08 May

Bottler year for WA’s olive oil industry

Olive oil production in WA is set to reach a record 2500 tonnes this year, with an increase in backyard growers keen to produce the golden oil.

olive-farmerProducers are bottling the 2009 “vintage” and have said there are not enough presses to cope with supply from growers.

Rises in production are being attributed to the tendency for olive trees to fruit fully only every second year as well as better weather. Production last year was just 2000 tonnes.

York Olive Oil Company owner Arnaud Courtin said he had been inundated by small growers wanting distinctive oil made from trees in their backyards. “The smallest batch I’ve made is from 27kg from a tree in the backyard in Dalkeith,” he said. “More and more people are seeing they have an asset in their backyard or front verge.”

The WA Olive Oil Council estimated there were 400 olive oil producers in WA compared with about 10 in 1999. There are about 120 producers in Margaret River, where they have capitalised on the region’s reputation as a mecca for food and wine lovers.

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