`Paul Miller Steps Down as President of Australian Olive Association - Olive Oil Times

Paul Miller Steps Down as President of Australian Olive Association

Dec 15, 2015 8:11 PM EST
Erin Ridley

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After 14 years as the Australian Olive Association’s leader, Paul Miller has stepped down. This is big news for the Australian olive oil indus­try, which has ben­e­fited from Miller’s many accom­plish­ments, includ­ing lead­ing the work to tighten olive oil qual­ity stan­dards and the co-found­ing of the Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA).

Robert McGavin, CEO of Australia’s Boundary Bend Limited, called Miller’s vol­un­tary depar­ture a momen­tous day for the Australian olive indus­try which will for­ever be indebted to Paul for his achieve­ments and, par­tic­u­larly, his unwa­ver­ing focus on hon­esty and integrity in label­ing and being brave enough to call out the cheats.”

Paul really put Australian olive oil on the map glob­ally and unselfishly vol­un­teered much of his life to the ben­e­fit of the entire olive oil indus­try.- Rob McGavin, Boundary Bend

Paul has always pro­moted the impor­tance of the indus­try focus­ing on what is best for con­sumers,” McGavin added, know­ing only too well that this would be in grow­ers’ best inter­ests in the long run.”

Miller’s vast achieve­ments as the leader of the nascent and highly inno­v­a­tive Australian olive oil sec­tor have been chron­i­cled over the years in these pages and beyond, from the pas­sage of Australian stan­dards (and then press­ing major retail­ers to respect them), to his highly pub­li­cized assails on mis­la­beled prod­ucts and his vig­or­ous par­tic­i­pa­tion at cru­cial indus­try turn­ing points through­out the world.

In recent years, Miller’s efforts have increas­ingly been focused on his role as co-founder, with California con­sul­tant Alexandra Devarenne, of the Extra Virgin Alliance. EVA is play­ing an increas­ingly impor­tant role in achiev­ing pos­i­tive change in the sup­ply chain and for con­sumers,” Miller told Olive Oil Times. Lots of work still to do, but I am opti­mistic.”

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Long ded­i­cated to the world of olive oil, Miller said he is increas­ingly focused on inter­na­tional work, and the posi­tion requires a domes­tic focus as well as an inter­na­tional per­spec­tive.”

Going for­ward, Miller will be act­ing as a direc­tor and pres­i­dent emer­i­tus of the AOA, and will con­tinue to make an impact via the asso­ci­a­tion. Stepping into the role of pres­i­dent is Peter O’Meara, the owner of Adina Vineyard and Olive Grove in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Miller described his pre­de­ces­sor as a very capa­ble, expe­ri­enced and respected man” in the Australian olive indus­try.

Meanwhile, as Miller’s role in the sec­tor evolves, he sees the indus­try mov­ing in the right direc­tion. I note that Europe is tak­ing greater con­trol of olive oil mat­ters in that region, includ­ing the IOC, and I think that may be a pos­i­tive move, depend­ing on what the EU does. The olive world is chang­ing for the bet­ter and Australia has played its part.”

And clearly the indus­try believes Miller, too, has played a big part in mak­ing that pos­si­ble. Paul has been really impor­tant inter­na­tion­ally in pro­mot­ing qual­ity,” said Dan Flynn, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the University of California at Davis Olive Center. He’s been vision­ary and effec­tive.”

McGavin agreed. Paul really put Australian olive oil on the map glob­ally and unselfishly vol­un­teered much of his life to the ben­e­fit of the entire olive oil indus­try.”

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