5 February 2021

Brought to you by Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor www.olivebiz.com.au
Today's Top Story
AOA Healthy Soils Field Days now just nine days away. Register now so you don’t miss out – Tas event bookings close soon
There’s just a little over a week now until the first of the AOA’s Healthy Soils Field Days program, running during February and March in major production regions across all states.
Each field day focuses on the role of healthy soils in producing healthy trees and lifting grove productivity. Presented in the grove, the information will cover a wide range of topics around soil health, from identifying and managing soil issues to monitoring and improving both soil and tree health. Along with expert speakers, each program will involve a panel of specialist service providers who will demonstrate and discuss the latest technology to monitor, test and measure vital soil parameters and tree health.

Dates and venues:
14 February - Lentara Grove, Exeter, TAS
21 February - Lisadurne Hill Olives, Rushworth, VIC
28 February - Peninsula Providore Farm - Nangkita Olive Grove, Tooperang SA
7 March - Hunters Dream Estate, Pokolbin NSW
14 March - aFthonia Farms, Hampton (via Toowoomba), QLD
28 March - Preston Valley Grove, Lowden (via Donnybrook) WA
Cost* is $40 incl GST for AOA members and levy payers; $50 incl GST for others.
* Tickets will be refunded where a Field Day needs to be re-scheduled to due COVID. Where possible, the decision to cancel will be made at least 7 days prior to the scheduled date.

The full program for each field day, including speaker and venue details, is available on the OliveBiz website here, where you can also register.

This one day of learning how to care for your soil will repay you, your grove and your business for years to come. Don’t miss out, register now!
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation olive research and development levy, co-investment from the Australian Olive Association and contributions from the Australian Government.
NSW Irrigators' Council calls for honest conversation as its research shows inflows to river systems have halved
Hume Dam is the biggest dam in Australia it is currently at 54 per cent full. (Supplied: WaterNSW)

The New South Wales Irrigators' Council has found climate change is taking its toll on water availability with inflows almost halving over the past 20 years.

And still on water …

Farmers in the states north-east have started to access water from the new $57 million dollar Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme. Water started flowing in November last year, but after a wet spring, some have only just start to turn the taps on. Laurissa Smith caught up with a few farmers to find out what they think of the project.
There was flash flooding in parts of Melbourne after about 40mm of rain fell in a four-hour period. (ABC News).

A deep low pressure trough fuelled by tropical moisture saw some locations in Victoria get drenched by up to a month's worth of rainfall in a matter of hours. The Grampians area in western Victoria has had the most rain, with Mount William registering rainfall totals of 70 millimetres.

We hope Vic olive growers got enough rain to quench their groves … but not too much!
Organic farmer Ant Wilson says it's the first time he's seen Queensland fruit fly in his Victorian orchard. (ABC: Eden Hynninen)

Organic farmer Ant Wilson's summer fruit harvest looked a little different this year. As he walked along his orchard in Harcourt, in Central Victoria, his plums seemed ripe, but he could see tiny puncture marks and softening fruit.

More than $43 million-worth of Australian fruit and veggies have been ploughed back into the dirt or left to rot on farms over the past month because of the absence of foreign workers, according to growers. They say nothing came out of last Friday's national cabinet meeting to boost their confidence that change is coming. In Victoria, even though the state government has promised 1,500 Pacific island workers will arrive via Tasmania, growers say they don't know when that will happen.

Here’s an interesting suggestion for a solution …

An experienced Huon Valley fruit picker says Tasmanian growers could improve their labour needs with a little more flexibility in filling their shifts of pickers and packers.
Dogs are facing a different health threat to their owners. (Unsplash.com)

While we continue to be occupied with the COVID pandemic, another life-threatening disease has emerged in northern Australia, one that's cause for considerable alarm for the millions of dog owners around the country. This disease — canine ehrlichiosis — is transmitted through the bite of a bacterium-carrying parasite called the "brown dog tick". This vector parasite is widespread in warm and humid areas of Australia, and its bite can be potentially fatal for dogs.
Got something to sell? Or want to buy? Go direct to your target market – olive growers and producers.
If you’ve got something industry-related to sell, you can reach your target market directly with Olivebiz Classifieds. Our online Classifieds service is an easy and inexpensive solution to advertising your unwanted equipment, extra oil - or even your grove. 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 associates – the most likely to have what you need.
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.
COVID restrictions: stay informed

It’s important to keep up with the changing status of pandemic regulations, so you can access state-specific information on COVID-19 from the links below: 

Have your say on the WELS scheme 
A public discussion paper on the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme is now available, and you are invited to have your say on the scheme and possible improvements. The review aims to ensure the WELS scheme continues to be well managed and can be optimised to achieve even greater water savings.
The discussion paper and instructions for providing a submission, are available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website here.
Applications open for Coles Nurture Funding

Coles launched the $50 million Nurture Fund in April 2015 to help small and medium sized businesses innovate and grow, with more than $24 million in financial support since provided to more than 60 Australian food and liquor producers.
Small and medium sized businesses can apply for a grant of up to $500,000 to help them develop new market-leading products, technologies and processes.
Round Nine of the Fund is now open, with applications closing at 5pm AEST on Friday, 19 March. Find out more and apply here.
Japan market update on the impact of COVID-19
Austrade is running a webinar with Brett Cooper, Austrade's General Manager, North East Asia, providing an update on the impact of COVID-19 in Japan. Topics covered will include:
  • Broader economy and market trends
  • New areas of opportunity and risk
  • Benefits of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA).
Webinar attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions through the WebEx chat function or Slido. For those who wish to send their questions in advance, or plan to dial-in to this webinar over the phone, please email Marketing.Japan@austrade.gov.au. Details: 2:00pm to 3:00pm (AEDT) – register here.
Photo: The RedBurn 

The popularity of Nutri-Score across the European Union continues to rise in the bloc’s bid to harmonize all front-of-pack labeling (FOPL) systems by 2022.

Nevertheless, debate still continues on whether the system correctly represents olive oil … similar to Australia’s Health Star Rating system.
The Asia-Pacific olive market is expected to record a annual growth rate of 4.2% from 2020 through 2025, according to market research firm Mordor Intelligence. (AFP) 

Twenty years ago, when chef Shinobu Namae cooked at the acclaimed Italian restaurant Acqua Pazza in Tokyo, he had trouble selling dishes made with olive oil, one of the cuisine’s featured ingredients. Customers frequently asked him to omit it from their order. Today, says Namae, “people in Tokyo love olive oil."

Good news for those keen to export.
Friday Olive Extracts – send us YOUR news
With 2021 now 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!

Dozens of trees competed for the title of Israel's national tree in a contest hosted by the Jewish National Fund and Israel Hayom to mark 120 years to the nongovernmental organization's founding. Among the finalists to make it to the final round of voting were: the date palm, the Mt. Tabor oak, the Mediterranean cypress, the eucalyptus, the fig, and the terebinth. Despite the heavy competition, the one to win Israelis' hearts and be crowned the winner of the online poll was the olive tree.
Photo taken on Jan. 29, 2021 shows an olive tree, which is 400-500 years old, at a park in Petroupoli, a western suburb of Athens, Greece. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)

A venerable four centuries-old olive tree in the outskirts of the city port of Patras in western Greece, was facing the axe because it was on the path of a major railway construction project led by ERGOSE S.A., a subsidiary of the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE).

A new framework will soon protect traditional specialties and the finest local agricultural products of the European Union. The European Commission’s latest public consultation asked businesses, institutions and citizens for help in redefining the scope and the role of the geographical indications (GI), including products with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

The discovery off the coast of Haifa made by a group of researchers from most major Israeli universities shows production of olives for eating started at least 6,600 years ago.

What a cool bit of history!
Photo: Courtesy Saint Supply
It could be said that olive oil is having a moment. Jennifer Lopez has been publicly crediting the stuff for her preternaturally radiant 51-year-old skin (though the social media jury isn’t entirely convinced); cool, niche olive oil companies like Brightland are making a bottle of it more giftable than ever; and, amidst a growing wave of fad eating strategies, the Mediterranean diet, which has always cast olive oil in a starring role, was voted the best overall diet by US News & World Report for the third year in a row.

Some interesting marketing strategies here …
What's On

14 February
Healthy Soils Field Day - Exeter, TAS

21 February
Healthy Soils Field Day - Rushworth, VIC

28 February
Healthy Soils Field Day - Tooperang SA

7 March
Healthy Soils Field Day - Hunter Valley NSW

14 March
Healthy Soils Field Day, Hampton (via Toowoomba), QLD

21 March
Olives NZ AGM (Zoom)

23-25 March
Soil CRC Participants Conference

28 March
Healthy Soils Field Day - Lowden (via Donnybrook) WA

5 April
Entries close, Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards – Berlin, Germany

7 May
Entries close, OLIVE JAPAN 2021 International Olive Oil Competition

15 May
Registrations close/samples due, EVO IOOC – Palmi, Italy

18-19 May
Farm2Plate Exchange 2021 – Scenic Rim, Qld

25 May
Winners announced, OLIVE JAPAN 2021 International Olive Oil Competition

7-9 June 
Hort Connections 2021 – Brisbane, Qld

2 August
Entries open, Hunter Olive Show

3 September
Entries close, Hunter Olive Show

7 October
Awards night, Hunter Olive Show

15-17 October
2021 National Olive Conference & Trade Exhibition - Devonport, Tasmania

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