reminder about best practice EVOO storage from AOA Code of Practice Olivecare™ administrator Peter McFarlane. Key factors that accelerate the breakdown of EVOO: • exposure to air (oxygen) - using permeable plastic storage containers or partially filled storage containers without using a floating lid or inert gas blanket • heat – uninsulated tanks and storage sheds • light – transparent containers; don’t use the 1000L IBCs to store olive oil • contact with sediments and water (hydrolysis) – need to rack tanks regularly during settling • time – waiting for a better price? Unlike wine EVOO doesn’t get better with age; best to move it as quickly as possible • variety and style – mild (low polyphenol), lower oleic acid olive oils are less stable and even under ideal storage conditions may not last a year. Note: This problem of ageing oils is not unique to EVOO – all oils age (become rancid) and those with higher levels of polyunsaturated fats age the fastest. In this respect, as a largely mono-unsaturated fatty acid oil product, EVOO is comparatively shelf stable.

O2 Heat, light, air and time are the main ‘enemies’ of fresh EVOO, accelerating breakdown and aging, so do everything you can to ensure best-practice storage of your precious oil.

The AOA’s Code of Practice Olivecare™ program works to assist growers in implementing best practice production of EVOO and other olive products. There’s more information on the AOA website, or contact Peter McFarlane at

Sign up to the AOA export register The AOA is planning a series of webinars on olive-specific export markets during 2019, as part of an Australian olive industry export development program. The program aims to increase demand for Australian olive products within key overseas markets by building industry skills, capacity and knowledge, including market insights to understand consumer requirements.

An Export Register has been set up to facilitate a targeted means of communication for those AOA members interested in these specific export markets. If that’s you, sign up now on the AOA website - au/aoa-export-register - and you will be notified when the AOA receives specific information about these markets and any associated inquiries.

Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 47

Olives and health

Health round-up Continuing our regular round-up of the latest relevant health research from around the world, to keep you up to date and in the know…

Adding oil to veggies increases nutrient absorption An Iowa State University scientist has found that adding oil to vegetables makes them much more nutritious. Recent research led by Associate Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition Wendy White shows that eating salad with added oil (in this case soybean) promotes the absorption of eight different micronutrients that promote human health. Conversely, eating the same salad without the added oil lessens the likelihood that the body will absorb the nutrients. Published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study found that oil aided in the absorption of seven different micronutrients in salad vegetables: four carotenoids – alpha and beta carotene, lutein and lycopene – two forms of vitamin E and vitamin K. The oil also promoted the absorption of vitamin A, the eighth micronutrient tracked in the study, which formed in the intestine from the alpha and beta carotene. The study also found that the amount of oil added to the vegetables had a proportional relationship with the amount of nutrient absorption – more oil, more absorption. “The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the

amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption,” White said. The results showed maximal nutrient absorption occurred at around 32 grams of oil, which was the highest amount studied, or a little more than two tablespoons. And while there was some variability among the study participants, White said that most people will benefit from increased nutrient absorption by adding oil to their veggies. “The average trend, which was statistically significant, was for increased absorption,” she said. The researchers noted a range of health benefits promoted by better absorption of the studied nutrients, including cancer prevention and eyesight preservation. Swap the soybean oil for EVOO with its myriad inherent benefits and you’ve got a winning case for better health – with the superior flavour! Source:

EVOO protects against Helicobacter pylori Spanish researchers have found that extra virgin olive oil can help prevent and treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infections, one of the major causes of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Past studies have shown that green tea, cranberry juice and other natural foods inhibit the growth of H. pylori, which infects the stomach lining. Expanding on those effects, and using simulated laboratory conditions, researchers demonstrated that the healthful phenolic compounds in EVOO remain stable in the acidic environment of the stomach for multiple hours and had a strong antibacterial effect against eight strains of H. pylori, including antibiotic-resistant strains. A further in vitro study confirmed the bactericidal effect of phenolic compounds in EVOO against H. pylori via two consecutive clinical trials on H. pylori-infected individuals. In the first study, 30 subjects received 30g of washed virgin olive oil for 14 days, repeated a month

later by 30g of unwashed virgin olive oil for 14 days. The second trial saw 30 subjects receive 30g of a different virgin olive oil for 14 days. While 13 subjects withdrew from the studies because of taste and nausea issues, eradication rates in the remaining participants varied from between 10% and 40% by treatment, leading the researchers to conclude that virgin olive oil showed “moderate effectiveness” in eradicating H. pylori. Both research units cited the need to confirm the findings of bioactivity, particularly in terms of varying types of olive oils and their efficacy, however the results raise the possibility of EVOO use as chemoprotective agent for peptic ulcer or gastric cancer in the future. Source:;

Olive compound inhibits deadly form of breast cancer New research by the University of Jaén has confirmed the chemopreventive properties of hydroxytyrosol on triple-negative breast cancer, one of the most deadly and aggressive forms of the disease. Hydroxytyrosol is considered one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, with an oxygen radical absorbing capacity value among the highest found in plants. It is abundant olive tree leaves, extra virgin olive oils and table olives as oleuperin. Triple-negative breast cancer is has a low survival rate, and is characterised by cells with high proliferation rate and variety. Representing 10-20% of all breast cancers, it also carries a high probably of metastasis. The study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, investigated the effects of hydroxytyrosol on the breast cancer stem cells

48 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019 • Issue 111

responsible for the reappearance of tumor metastasis. In experiments utilising various in-vitro triple-negative breast cancer cell lines, the researchers found that hydroxytyrosol acts directly upon breast cancer stem cells, inhibiting tumor cell migration through alteration of cell transition and signaling pathways. It also reduces breast cancer stem cell numbers and aggressiveness, and their capacity to multiply. “Our findings highlight the importance of the chemopreventive compound hydroxytyrosol as a novel candidate to be investigated as an alternative targeted therapy for triple-negative breast cancer,” the study authors concluded. Source:

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Issue 111 • March 2019 • Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • 49

your calendar of olive events

2019 Mar

March 23 Olives New Zealand 2019 Annual General Meeting – Carterton, NZ March 18-26 Olives New Zealand Focus Grove Project Field Days – various regions, NZ March 25 Closing date for entries, 2019 Olive Japan International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition – Tokyo, Japan


April 1 Closing date for entries, Oil China Competition 2019 - Beijing China



May 5-10 New York International Olive Competition – New York, USA


May 14-16 Oil China Expo 2019 + Summit Forum Shanghai China May 13-18 Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Course – New York, USA

July 1 Entries open, Australian International Olive Awards – Sydney, NSW www.internationaloliveawardsaustralia. July 19-24 2019 Olive Japan Show – Tokyo, Japan

Aug Oct

August 30 Entries close, Australian International Olive Awards – Sydney, NSW www.internationaloliveawardsaustralia. October 4 Entries close, 2019 Hunter Valley Olive Show – Hunter Valley, NSW October 18 Presentation dinner, Australian International Olive Awards – Albury, NSW www.internationaloliveawardsaustralia.

April 9 Closing date for entries/samples, London International Olive Oil Awards – London, UK April 16-17 AOA Olive Oil Processing Workshop – Boort, Vic

What’s on

October 16-19 2019 National Olive Industry Conference & Trade Exhibition – Albury, NSW


November 14 Awards presentation, 2019 Hunter Valley Olive Show – Hunter Valley, NSW

2020 Feb

February 9-12 World Congress on Oils & Fats – Sydney, Australia

Advertiser index Client


Pieralisi Eclipse Enterprises Modern Olives Sicma Tornado Pumps & Sprayers Mirco Bros NSW DPI Oil Testing Service Novozymes

2 5 7 10-11 10-11 10-11 13 15



CropLogic Task Automation National Harvesters Australian Olive Association Olive Oil Packaging Services Deltagen Braud

Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor • March 2019• Issue 111


17 19 20 21,51 36 39 52

efit Member Ben

Conference ....... $95 n x1 ............ o ti a tr is eg R .... $20 x1 .............. er n in D A AIO ..... $150 Fee x1 ........ y tr n E A AIO

Membership it makes

Member $ discount

OG & P .... $4 x4 .............. n o ti p ri c s b Su


60 Olivebiz ................. $ .. .. 1 x s ed Classifi $329 bership Annual mem 225 =$ 5 ha grower

**El Cultivo Del Olivo Book on joining $165 RRP

So 1st year membership benefit = $494 Peak Industry Body – Advocacy and Representation – Your voice to Government ✓ Australian Standard

for Olive oil and olive pomace oil AS 5264-2011

✓ Australian

International Olive Awards



Olive Awards


www.internationaloliveawardsaustralia .com .au

✓ AOA National

✓ Biosecurity


✓ Grower field days

✓ AOA Facebook page ✓ Tastebook program


Awareness & Education Campaigns – Everyday, Fresher Tastes Better!

and reporting and seminars

✓ Code of Practice

✓ Consumer

✓ Market surveillance

Industry Conference & Exhibition

✓ Point of sale

marketing merchandise

✓ PHA Biosecurity Levy

communications – Olivegrower & Processor, Friday Olive Extracts, Olivebiz

✓ Registered pesticide minor use permits holder for industry

✓ Voice of Horticulture Membership



✓ NFF Horticulture

Council Membership

✓ Industry Risk and

Crisis Management

The Australian Olive Association is the prescribed industry body representing all olive growers, certified importers and service providers in Australia since 1995. JOIN TODAY and take advantage of the many member benefits and services. Email Liz at


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