Australia has hosted our inaugural Australian International Olive Oil Awards (N.Hopkins 2017), and Australian producers are being recognized internationally for our high quality oil, I decided to spend a bit more time looking into the evolution of the olive industry in the past two decades.
As written this week by Nigel Hopkins in InDaily, twenty years ago, "there were fears that the new boom in olive plantings was so overheated it was bound to go bust, as it had twice previously in the mid-1800s and after World War II. In 1997, Australia imported 95 per cent of its olive oil consumption, just over 19 million liters, of which less than a quarter was designated “virgin” and much less “extra virgin”. (Australian producers now predominantly make extra virgin oil, which means the fruit is mechanically pressed, has acidity of no more than 0.8 per cent and is not “refined” – it can’t be treated with heat or chemicals.) That left the door open for substantial import substitution, but industry experts at the time predicted “there is no way we can capture 40-60 per cent of the Australian market in the next 10 years”. Australia achieved this percentage of the market within twenty years.
As Ha's planted continue to increase, and young trees increase in theiryield, it will be interesting to watch this industry continue to evolve as growers and producers push it forward.
N.Hopkins, InDaily "How Australian Olive Oil is Taking on the World", 11 October 2017. <https://indaily.com.au/eat-drink-explore/2017/10/11/how-australian-olive-oil-is-taking-on-the-world/> 20/10/2017
RIRDC Report Australian Olive Industry Research, Development and Extension Plan 2010–2015, written 2010. https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/downloads/10-155
Olive Strategic Investment Plan 2017-2021, Horticulture Innovation Australia. horticulture.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/HortInnovation-olive-SIP.pdf