11 Sep

Aussie olive oil popular in US kitchens

Americans are consuming two million litres of Australian olive oil annually.

olive oil bottlesThe startling statistic was revealed as part of a media briefing on Australian Extra Virgin – the new brand the Australian Olive Association (AOA) is hoping will help the industry grow across the globe.

“America’s kitchens are now using a quarter of Australia’s annual olive oil production, that’s two million litres a year,” Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran said.

The federal government, Mr McGauran said, would help the burgeoning industry with a grant of $385,000 to develop an industry code of practice and also to complete a recent industry restructure.

In 2005, 3,000 tonnes of olive oil were produced in Australia; by 2012 an estimated 30,000 tonnes will be produced annually.

“The industry is now exporting almost three million kilograms of olive oil, 10 times what it was exporting just three years ago,” Mr McGauran said.

“The new branding and restructure will put the olive industry in an even better position to meet Australia’s huge appetite for olive oil, with current annual consumption of around 30,000 tonnes.”

Biosecurity fears that have gripped other agricultural industries including apples and pork were unlikely to harm the olive industry, Mr McGauran said.

“There’s been huge volumes of olive oil imported into Australia over decades and there are no plant disease implications for either the industry or human health.”

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