Growing demand from health-conscious Australian consumers for local extra virgin olive oil is fuelling a dramatic switch away from cheaper imports from Spain, Italy and Greece of dubious quality and origin.
Just three years ago, 73 per cent of the $250 million retail market for olive oils was filled by imports, with local producers grabbing the remaining niche with sales of about 12 million litres of locally produced oil annually.
But a swag of international awards for Australia’s biggest olive oil brand, Cobram Estate, and laboratory testing proving many imported “extra virgin” olive oils were not made from fresh olives and contained additive solvents and substituted oils such as cottonseed or canola, swung the preference pendulum firmly back in Australia’s favour.
The big beneficiary has been the Boundary Bend Olives company, which owns 2.3 million olive trees on 6500 hectares of irrigation country along the Murray River near Swan Hill and in central Victoria at Boort, and both the dominant Cobram Estate and Red Island olive oil brands.
Read the full press release here: Aussie grower Boundary Bend Olives eyes the global stage