Olive ori­gin scheme starts in two states

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News -

OLIVE grow­ers in two states are an­tic­i­pat­ing gains from a new prove­nance-brand­ing ini­tia­tive sup­ported by the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment.

More than 100 mem­bers of the Queens­land Olive Coun­cil and Olives South Aus­tralia will work with South Aus­tralian re­searchers to in­ves­ti­gate a prod­uct des­ig­na­tion of ori­gin (PDO) sys­tem for Aus­tralian ex­tra-vir­gin olive oils, as­sisted by $66,909 from the na­tional Farm Co-op­er­a­tives and Col­lab­o­ra­tion pi­lot pro­gram, known as Farm­ing To­gether.

Al­ready the group has com­mis­sioned re­search to sam­ple olives to cre­ate re­gional palate pro­files.

“Prove­nance un­der­pins food au­then­tic­ity and puts con­sumers and grow­ers to­gether. It shows how flavour, taste and health ben­e­fits re­late to con­sumers’ need,” Queens­land Olive Coun­cil CEO Amanda Bai­ley said.

“We es­ti­mate 85% of Aus­tralian ex­tra-vir­gin olive oils are made from olives grown in a sin­gle grove that has been main­tained by the owner who cares.”

The suc­cess of this pi­lot could lead to a na­tional ap­pel­la­tion scheme which would sup­port the mar­ketabil­ity of Aus­tralian ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil both on the do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional stages.

“Re­gion­al­ity and dif­fer­ences in pro­duc­tion prac­tice across re­gions is also likely to ex­tend to dif­fer­ences in their health-giv­ing com­po­nents such as polyphe­nols and squa­lene,” ex­plained Dr Richard Gawel, the sci­en­tific col­lab­o­ra­tor on the project.

“Squa­lene in par­tic­u­lar is be­com­ing a rock-star in the health world, with some Ja­panese buy­ers in­sist­ing on min­i­mum lev­els of this rare an­tiox­i­dant found only in ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil and, sur­pris­ingly, shark liv­ers. Pure squa­lene is also used in exclusive cos­met­ics and skin for­mu­la­tions.”

To find out more about the Farm­ing To­gether see www.farm­ing­to­gether.com.au.

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