Olive oil producers are concerned that one of the gold medal winning oils in last year’s Olives New Zealand Awards is produced by one of the judges.
Marlborough olive grower Mark Heard says there is a lot to be gained by winning an award as it makes a product more attractive to stockists. He has tried talking with Olives New Zealand which runs the awards about what he sees as a conflict of interest but without success.
“They just don’t seem to get it, that it’s unethical to judge your own products in a competition.”
Mr Heard says Olives New Zealand has told him it has done nothing wrong but he has sought legal advice and has been told he has grounds to take the matter to court.
Mr Heard would like to see Olives New Zealand’s executive resign over the matter.
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