By Nigel Austin,
THE fast-growing South Australian olive industry wants to impose a tax of up to $6 a tonne on itself to help fund market development and lift productivity.
Olives SA president Lisa Rowntree said a three-month consultation process had revealed widespread industry support for the fund.
“Not only was feedback positive, it also identified the urgent need for industry projects that address supply chain failures in the industry,” she said.
“Many growers who are currently unable to access markets for small amounts of olive oil said they wanted an effective mechanism for selling oil.”
Growers, representing 70 per cent of the state’s total olive production, were consulted.
The industry received 13 submissions about the proposal with most suggesting improvements which were taken into consideration, especially those relating to marketing projects.
“Olives SA has written to the Minister for Agriculture requesting the Government prepare draft regulations to establish the Olive Industry Fund under the Primary Industry Funding Schemes Act 1998,” Mrs Rowntree said.
“The main thrusts of the proposal are market development, branding, consumer education to lift domestic demand for Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and to differentiate it from imported oils.”
Mrs Rowntree said the proposal included building supply chain relationships to establish an effective link between production and the market, establish industry standards and manage risk.
It is also aimed to increase productivity on farm and in processing to lift efficiency and critical mass to lower the cost of production and make Australian olive oil more competitive.
A full report on the Olive Industry Fund Proposal will be provided at the Olives SA Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 25.
The industry is launching the new Australian Extra Virgin Oil generic brand for first pressed oil at the Royal Adelaide Show in the Taste SA Pavilion next Wednesday.
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