Australian Producers Receive Hard-earned Recognition at World Olive Oil Competition

Australian producers took home five Gold and six Silver Awards at the 2020 edition of the world's most prestigious olive oil quality contest.

Olive groves at Cape Schanck (Photo by Sui Tham)
May. 20, 2020
By Lisa Anderson
Olive groves at Cape Schanck (Photo by Sui Tham)

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Part of our con­tin­u­ing cov­er­age of the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Despite a per­sis­tent drought and after a par­tic­u­larly bru­tal fire sea­son, Australian pro­duc­ers were rewarded for their tenac­ity at the eighth edi­tion of the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

In 2019, Australia pro­duced 21,000 tons of olive oil, accord­ing to the International Olive Council. From that record-equalling har­vest, pro­duc­ers picked up a total of 11 awards from 16 entries.

For both of our oils to win Gold is a momen­tous occa­sion for us. We were absolutely thrilled with the result and are feel­ing very proud to be amongst only a few Australian groves to have won Gold this year.- Karen Godfrey, mar­ket­ing man­ager at Taralinga Estate

The 69 per­cent suc­cess rate is the high­est the coun­try has seen at the NYIOOC and tes­ta­ment to the per­se­ver­ance of the coun­try’s pro­duc­ers.

Sui Tham, who co-owns Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula with her hus­band, Stephen, told Olive Times they were thrilled with how their oils have fared after win­ning four awards, the same amount they earned at the 2019 NYIOOC.

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The pair won Gold Awards for their medium Picholine and a medium Frantoio, and Silver Awards for their medium Coratina and medium Picual.

See Also: Special Coverage: 2020 NYIOOC

We’re thrilled with how our oils have fared in such a pres­ti­gious extra vir­gin olive oil com­pe­ti­tion, and proud to be an Australian rep­re­sen­ta­tive amongst some of the best pro­duc­ers in the world,” Tham said.

She added that var­i­ous fac­tors played a role in the com­pa­ny’s suc­cess, includ­ing their atten­tion to detail when car­ing for their grove, adopt­ing sus­tain­able agri­cul­tural prac­tices and con­trol­ling the whole pro­duc­tion process – from grow­ing and har­vest­ing the olives to their trans­for­ma­tion.

Taralinga Estate was another Australian pro­ducer based on the Mornington Peninsula to strike Gold at this year’s edi­tion of the NYIOOC.

The Victoria-based pro­ducer won two Gold Awards for their Robusto brand, a robust Picual, and their Fruttato brand, a del­i­cate blend.

For both of our oils to win Gold is a momen­tous occa­sion for us,” Karen Godfrey, the company’s sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager, said. We were absolutely thrilled with the result and are feel­ing very proud to be amongst only a few Australian groves to have won Gold this year.”

In addi­tion to their awards this year, Taralinga suc­ceeded at the 2019 NYIOOC, also receiv­ing two awards.

We attribute our suc­cess to a num­ber of things,” Godfrey said, includ­ing the pre­cise nature of our process, from pick­ing at just the right time to mak­ing sure the olives are pressed within hours of being picked.”

Because we own our plant,” she added, we have the abil­ity to process our olives right here on the estate – a unique abil­ity for Australian olive groves – which ensures the fresh­est pos­si­ble extra vir­gin olive oil.”

Godfrey said other fac­tors that deter­mined their suc­cess were their sophis­ti­cated two-phased oil pro­cess­ing plant that she said is the best of its kind and that their loca­tion on the Mornington Peninsula, which has an ideal micro­cli­mate for olive groves.

This result is tes­ta­ment to our mis­sion of pro­duc­ing qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil to the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dard — not just here on the Mornington Peninsula or in Australia, but in the world,” Sam Tarascio, the owner of Taralinga, said. It is not only our goal, it is our pas­sion.”

David Valmorbida, pres­i­dent of the Australian Olive Oil Association (AOOA), con­grat­u­lated the win­ning brands on behalf of the asso­ci­a­tion.

While there are many won­der­ful olive oil pro­duc­ers in Australia, and glob­ally, that do not enter NYIOOC,” Valmorbida said, see­ing 11 Australian entries achieve awards amongst the other 573 awarded oils – and for Australian entries to achieve an award rate of 69 per­cent, sit­ting just above the 67 per­cent total com­pe­ti­tion award rate – demon­strates that Australia is a seri­ous com­peti­tor on the global stage, pro­duc­ing some fan­tas­tic prod­ucts.”


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