08 January 2021

Brought to you by Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor www.olivebiz.com.au
Today's Top Story
Decent rain across the east coast of Australia has most farmers celebrating. (Bureau of Meteorology)

Tropical Cyclone Imogen has brought farmers on the east coast of Australia some welcome rain. The system started in the far north of Queensland and the trough extended into inland New South Wales and also brought thunderstorms to Victoria.

We’re hoping our olive growing readers got the welcome rain, not the heartache!
Welcome 2021!

We made it through 2020 and, while COVID-19 and weather challenges for many mean 2021 is still looking like an ‘interesting’ year, it’s certainly looking more positive. 
We hope you’ve had a chance to take a break, relax and catch up (safely) with loved ones over the holiday season, and are ready to get back into your groves and businesses for the lead-up to what we’re all hoping will be a bountiful harvest across the industry this year.

All the best for the year ahead from the Friday Olive Extracts team.
The bushfire in Karloo went to an emergency level on Sunday night but was downgraded early Monday morning. (Supplied: Anna Howie)

Residents of Karloo have described seeing "clouds of embers" with every wind gust as a bushfire threatened homes in the Geraldton suburb last night.

We’re all feeling for Fini Olives, who lost this year’s promising crop and its irrigation system, and had around 30 hectares of trees affected by the Gingin fire.
COVID-19 updates

With the border between New South Wales and Victoria current closed, a permit system for entry into Victoria has been introduced for agriculture workers who live and work between the two states.
The permitted services worker arrangements apply to agriculture workers and those in the freight and essential services industries. Workers must only remain in Victoria for the necessary period and minimise contact with other people in Victoria.
Note: people who live in a border community who have not left the border area since 31 December 2020 don't need a permit. Just make sure to carry ID with your current address when travelling.
Access more information on Vic regulations, and apply for a permit here or contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 for further information.
Other state-specific information on COVID-19 is available from the links below:
Queensland fruit fly has been detected in South Australia's Riverland region. (Supplied: Chris O'Connor)

Two Queensland fruit fly outbreaks in South Australia's Riverland region in the past two weeks have caused serious problems for the region's fruit producers, who are working in a frenzy to adhere to new quarantine restrictions. But it's also left the wider community and travellers visiting during the region's peak tourist season questioning what the rules are when living within or passing through a fruit fly suspension zone.
Planning for the harvest season: Harvest Trail Services
The current labour shortages are big news, and travel restrictions saw a number of olive growers short of pickers for the 2020 harvest, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead for this year. 
The government’s Harvest Trail program connects workers and employers, with Harvest Trail Services providers helping growers meet their seasonal demands for workers. Harvest employers can also access tips and advice on advertising jobs, hiring and paying harvest workers, and providing a safe workplace.
Find out more here or call the Harvest Trail Information Service on 1800 062 332.

And here’s another initiative helping to solve the problem …
Mizamu Mahari and Morteza Darvishpoor had little experience in the country before they took on the packing job. (ABC News: Simon Winter)

Just a few months ago, Mizamu Mahari could not have imagined he would be living on a farm two hours from Melbourne, gingerly stepping into a saddle on a horse. "To be honest, it's not like the city," he said. 
The 28 year-old electrical specialist from Ethiopia is one of six asylum seekers who came from Melbourne in mid-November to help fill the huge demand for agricultural labour.
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 – like Darren, who has oil suitable for soap-making for sale. 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.
Export survey: Trade barriers of commercial impact to Australian horticulture

Do you export? Have you faced any challenges with trade requirements of overseas markets?
Your experiences exporting from Australia to a range of overseas markets are being invited via a survey conducted by industry consultants RMCG.
The information will support Hort Innovation in understanding the industry impact of commercially significant trade barriers, and coordinating industry priorities regarding Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs).
This survey is mainly multiple choice and should take about five minutes to complete – take part here by 11 January.
AOA Healthy Soils Field Days – have you registered?
There are only weeks to go now until the start 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

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 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.

Academics, producers and advocates of the olive oil sector have come together in the Americas to help preserve the two continents’ rich history of olive cultivation and promote its cultural importance.

In a normal year, olive oil lovers from around the world join farmworkers in Umbria’s rolling hills to wake up at dawn and harvest the green fruit. But in 2020, COVID-19 has kept well-heeled tourists away, while nasty droughts have made the ancient practice of olive picking less predictable. To supplement their income in uncertain times, Italian farmers are getting creative, turning waste from the olive oil harvest into biofuels. 

The coronavirus pandemic is having many unforeseen consequences and one of them is olive oil production. Greece's "green gold" output is set to fall by at least a fifth in 2020 compared to 2019. Most olive producers are family businesses but rely on migrant seasonal workers to harvest the crop. This year because of closed borders they're having to call on extended family and local residents for help.

Another reminder that we really are a global industry, with shared issues.

While the majority of olive oil production still comes from traditional growers in the Mediterranean, newer farms are focusing on more efficient orchards and experiencing a steady growth in production.

16-Dec-2020 By Flora Southey

The clean label trend is evolving. Tomorrow’s consumers will not just seek out clean labels, but will want to buy from brands with a ‘clean conscience’, according to market insight firm Mintel.
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!

The table olive harvest in the Golden State was between 9,000 and 15,000 tons larger than initially expected. The transition to high density groves has increased efficiency and quality, one of the state's main producers said.

It’s a nice change to read some positive news on the olive production front … and here’s more:

Frost, hail and torrential rains dampened the 2020 olive harvest in France. It will still be better than last year and producers report that quality is as good as ever.

Standing in her olive grove in Cyprus, Elena Sampson sighs at the sight of hundreds of barren trees and vows to tackle climate change after another scorching year. The first of several heatwaves in 2020 descended in May, the flowering season for her 2,500 olive and citrus trees in Akaki, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) outside the Mediterranean island’s capital Nicosia.

The post-Brexit trade deal provides long-awaited assurance for E.U. olive oil producers, but the new trading reality will be far from business as usual.
The steep pricing of olive oil has always come in the way of it becoming a popular choice among Indian customers. 

The fear of contracting the virus is keeping most Indians away from dining out, still. In November, The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India said that the industry has only recovered by 20-30% of the average pre-Covid level. Consumers instead are dabbling in recreating ‘restaurant-like’ food at home. And one of the beneficiaries of this trend is the olive oil industry – some brands have recorded 15-35% growth in home consumption between July to November, 2020.
What's On

14 December-26 January
AOA office closure


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

TBC March 
2021 Olives New Zealand AGM

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

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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