`Australia and New Zealand Shine at International Olive Oil Competition - Olive Oil Times

Australia and New Zealand Shine at International Olive Oil Competition

Apr. 26, 2013
Julie Butler

Recent News

Australia and New Zealand punched above their weight at the 2013 New York International Olive Oil Competition last week. Though their pro­duc­tion is small com­pared with other coun­tries they together claimed four Best of Class, five Gold and two Silver awards.

From four entries, Cobram Estate, Australia’s largest olive oil pro­ducer, won two Best of Class Awards, the only pro­ducer to do so apart from Italy’s Frantoio Franci, as well as two Gold.

And Rylstone Australian Olive Oil tied with the same Italian com­pany with a score of 9.60 out of 10 in the robust blend cat­e­gory — the sec­ond high­est score in the whole com­pe­ti­tion — net­ting it a Best of Class to add to its two Gold awards.


Meanwhile New Zealand’s Mill Bay took Best in Class with its robust J5 olive oil, a cul­ti­var found only in the far north of that coun­try.

Australia’s Forest Edge Farm received a Gold award for its fran­toio extra vir­gin, and Alto Olives won sil­ver with its Alto Vividus mono­va­ri­etal, as did Camilo Enterprises with Max’s Blend.

Australia’s medal share impres­sive”

From a final field of more than 650 extra vir­gin olive oils from 22 coun­tries, a total of 261 awards were made in the com­pe­ti­tion, of which Italy won the most Best of Class prizes, eight, but Australia was next with three, a result com­pe­ti­tion orga­nizer and Olive Oil Times pub­lisher Curtis Cord described as a remark­able accom­plish­ment.”

Rylstone Olive Oil

According to IOC fig­ures, Australia pro­duced just 19,000 tons of olive oil in the 2010/11 sea­son, com­pared to 450,000 tons for Italy and 1.6 mil­lion tons for world leader Spain.

Consumers now link­ing qual­ity to health ben­e­fits

Cobram Estate, based in the Australian state of Victoria, accounts for about half of the country’s annual pro­duc­tion and exec­u­tive chair­man Rob McGavin told Olive Oil Times the awards reflected absolute focus on the busi­ness of pro­duc­ing great qual­ity extra vir­gin.”

It’s not a fluke that we’re pro­duc­ing first class olive oil here,” he said. We’re pro­duc­ing great qual­ity extra vir­gin nat­u­rally because high labor costs have forced us into mech­a­niza­tion.”

We’ve got a focus on really clean fruit and pro­cess­ing it in a very short period of time so that you’re giv­ing it every chance to shine.” About 95 per­cent of the company’s pro­duc­tion is extra vir­gin grade, he said.

We’re doing it in vol­ume so some of the blends that we’ve won gold medals on, we’ve got mil­lions of liters of, not just a tiny amount.”

After two chal­leng­ing years due to unsea­sonal wet sum­mers, the olive fruit had loved the return to a tra­di­tional hot, dry one, he said.

People are start­ing to real­ize the link between olive oil qual­ity and health ben­e­fits, which works in our favor,” McGavin said. We’ve got a very strong domes­tic mar­ket and Australian con­sumers are enjoy­ing the very high qual­ity.”

The win­ning olive oils from New Zealand and Australia are below. The full list of win­ners can be found at the Best Olive Oils web­site.

Olive Oil Times Video Series

Related Articles

Feedback / Suggestions