01 May 2020

Brought to you by  Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor   www.olivebiz.com.au
Today's Top Story
Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud.
Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud has written to fast food outlets urging them to voluntarily display Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) information. But groups that are already pushing for greater labelling transparency for food service menus say Mr Littleproud is on the right track but only a mandatory labelling regime can work effectively.
Australia
Epidemic, incursion, outbreak: call it what you like, you should take note of what’s happening in Australia in response to COVID-19, because a crop or livestock pest or disease outbreak would play out quite similarly. If you’ve not been involved in an emergency response, then there’s some useful lessons from the management of COVID-19 to take on-board.

‘‘There are no constructive recommendations, no changes and it will do nothing to bring water to our region at a time when we desperately need food productivity.’’ That is Southern Riverina Irrigators chair Chris Brooks’ take on the Murray Darling Basin Plan report released by Mick Keelty last week.
PROGRESS TRACKER: With green representing "on track" on one side and dark red representing "high risk", the progress of the Murray Darling Basin Plan is bang-on in the middle.

The Murray Darling Basin Plan is huge, complex and multi-faceted, so eight years into its implementation, measuring its progress can be difficult. The latest report card put out by the Murray Darling Basin Authority, which measures how each element of the plan is tracking, gives the overall plan a score of between "some progress" and "substantial work ahead".
A tractor at Hussey & Co farms in Victoria ploughs vegetables back into the soil.

Farmers are ploughing millions of dollars worth of fresh produce into the soil and laying off workers as the coronavirus ban on dining at cafes, restaurants and pubs continues without an end in sight. While major supermarkets are reporting a rise in fresh fruit and vegetable sales, it is not enough to fill the gap for many farmers who rely on sales to commercial venues.

While we’re lucky that olives and olive oil aren’t immediately perishable, the hospitality shut-down has also affected many in our industry. We’ll look at how growers are finding new ways to sell their products in the June edition of Olivegrower & Processor.
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.

The Australian government threw farmers a lifeline earlier this month when it announced the extension of visas for foreign workers in agriculture and food processing during the COVID-19 crisis, but workers will still need to self-isolate for 14 days when moving to a new region.

Australia’s organic certification bodies are adapting their auditing processes as the COVID-19 crisis pushes a huge surge in demand for organic grain, dairy, fruit, vegetables and beef. In certified organic horticulture, tractors, pickers and packers are working around the clock to maintain demand from major supermarkets. 

If you’ve been thinking of hitting the road to organic conversion, it seems now is the time to do it!
Opportunities
NFF Biodiversity Certification Scheme forums wind up

Growers are invited to participate in the final online consultation forum as part of the National Farmers' Federation Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme Trial. The scope of the scheme is to maintain and improve environmental outcomes by establishing a verification mechanism for sustainable agriculture practices, including where they support the protection of biodiversity.
A series of consultative online forums have been held to identify critical success factors that will be required for the implementation of biodiversity schemes in Australia, with the last being held for Central Queensland on 7 May.
Find out more and register here.
Events
AOA Webinars start next week – lock Tuesdays in your diary
The AOA has developed a series of weekly webinars in response to the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions on the industry’s productivity and profitability program.
Free and open to all olive levy payers, the webinars will run on Zoom from 12:30-13:30 on Tuesdays for one hour max: a 30 min presentation will be followed by up to 30 mins live Q&A and participant discussion. Each webinar will be recorded and made available on the OliveBiz website for reviewing or if you can’t make it to the live event.
Cutting-edge remote sensing in the Australian olive industry
The first series of three (maybe four) webinars will cover the application of cutting-edge remote sensing in the Australian olive industry. 
Webinar 1: Overview of the Olive Remote Sensing Project – 5 May @ 12:30-1:30 pm.
Including aerial sensing, ground sensing and NIR sensing. Hosted by the AOA, presenters include: Professor Andrew Robson (University New England), Dr Luz Angelica Suarez (University New England), Professor Kerry Walsh (Central Queensland University) and Alex Schultz (NSW Department of Primary Industries), all members of the olive industry remote sensing research team.

From 26 May the focus will move to on-line marketing, with further webinars planned for July-August to cover EVOO processing, exporting and the Australian Table Olive Standard. More information and the schedule for the first six events is available here.
New Zealand
The Olive Press processes 1500kg of olives per hour through its centrifugal olive press. 

Having been named Best Processor for six years running at the 2019 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, The Olive Press is in for another big year, with improvements underway at its Wairarapa processing facility, and putting the by-products of olive oil production to work with opportunities resulting from a new waste management strategy.

Great sustainable initiatives by a smart business!
International

Robotics companies and farmers can compete for grants from a program aimed at strengthening the European network of digital innovators.

It’s undoubtedly the way of the future … don’t miss the AOA’s new weekly webinar series to find out how new technologies are being developed and utilized for the olive industry in Australia. See the Events section above for more details.
Severe restrictions will be placed on imports of some very popular trees and plants in an effort to halt a deadly infection. Xylella fastidiosa has wreaked havoc on olive plantations in parts of Italy and has also been found in France and Spain. To prevent the disease spreading to the UK, imports of olive trees and lavender bushes will now be curtailed.

… along with more action at garden level:
The next time you see those frothy blobs of cuckoo spit that appear on plants this time of year – remember when and where – your evidence could be used to halt the progress of an international plant pathogen.

Citizen science for biosecurity - love it!

Domestic consumption has dried up as restaurants close and hotel rooms sit empty. Exports have also dropped as countries around the world cancel their orders for Portuguese oil.

22-Apr-2020 By Flora Southey

Sales of Kalamata olives from Greece, Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy and Champagne from France have contributed to a total sales value of €74.76bn for Geographical Indications, according to a recent study.
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!

The recognition of the olive tree as a priority species is among the goals of the International Olive Council (IOC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the coming years.
Jamie Chung

In normal times, Italians outlive Americans by an average of four years. But in the Sicani Mountain region of Sicily, marked by rolling hills covered with olive trees, the locals live past 100 at a rate more than four times greater than Italy as a whole. Sicani Mountain villagers eat a Mediterranean diet, snacking on olives and using the fruit's oil to prepare dinner. 

Thousands of small farmers are having to contend with seasonal labor shortages, a lack of spare parts for their machines, severe drought and wild boars roaming through unworked fields. Italian agriculture is facing challenges from all directions in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And we think we’re having it tough …

22-Apr-2020 By Flora Southey

The coronavirus pandemic emphasises the importance of local food production, but are such food systems able to fulfil global demand?
What's On
2020

May
2020 NYIOOC – New York, USA

5 May
AOA Webinar Series, Event #1 - Australia

12 May
AOA Webinar Series, Event #2 - Australia

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

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

19 May
AOA Webinar Series, Event #3- Australia

20 May
Entries close, Olive Japan 2020 International EVOO Competition – Tokyo, Japan

26 May
AOA Webinar Series, Event #4 - Australia

1 June 
Deadline for entries, 15th China International Olive Oil Competition – Beijing, China

2 June
AOA Webinar Series, Event #5 - Australia

9 June
AOA Webinar Series, Event #6 - Australia

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

1 July
Entries open, 2020 Australian International Olive Awards

September TBA
World Team Tasting Championship

4 September
Entries close, 2020 Australian International Olive Awards

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

5 October
Results emailed to entrants, 2020 Australian International Olive Awards

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

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

2021

16-17 February
evokeAG. – Perth, WA

23-25 March
Soil CRC Participants Conference

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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