29 May

Drought good news for olive growers

By Bernard Carpinter,

The continuing drought in Hawke’s Bay is driving farmers to despair – but is excellent news for olive growers.

While pastoral farmers are suffering, olive growers are celebrating large quantities, top quality and increased prices for their 2007 harvest.

“The quality of the olives coming off the trees at the moment is quite simply outstanding,” Rose Gresson of the Telegraph Hill company said yesterday. The harvest was now in full swing and showing the benefits of the unusually dry and warm weather, she said.

With cold nights following the warm days, the olives had developed extra flavour and oil content.

As a result, Telegraph Hill was paying $2.50 a kilogram for table olives to its 20 growers, well up on last year’s figure of just under $2.

Both table olives, which would go on sale in about six months’ time, and olive oils would be of top quality this season, Mrs Gresson said.

Hawke’s Bay processes about 550 tonnes of olives a year.

[Source] Click here

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