Pod Casts & Interviews

Olive prices set to rise

By William Rollo
Tuesday, 13 March  2012

Olive growers could be in for some good news - prices may increase above cost of production this season.

The last few years have been tough for producers, with a flood of imported olive oil and an oversupply of the fruit causing a decrease in prices.

But in that time, growers have been pruning away at their orchards, and according to a survey, there's not as much fruit going around. That should mean producers will see higher prices.

Lisa Rowntree is the CEO of the Australian Olives Association and says demand for Australian olive oil is also increasing.

"Demand is growing ... that combined with the fact that there's not alot of fruit being harvested around Australia could actually see a situation where the demand is greater than supply."

To listen click here

Olive oil industry upset about supermarket discounting

By Sarina Locke
Thursday, 22/03/2012

Paul Miller, from the Australian Olive Association, says producers can't compete with cheap imports and are being forced to sell below the cost of production.The olive oil industry is the latest to complain about heavy price discounting at the two major supermarkets Coles and Woolworths.
The comments come as the Senate Select Committee on food processing said it wanted suppliers to give evidence anonymously about Coles and Woolworths abusing their market power.
Mr Miller says it's not just small producers who are struggling with lower prices.
"Yes, we do have large scale olive growers that are some of the most efficient in the world, and they are in trouble because the price is below cost," he said.
"It's below cost here and it's being driven by an influx of lower grade product masquerading as the real thing."
The ABC has sought comment from Coles and Woolworths.
To listen click here

Olive grower takes the plunge against dodgy oil imports

By Sarina Locke
Thursday, 10/05/2012


An olive grower has plunged into a bath of olive oil on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra to protest against cheap and dodgy olive oil imports.

Richard Whiting, from Frances in South Australia, stripped down to his swimmers and claimed Australian consumers have been duped by supermarkets and the ACCC.

He says Australia has a labelling standard for extra virgin oil that's not being enforced.

"People think they're doing the right thing by buying extra virgin olive oil, which they are, but sometimes it's not really what they're paying for," he said.

"So to that extent we've all been taking a bath, and I'm here to try to push the point home to the Parliamentarians, and especially the ACCC, for them to start taking some action."

Nationals Senator John Williams says he'll grill the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in Senate Estimates, about enforcing labelling laws for extra virgin olive oil.

"We've had the Australian farmers have a 50 per cent reduction in the prices for their product. That is threatening the viability of their industry," he said.

"We spoke to the ACCC this morning, Senator Ron Boswell and representatives of the Australian olive industry, and we look forward to Senate Estimates in a couple of weeks' time.

"We'll ask the ACCC what are they doing to protect consumers and protect this industry from being simply done over."

Late Night Live Interview with Tom Mueller

Courtesy of ABC National Radio - Late Night Live (4.00pm) with Phillip Adams.

As world prices for olive oil drop, fake or adulterated olive oil is being sold as 'Extra Virgin' oil, and it's becoming a global problem. Tom Mueller - freelance writer and author of Extra Virginity, does an interview with Phillip Adams from Late Night Live.

To listen click here to download the audio.

Hail damages big olive crop

By Lucy Barbour
Wednesday, 20/02/2013

A massive hail storm has wiped out a quarter of one of Australia's biggest olive crops.

Boundary Bend Estate produces olives and olive oil at Boort, in central Victoria.

The hail bruised the fruit and left about 5,000 tonnes of wasted oilves lying on the ground....

Read more here

About 5,000 tonnes of olives are lying on the ground at Boundary Estate, in Boort, central Victoria, after a massive hail storm damaged the fruit. (rural)

Listen to the audio here

Growers Face Uncertain Future

February 20, 2013

THERE are many hurdles for growers to overcome in the future, writes ALEX SAMPSON

As growers around the state struggle to cope with the heat, high Aussie dollar, supermarket pressure and competition from cheap imports, grower groups are discussing survival strategies and pushing for governments to do more.

To read more click here.

Extra Virgin: International Mistress of Disguise

The Global Mail
By Gordon Weiss

World's purest olive oil: Italy? Nup. Spanish? Wrong again. Better testing shows it's often Australians making the exta viginest.

Australians have been guzzling mislabelled extra virgin olive oil for years, paying premium prices for foreign oil that is cometimes little better than fancy lighter fluid. Like good French grog, Italian olive oil once had an unequalled culinary reputation to match its price. That evocative origin - harvesters singing bel canto on sun-splashed slopes - gave Italy a marker lead now eroded by corruption scandals. At the same time, newcomer producers, including Australia, are making great oils unequalled in quality assurance.

There is some fine exported extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) sold by reliable suppliers in Australia. But the Australian Olive Association says that in December 2011 more than half of supermarket EVOO failed international standards, and that 92 per cent of those were imported.

To read the full story visit... http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/extra-virgin-international-mistress-of-disguise/265/