18 September 2020

Brought to you by Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor www.olivebiz.com.au
Today's Top Story
Carcassonne, France, where the infected plants were found. Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis.

Authorities have implemented containment protocols after discovering an infected lavender plant at a gardening store in Occitanie. The southern region is home to about one-quarter of France’s olive oil production.
Jemma O'Hanlon, accredited practising dietitian at Hort Innovation, says extra virgin olive oil is a superior oil.

Say the word ‘oil’ and a greasy fry vat may spring to mind. But with the emphasis on preventive health in this pandemic, there’s been a spike in online inquiries about whether olive oil good for you, your skin and hair, plus how to make this centuries-old elixir for good health. 

If you share one article this week, make it this one – especially the ‘olive oil intel’ points at the end.
Providing a HECS discount to university students who do seasonal work on farms is a new idea being floated to solve farm labour shortages. (ABC Life: Luke Tribe)

The Northern Territory Farmers' Association says it would like to see the Federal Government provide a HECS discount to university students who are willing to do seasonal work on farms. In a year where labour shortages are looming for a number of agricultural industries, NT Farmers chief executive Paul Burke, said it was time to start thinking of innovative ways to address an issue that had plagued farmers for years.

While another suggested solution is …

Government and opposition MPs are backing a proposal to have refugees go bush to fill vital fruit and vegetable picking jobs left behind by backpackers locked out of the country. There are tens of thousands fewer backpackers in Australia this year than normal, which has left Australia's fruit and vegetable stock at risk of rotting in the fields if an alternative supply of workers cannot be found to harvest it.
No-one wins from subsidies to agriculture 

The annual release of the OECD Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation report highlights that governments around the world transfer over US$700 billion a year to their agriculture sectors.
Around 40% of this funding goes towards subsidies and measures like tariffs and quotas that distort global markets, make food more expensive for consumers and also harm the environment. The OECD recommends that governments redirect their efforts towards high-return investments like innovation systems, hard and soft infrastructure, environmental measures and in enabling more resilient food systems.
Australian farmers are some of the least subsidised in the world, with under 2% of farmers’ revenue from government interventions (OECD measurements 2017-19). 
Read more from the Australian Govt on the issue here and from the OECD here.

A "top-down approach" to decisions that affect Basin communities won't work, the 76th national conference of Murray Darling Association has heard. Association national president David Thurley, of Albury, said Basin governments had long-term plans but their success depended on these schemes working together.

Maybe this is why they think that …

A new report reveals that twenty percent of river water expected under the Basin Plan did not flow in the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin over the past seven years. Although the basin's manager, the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), welcomed the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists' study, it doesn't not believe the report tells the whole story.
My fave thing on the internet #26  

The @Wikipedia page for Pantone 448 C, "the ugliest colour in the world." 
"[it was initially referred to as] 'olive green', but the name was changed after concerns were expressed by the Australian Olive Association" – ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantone_4.

Great to see the AOA’s industry representations have such longevity – and to this guy, impact!
Free Trade Agreement Negotiations with UK now underway
Negotiations for the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UK FTA) are underway, with the first round held virtually from 29 June to 10 July. Negotiating an FTA with the UK provides an opportunity for Australia to expand agricultural market access to a high value export market. 
Find out more here.
Australia participates in a global collaboration for plant health

The Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI) has announced the release of a paper on “Science diplomacy for plant health”, led by Euphresco Co-ordinator Baldissera Giovani and including Australian and New Zealand authors. Published today in the prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Plants in the IPPC International Year of Plant Health 2020, the paper represents a collaboration of experts from the global plant health community to better address the challenges of plant health.
Find out more and access the paper here.
Quad bike battle rolls on: the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says new US research supports its tough stance on mandatory rollover protection on quad bikes. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says a new US Government study has concluded operator protection devices, or roll bars, on quad bikes may significantly reduce rider injuries and deaths. 
Applications open for Woolworths Organic Growth Fund

The Woolworths Organic Growth Fund has been established to support investment in organic farming projects by eligible Australian farmers. Woolworths has committed and will invest up to $30 million over a five year period, with funding in the form of interest-free loans and financial grants to conventional and organic fruit and vegetable growers. Aiming to “grow organic as customers go organic”, the funds can either help start a journey to organic farming or grow existing organic production. 
Applications close on 10 October: more information and apply here.
Nominations open for Australian Biosecurity Awards

The search is on for the next round of biosecurity champions, with nominations now open for round two of the 2020 Australian Biosecurity Awards. Round two includes new award categories that highlight the diversity of biosecurity and the different roles we can all play.
Nominations close on Friday, 2 October. More information and nominate here.
Register now for 2020 AOA Virtual National Olive Industry Conference 
The AOA’s National Olive Industry Conference is going online in 2020, following the postponement of the next physical event until October 2021.
Being held from Tuesday, 13 October to Friday, 16 October inclusive, this year’s event will consist of four x two-hour afternoon sessions. Each will have a theme covering one of the industry’s current key topics and will feature outstanding speakers, delivering content directly related to olive businesses: 
  • Tuesday, 13 October - Soil management 
  • Wednesday, 14 October - Grove management 
  • Thursday, 15 October - Olives & health
  • Friday, 16 October - Olive marketing 
All sessions will run from 3-5pm (AEST).
The interactive format provides plenty of opportunity for participant involvement, with Q&A and discussion time built into each session. Both the online format and the event schedule also greatly increased accessibility to the information, with plenty of time to get the day’s chores done then login and take part.
Registration is free for AOA members; for non-members the cost (GST incl) is $33 per session or $110 for the full program – or join the AOA first and attend for free!
Access the full 2020 Virtual Conference program and register here.
2020 AIOA Presentation
The Australian International Olive Awards (AIOA) Presentation will also be held via Zoom this year, running from 5.30-7pm on Friday, 16 October following the final Conference session.
The event is free and everyone is invited: grab a drink and some nibbles, and settle in to watch as the results unfold and we find out who won the ‘big gongs’ for 2020.
Register here and join the celebrations as we recognize the achievements of the industry’s best producers.
Webinar: COVID-19 and your workforce – food processing industry
The Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology has developed guidelines to assist food processors mitigate the risks to employees presented by the COVID-19 virus, including:
  • protecting the health of your employees, their families, and the broader community
  • ensuring the uninterrupted supply of food to Australian consumers
  • facilitating, as far as possible, business continuity, ensuring business survival and safeguarding job security for your workforce.
In this webinar you will hear from Head of Food Safety at PMA A-NZ Deon Mahoney and Principal Food Safety Scientist for the NSW Food Authority Craig Shadbolt on strategies to keep your food processing operation running and your workforce safe.
Details: Tuesday, 6 October, 2-3pm. Cost: $20 for non-AIFST members. Register here.
Recording now available: Embedding Climate Adaptation into Agriculture (N-E Vic)
In this webinar recording, Lachlan Campbell of the North East CMA shares how the Embedding Climate Adaptation into Agriculture project has used climate change projections and applied these to assess potential impacts on agriculture production in North East Victoria. Lachlan also shares the spatial tools and engagement approach that have been developed which help guide discussions about climate adaptation pathways. 
The webinar was presented on 15 September and the recording runs for 61 mins – view it here.
New Zealand
Enthusiastic entries for 2020 NZ EVOO Awards

Entries have now closed for the 2020 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, with an impressive total of 128 oils vying for the coveted Best of Show award. Olives NZ EO Gayle Sheridan said that, similar to reports on the outstanding quality of 2020 Australian EVOOs: 
“2020 is THE year for NZ EVOO!. Competition for the trophies is going to be fierce and our Judging Panel has an awesome time ahead as they swirl, sniff, sip and swallow their way through the entries,” she said.
The results will be announced at the Awards Dinner on Saturday, 10 October and available on the Olives New Zealand website – www.olivesnz.org.nz - later that night. 
2020 Olives NZ Conference sold out!
Just as enthusiastic have been registrations for the Olives NZ 2020 Conference in Wellington, and the 2020 NZ EVOO Awards Dinner being held following the conference on the Saturday night. Both events are already sold out – proving it’s always good to book early!
Focus Grove Project - October Field Days
A reminder that the third round of Field Days under the new Sustainable Food and Fibres Futures Project is being held in October, and includes both “Manzate” Focus Groves following the previous recommendations and other groves following a more organic or alternative approach.
The key aspects of this round of Field Days are:
  • nutritional advice – updates on activity from recommendations following soil and leaf tests 
  • disease management – sprays applied since March
  • harvest – 2020 compared to previous years
  • pruning – 2020 strategies
  • other observations, for example weather challenges.
Stuart Tustin will provide advice on dealing with issues that have arisen and further action. 
Dates and venues:
1 October – Northland: Olives on the Hill
2 October – Hawke’s Bay: Aquiferra
6 October – Nelson: Kakariki Olives then Neudorf Olives
7 October – Canterbury: Terrace Edge Vineyard & Olive Grove
9 October – Wairarapa: Leafyridge Olive Grove then Bella Olea.
More information here.
It is an industry known for its hardships. But even the resilient olive tree and the stalwart farmers used to the ever-changing circumstances of nature are bending under the stresses of the 2020 harvest now underway in the Northern Hemisphere.

11-Sep-2020 By Katy Askew

Climate change is putting food safety at risk and action is needed to prepare the food system for the challenges ahead, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). FoodNavigator speaks to the FAO’s Vittorio Fattori, Food Safety and Quality Officer, and Keya Mukherjee, Food Safety and Quality Specialist, to learn more.

and …

Extreme weather events – ranging from hail storms to flash flooding – have impacted olive growers across Italy. For many farmers, hopes of a promising harvest have washed away.

We’re lucky that when our rain eventually did come, it was far more gentle than theirs … which even prompted government action:

The Italian government has announced a new financial aid package aimed at supporting olive growers and oil producers through the 2020 harvest. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has made €140 million ($166 million) of guaranteed loans available for organizations of producers of olive oil and table olives and related associations.
Friday Olive Extracts – send us YOUR news
The year is flying past, and 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 tangle of leafless branches in olive trees in Italy’s Salento plains dying from Xylella fastidiosa. (Courthouse News photo/Cain Burdeau)

The vast expanses of olive groves in Puglia’s Salento region were a sad, sickening sight. Mile after mile, nearly every olive tree showed the telltale signs of sickness: large patches of dead brown leaves linked to a devastating plant disease invading the region. Two years later, it’s gone from bad to catastrophic.

There’s some interesting discussion in this.
What's On

1 October 
Olives NZ Focus Grove Field Day – Northland

2 October 
Olives NZ Focus Grove Field Day – Hawke’s Bay

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

6 October 
Olives NZ Focus Grove Field Day – Nelson

7 October
Olives NZ Focus Grove Field Day – Canterbury

9 October
Olives NZ Focus Grove Field Day – Wairarapa

10 October 
Olives NZ 2020 Conference – Wellington, NZ

10 October 
Awards Dinner, 2020 NZ EVOO Awards – Wellington, NZ

13-16 October 
2020 AOA Virtual National Olive Industry Conference

16 October 
2020 Australian International Olive Awards Presentation

16 October 
Applications close, Olive Wellness Achievement Award

19 October
Results emailed to entrants, 2020 WA Olive Awards – Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

20 November
2020 National Agriculture Day – Australia


23-25 March
Soil CRC Participants Conference

7-9 June 
Hort Connections 2021 – Brisbane, Qld

October TBC 
AOA National Olive Conference & Trade Exhibition – Devonport, TAS

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