22 Sep

Bumper crop for New Zealand olive oil producers

A 20% increase in olive oil production is likely to present a marketing challenge for the country’s olive growers.

Grower organisation Olives New Zealand says groves in Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Kapiti, Nelson and Marlborough performed better than those in Canterbury and the Far North, mainly because of variable weather conditions.

Executive officer Alastair Bridge says production is steadily increasing as groves mature and trees produce more fruit.

He says about 230,000 litres of oil have been pressed this season, most of which will be sold in New Zealand where it will compete against cheaper oils from Europe.

Mr Bridge says one of the industry’s most successful marketing strategies is use of a red sticker to certify an extra virgin olive oil of very high quality.

Under the voluntary programme, producers send their oils to be rated by a panel headed by Olives New Zealand vice-president Margaret Edwards.

Ms Edwards estimates 75% of New Zealand oils on the market now carry the olive mark.

She says a big increase in the number of oils assessed this year shows the red olive mark has good grower support.

[Source] Click here