A meeting of the IOC was held in Sydney on Monday, May 28, following on from its 2017 agreement to encompass non-traditional producing countries, which now includes Australia.
The International Olive Council was represented by Jaime Lillo, Deputy Executive Director and Ender Gunduz, Head of Economy and Promotion Unit.
- A representative from Trade Commission of Spain
- A representative from Foreign Trade Expert from Turkish Consulate
- A representative from Trade Commissioner for the consulate general of Greece
- David Valmorbida, President AOOA
- Greg Seymour, CEO AOA
- Amanda Bailey, CEO Queensland Olive council
Commercial industry representatives included Monini, Arquilla, Deoleo, International Food Companion
Three key collaborative objectives
The three key objectives of the meeting were:
- Standardisation and research
- Olive growing, olive oil technology and technical cooperation
- Olive oil economy and promotion of olive products
Currently the world olive tree planting’s are at a total of 11M hectares and 78% of those are dry land farmed. Between 2006 and 2014 there was a significant 10% increase in world olive tree planting’s. As at 2013 according to IOC official data Australia consists of a total 35,000 ha and 10,000 ha are dry land farmed. Certainly a small dot in the olive tree population compared to the world mass.
Australian production has steadily risen since 1982 up till 2013 and since then the graph look erratic with peaks at 250,000T and troughs at the lowest around 180,000T since.
Some of the meeting discussion points
World olive oil consumption has decreased more significantly than olive oil production
The meeting discussed opportunities to increase market access for olive oil. Olive oil generally accounts for only 2% of consumption of total edible oil consumption, including palm oil, soybean, rapeseed, sunflower and olive oil.
Per capita consumption of olive oil in Australia until 2015 accounted for 1.6% of total edible oils. Australia’s consumption rate ranked higher than the USA, where per capita consumption was 0.9%.
Virgin olive oil is the predominant grade of imported at 10,200T per annum.
So why was the IOC here?
As well as seeking to build collaboration with Australia, the IOC is also looking to build strength and confidence with consumers with a unified positive message surrounding health, quality, flavour, versatility and environment.
In the USA these activities involved a health summit, the International Conference on olive oil and prevention of chronic disease. It was held in collaboration with the Robert Mondavi institute and UC Davis.
Another IOC activity looked at carbon footprint. One litre of olive oil captures 10.65kg of CO2. A calculator is available at their website.
What does the future hold?
Australia is very much on the IOC’s radar. The IOC is investigating the possibility of a collaborative campaign in Australia to run for up to three years. This may be the start to some interesting and productive times for olive industry growth.