South African Producers Celebrate Record Success at NYIOOC

Entering their second-highest number of brands, South African producers won a record-high number of Gold Awards at the World Olive Oil Competition.

Galenia Estate
Jun. 8, 2022
By Lisa Anderson
Galenia Estate

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Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.


South African pro­duc­ers earned 10 awards at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, a record-high num­ber of awards for the sub-Saharan pro­ducer.

The record num­ber of awards at the world’s largest olive oil qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion comes on the back of a bumper har­vest in the coun­try. However, pro­duc­ers widely cited cli­mate change as one of the biggest chal­lenges they faced dur­ing the har­vest.

It’s very ful­fill­ing to enjoy the fruit of our labor and the results of metic­u­lously apply­ing the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dards dur­ing har­vest­ing and pro­duc­tion.- Louise Rabie, co-owner, Lions Creek Olive Estate

Porterville Olives, South Africa’s biggest win­ner, scooped up three Gold Awards for their Andante brand, pro­duced on Werêldsgeluk Olive Estate out­side Porterville in the country’s Western Cape province.

The com­pany took the Gold Awards for its medium-inten­sity Nocellara del Belice and Favolosa mono­va­ri­etals, and their del­i­cate Frantoio blend.

See Also:The Best Olive Oils From South Africa

We are very happy, grate­ful and hum­bled by the gen­eros­ity of nature and the olive,” Willie Duminy, who co-owns Werêldsgeluk with his wife, Lisa, said. They make the oil. We extract and pro­tect it.”

The hard work, per­se­ver­ance and atten­tion to detail of our farm­ing, har­vest­ing and milling teams, the qual­ity of our trees and the gifts of abun­dant sun­shine and a healthy cli­mate are reflected in the char­ac­ter of the oil,” Duminy added.

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Duminy hopes that win­ning these awards at the NYIOOC will help him pro­mote his extra vir­gin olive oil to con­sumers as a healthy and fla­vor­ful alter­na­tive to their cur­rent cook­ing oils in South Africa and abroad.

“[The NYIOOC] allows South African oils – and Western Cape oils – to be bench­marked against the best in the world,” he said. We believe that the three 2022 Gold Awards will enhance our Andante brand sub­stan­tially, locally and inter­na­tion­ally.”

The awards came as a wel­come relief for the Duminys towards the end of the local har­vest sea­son. South African pro­duc­ers typ­i­cally start har­vest­ing in late February and fin­ish in August.

This year, the start of the har­vest was delayed in our area by wet weather, which placed addi­tional pres­sure on the mill once the sea­son got under­way,” Duminy said. In addi­tion, we had a few elec­tro-mechan­i­cal and elec­tronic break­downs mostly due to power out­ages, called load-shed­ding in South Africa, that fur­ther pres­sured the milling team.”

That apart, the sea­son has been very good,” he added. Volumes from our groves and our third-party sup­pli­ers are up, and the qual­ity has been good over­all.”

Duminy said the team at Werêldsgeluk com­bines the best envi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive and respon­si­ble farm­ing meth­ods with the lat­est har­vest­ing and milling machin­ery.

It takes care­ful hard work from every­one,” he said. The pruners, trac­tor dri­vers, peo­ple doing weed-con­trol and har­vesters who work long, hard hours are the heroes in the olive mill.”

I do not know whether Andante is unique, but I can say it expresses a lot of what is very good, if not unique, about our cor­ner of the Western Cape and its peo­ple,” Duminy added.

Lions Creek Olive Estate, sit­u­ated out­side Leeu Gamka in the country’s Western Cape province, was another South African win­ner in New York, tak­ing home a Gold and a Silver Award.

Louise Rabie, who co-owns Lions Creek Olive Estate with her hus­band, Andries, said they were elated after win­ning the Gold Award for their medium-inten­sity blend and the Silver Award for their del­i­cate Picual.

It’s very ful­fill­ing to enjoy the fruit of our labor and the results of metic­u­lously apply­ing the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dards dur­ing har­vest­ing and pro­duc­tion,” Rabie said. NYIOOC awards pro­vide con­sumers assur­ance that Lions Creek is com­mit­ted to high qual­ity.”

Besides being one of the largest olive farms in South Africa, the wide vari­ety of cul­ti­vars affords us the oppor­tu­nity to offer an exten­sive range of extra vir­gin olive oils,” she added.

However, win­ning the awards at the NYIOOC did not come easy for the Rabies.

Seven years of severe drought in the Karoo region of the Western Cape lim­ited our pro­duc­tion and forced us to opti­mize on what the groves deliv­ered,” she said.

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Galenia Estate

A few miles from Lions Creek, Galenia Estate also cel­e­brated a Silver Award for its del­i­cate Frantoio blend.

It is a great result to achieve for enter­ing for the first time,” farm man­ager Arthur Bailey said. It’s a mas­sive relief and shows that hard work does pay off.”

It’s also good to know how well our oil keeps,” he added. Entering a com­pe­ti­tion against the fresher Northern Hemisphere oils and com­ing out with a Silver, I feel, is a great achieve­ment. It gives us con­fi­dence that what we are doing is work­ing well and pro­duc­ing results that have now been glob­ally rec­og­nized.”

The award came at a good time for Bailey, who has been deal­ing with a chal­leng­ing har­vest this year mainly due to a new olive press that was not func­tion­ing as it was sup­posed to.

Bailey said that their olive yield increased five­fold this year since the pre­vi­ous year.

We knew it was going to be a chal­lenge from the start,” he said. We found giv­ing cash incen­tives for pick­ing over the daily tar­gets increases the pick­ing speed and rate and makes it eas­ier to reach goals and tar­gets.”

Managing staff, mak­ing them pick prop­erly with­out dam­ag­ing trees, reach­ing daily pick­ing tar­gets and moti­vat­ing the team is not easy; espe­cially as the sea­son goes on and every­one starts get­ting more tired,” Bailey added.


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