First published in Olive Oil Times, 27 Jan 2020
Australian olive oil producers have faced unique challenges this year, as one of the worst droughts in its history and devastating bush fires have ravaged much of the country.
On the Mornington Peninsula in southern Victoria, Taralinga Estate, has a large dam filled with bore water and rainfall that has allowed the company to continue producing quality olive oil, said Taralinga’s Karen Godfrey.
“Our 2019 harvest was a little down on 2018 in terms of quantity, but has already proven itself in terms of quality with two gold medals at the Australian Food Awards and best in show at the Golden Olive Awards,” she said.
Godfrey noted that “many olive growers face ongoing uncertainty with regard to irrigation water” in the region.
Low temperatures in late winter and early spring sometimes present obstacles for growers, southern Australia is generally more temperate and suitable for olive growth than the tropical climate in the country’s north.
The Australian olive oil industry is growing, as a result, said Godfrey. “The Australian olive industry has grown sub stantially over the last 15 years. Australia is the largest consumer of olive oil per capita outside the Mediterranean so, in our opinion, the future of the industry here is looking very good indeed,” she said, adding that Taralinga is expecting its biggest year in terms of sales in 2020.