06 Nov

Victorian olive oil company makes splash

By Britt Smith,

A VICTORIAN olive oil company with a Lara estate has won the gong for best exporter at the NAB Agribusiness Awards for Excellence.

Paul Riordan at the company's Lara facilityBoundary Bend Limited trumped four other finalists, dominating across all categories including quality of marketing plan, product development and profitable entry into a new market.

Boundary Bend’s chairman Rob McGavin said the recognition was a great thrill for the company.

“It is particularly satisfying given the structural challenges Australian olive growers face overseas when competing against heavily subsided European oils,” he said.

The company is now Australia’s leading fully-integrated olive oil producer with more than two million trees. This year it has produced almost four million litres of premium Australian extra virgin olive oil, or more than 40 per cent of Australia’s total olive oil production.
General Manager of Marketing Tim Smith said in the last financial year about 50 per cent of the company’s oil sales were to export markets, totalling 1.2 million litres and delivering export value growth of 1400 per cent on 2004-05.

Mr Smith said the export strategy focused on supplying customers with a consistent premium-quality product that could be traced from tree to table through a vertically integrated supply chain.

The company is a major supplier of bulk olive oil to products under the Cobram Estate brand and supermarket private label brands, with a customer base stretching from the US to Spain, Italy, the UK and Thailand.

The award is the olive oil giant’s second triumph for the year, having earlier won the 2007 Governor of Victoria Agribusiness Award.

The company was also awarded the inaugural Australian Olive Association’s Olive Grower of the Year in 2005, and was the most awarded producer in the 2005 and 2006 Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards.

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