27 March 2020

Brought to you by  Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor   www.olivebiz.com.au
Today's Top Story

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says Australia’s food production and supply chain will not be affected by coronavirus shutdowns. “The Commonwealth is guaranteeing food production and supply as we deal with the virus’s spread,” Minister Littleproud said … “As far as the Commonwealth is concerned, food production and supply is an essential service.”

There is a growing sense of hopelessness within communities across the Murray-Darling Basin, where people no longer feel confident in their future, according to an independent panel. The Independent Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions in the Basin, led by Robbie Sefton, released a draft report on Monday morning.

Among the draft report’s findings are a deep mistrust of governments and a need to improve communication and accountability around water reforms.
Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt - AAP

Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt has welcomed the completion of the new Sefton report, but has not answered questions put to him by Country News. Instead, Mr Pitt has urged stakeholders to engage with the draft report and respond with feedback.

So have your say …
Calls for submissions: Murray-Darling Basin independent report
Have your say on a draft report assessing various social and economic conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin. Created by the Independent Murray-Darling Basin Social and Economic Assessment Panel, the report aims to provide further understanding and comprehension of the issues and challenges facing people living across the Basin communities.
Submissions on the draft report will close at 5pm (AEST) on 5 April and the final report will be submitted to Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud before the end of April.
*Please note that all submissions will be available to the public unless you request confidentiality.
Find out more and have your say here.
Thomas Foods boss Darren Thomas says AgTech is playing a huge role across almost every aspect of his business. Picture: Katie Edwards.

Agricultural technology has been identified as a key factor if Australia is to achieve the National Farmers’ Federation’s goal of $100 billion annual agriculture production in Australia by 2030 from the current level of about $60 billion.
Biosecurity Inspections Group profile: let’s take a closer look…
Inspection group performs critical inspections.

Comprising around 1,220 staff, Inspections Group has a commanding national footprint in the department with a presence in all capital cities, key regional locations and ports, Australia’s offshore territories and is also involved in offshore pre-shipment inspection work in various overseas countries. Read more here.

As the front line of our bid to keep Australia Xylella-free, this is one important group of people!
Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement

From 1 January 2020, businesses in Australia’s horticulture industry are able to apply for the new Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement. The Agreement increases access to skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers for the horticulture industry, where appropriately qualified Australians are unavailable. Access more information, including a summary of approved occupations, terms and available concessions here.
Theo and Matt are both SELLING OLIVE EQUIPMENT and they’re letting olive producers know through the OliveBiz Classifieds
Your circumstances have changed and you’ve got equipment you no longer need but there’s undoubtedly another producer out there for whom it would be ideal. Let them know about it through the Olivebiz Classifieds – THE intra-industry way to sell, buy and source. If you’ve got something industry-related to sell, our online Classifieds service is an easy and inexpensive solution to advertise your unwanted equipment, extra oil or even your grove – like Theo, who has production and warehouse equipment for sale, and Matt, who’s selling a large OFM olive sorting machine. And if there’s something you’re looking for, it’s the ideal way to get the message out loud and clear to your peers and industry. 
Olivebiz Classifieds cost just $40 for AOA members ($100 for non-members), including a text ad and link through to either your web page or images hosted on our site. And you don’t need to be a tech-head: just send us your info and we’ll post it up for you.
Olivebiz Classifieds are online now at www.olivebiz.com.au/classifieds. To arrange a listing, contact Gerri at editor@olivegrower.com.au.
Coronavirus information and support for business 

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and access expanded to include businesses with turnover of <$500 million (up from $50 million), applicable 12 March-30 June 2020. 
The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure provides up to $25,000 back to eligible business (minimum payment $2,000) providing tax-free temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses that employ staff. 
To supporting small business retention of apprentices and trainees, eligible employers can apply for a subsidy of 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage from 1 January-30 September 2020, up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible employee. Where a business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer, with additional support provided for the co-ordination of re‑employment of displaced apprentices and trainees.
Access more information about these and other support initiatives for business here.
It’s that time again: Farm Biosecurity Producer Survey
Farm Biosecurity interviews 1200 producers across Australia, no matter where you happen to be (as long as you have reception).

Every couple of years the Farm Biosecurity Program, run by Plant Health Australia and Animal Health Australia, conducts a national phone survey of about 1200 producers. Crop and livestock producers are asked what they think about biosecurity, what kind of information they need and how they like to receive it. The questions cover crop and livestock monitoring, reporting of pests and diseases, biosecurity measures used on-farm and the benefits of implementing biosecurity measures.
The survey ‘field’ work – literally, many of the interviews happen on a mobile phone in the paddock – will be starting soon, allowing you to have a say on how we can better help your management decisions when it comes to biosecurity. Summaries of the information collected will be published over the coming months.
Before it even starts, thank you to everyone who agrees to participate in the survey. 

The Federal Government is close to changing the visa conditions of seasonal workers in farming to prepare against workforce shortages caused by COVID-19. Amid the pandemic, the Business Council of Australia and National Farmers Federation has backed calls for working visas to be extended for people already in Australia.
Soil CRC webinars
With COVID-19 necessitating the cancellation the 2020 Soil CRC Conference, the Soil CRC (Co-operative Research Centre for High Performance Soils) is holding a series of five webinars. Each webinar will provide an overview of one of the CRC Programs and updates on two of its projects, with another covering the special project - Managing soils for high performance after the drought, and each will include opportunities for questions.
There’s no need to register, simply click on the link and join in, and for those who can’t make it a link will be made available to the recording post-event.
Overview - Investing in high performance soils - Associate Professor Catherine Allan, Charles Sturt University
Surveying farm practices - Dr Hanabeth Luke, Southern Cross University
Financially rewarding farmers for soil managmenet - Dr Nick Pawsey, Charles Sturt University
Monday, 30 March - 12 Noon-1pm AEDT
Overview - New products to increase fertility and function - Professor Nanthi Bolan, UNewcastle
New products for subsoil constraints - Dr Ehsan Tavakkoli, NSW DPI
New amendments for sandy soils - Professor Richard Bell, MurdochU
Wednesday, 1 April - 2pm-3pm AEDT
Overview - Integrated and precision soil management solutions - Dr Lukas Van Zwieten, NSW DPI
Plant based solutions to improve soil performance - Associate Professor Terry Rose, SCU
Regenerative Farming systems - Dr Gwen Grelet, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research NZ
Monday, 30 March -2pm-3pm AEDT

Managing soil for high performance after drought - Brian Hughes, PIRSA
Wednesday, 8 April - 12 noon-1pm AEST
Hort Connections 2020 postponed
AUSVEG and PMA-ANZ have postponed Hort Connections 2020, due to be held from 15-17 June 2020 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. 
“Our industry’s top priority is the health and safety of our community; this includes consumers, growers and other industry partners. As such, the decision to postpone Hort Connections 2020 is at this stage the most responsible course of action we can take to maintain our community’s health and safety,” the organisers said.
“We will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Australia and abroad, and will be working to ensure that Hort Connections will resume in 2021 bigger and better than ever.”
Hort Connections 2021 will be held from 7-9 June 2021 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, with more details released in the coming months.
New Zealand
Plant & Food Research fruit tree physiologist Dr Stuart Tustin examines a grape-like bunch of olives. Photo: Supplied. 

New Zealand olive yields can be more than doubled by using fruit tree management techniques instead of more traditional methods. That’s the findings of a three-year research project commissioned by Olives New Zealand. 

Well-deserved positive press for the Olives NZ Focus Grove Project.

We need to make sure that our rural businesses are well supported, says Fiona Gower, Rural Women NZ national president. “With the lack of tourists coming through we need to ensure the small businesses can survive because without them we don’t have a community,” she told Rural News last week.

So you heeded Ina Garten’s advice and bought a few really *good* bottles of olive oil. But now you’re worried that you went overboard and have more than you can actually use. How long will it last? Does olive oil go bad? Here’s what you need to know.

Good to see some simple, practical, user-friendly advice on the topic.

As the shoemaker’s first-ever model, the Viberg Service Boot has come in many different iterations over the years, but none perhaps quite as unique as the latest pair offered by the Canadian heritage brand.
Unlike its conventional veg-tanned predecessors, the leather for the current release has been specially tanned fully in natural olive oil, giving the boot a beautiful cream-toned finish.

Another practical use for not-quite-EV oil, no doubt.
Friday Olive Extracts – send us YOUR news
With 2020 now well underway Friday Olive Extracts  (FOE) continues to bring all the latest industry news and events to your Inbox every week. THE place to share olive industry news, event details and reminders, our industry e-newsletter keeps growing in popularity and we now have nearly 4000 subscribers across the globe. If you’re not one of them,  you can sign up here.
And please remember that FOE is YOUR e-newsletter, so we’re keen to receive your news and help spread the word. Just email your information to Editor Gerri Nelligan at  editor@olivegrower.com.au - it’s free, and the best way to reach your fellow industry members!

Olive oil is among the most in-demand food products in Spain as the country faces an unprecedented health crisis due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to the president of the country’s national agri-food cooperative.

Similarly … 

Italians are shopping in masks and gloves, but they're still shopping, and buying more than they used to. Olive oil sales in Italy have jumped 22 percent since COVID-19 hit, and stores are finding that Mediterranean diet staples are now the top sellers.

Higher olive oil sales and an increase in shopping locally - something positive about the COVID-19 crisis for a change! But unfortunately …

An Olive Oil Times survey reveals growing despair and uncertainty for an industry that seemed under attack even before the pandemic arrived.

Reeling, but still pro-active …

The dramatic effect of the novel coronavirus in Spain, having claimed more than 1,300 human lives at the time of writing, has Spanish farmers hitting the streets again - not to protest, but to help with their tractors and equipment contain the spread of the pandemic, said Asaja, the Young Farmers Agrarian Association.

Diets and superfoods are all the rage. From acai berries to the Zone diet, many a dietary trend has come along promising a range of benefits, such as weight loss, heart health, and improved cognition. But the science behind these claims is often sketchy at best. One dietary regime that has stood the test of time – and importantly, scientific scrutiny – is the Mediterranean diet.

The writer is a professor of psychology and neuroscience … and the last line could be our industry’s future marketing mantra!
What's On

30 March
Soil CRC webinar, Program 1 – Australia
30 March
Soil CRC webinar, Program 4 – Australia
1 April
Soil CRC webinar, Program 3 – Australia
8 April
Soil CRC webinar, Drought Project – Australia

23-25 April
2020 London International Olive oil Competitions – London, UK

2020 NYIOOC – New York, USA

9 -12 May
Berlin Global Olive Oil Competition 2020 – Berlin, Germany

18-10 May
EVOO-IOOC – Palmi/Calabria, Italy

20 June 20
Winners announced, Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition – LA, USA

12 July 
AOA Healthy Soils – Healthy & Productive Groves Field Day – Hampton, QLD

17 July 
AOA Healthy Soils – Healthy & Productive Groves Field Day – Cowaramup, WA

9 August 
AOA Healthy Soils – Healthy & Productive Groves Field Day – Brucedale, NSW

16 August 
AOA Healthy Soils – Healthy & Productive Groves Field Day – Tooperang, SA

September TBA
World Team Tasting Championship

11 September 
Entries close, 2020 Hunter Olive Show – Hunter Valley, NSW

16-18 October
AOA National Olive Conference & Trade Exhibition – Devonport, TAS

22 October
Awards Presentation, 2020 Hunter Olive Show – Hunter Valley, NSW


16-17 February 
evokeAG. – Perth, WA 

7-9 June 
Hort Connections 2021 – Brisbane, Qld 

To include your event, or update your existing event details, email FOE editor Gerri Nelligan at  editor@olivegrower.com.au
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