Olive producers and processors from Australia and New Zealand recently gathered at the recent 2019 Table Olive Processing for Quality & Taste Course. The course, which was held in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, covered the latest developments in processing techniques. Delegates also participated in a comprehensive table olive production program to develop new and innovative olive business development ideas.
Fifty of the most prominent and upcoming brands from Australian and New Zealand Table Olive businesses gathered to hear the keynote speaker, Rafael Pleite Guiterrez. Doctor Guiterrez is the Manager of Global Olive Consulting in Madrid, Spain and holds a doctorate in Biology from the University of Seville.
Sandhurst Fine Foods was the major sponsor of the event.
The two-day course was organised by The Olive Centre, an industry specialist in the supply of equipment and machinery for olive growers and producers. The Olive Centre has focussed on industry growth since its inception and through these initiatives brings Australian & New Zealand producers closer to growing the ANZ table olive sector. .
“This year’s course, held in the famous Seppeltsfield region, focused on an extensive program explaining the latest techniques, innovations, technology and research in table olive production. The aim of such detailed information was key to bolstering the growth and expansion of the table olive Industry in Australia and internationally, and the information was extremely well-received by those who attended. Australian table olive production is only about 4% of total consumption, so there is great opportunity for growth in this sector. The perception of table olives — including marinated, flavoured, dried, and smoked olives — as a versatile, fermented, gut-friendly food product is certainly applicable to the latest consumer trends. Olives are as much of a provenance product as is extra virgin olive oil,” said Amanda Bailey, CEO of The Olive Centre.
Participants learnt first-hand about the latest technological innovations available in the market to improve different manufacturing processes. Rafaele Pleite stressed the importance of the application of new technologies to improve and objectify the production process. He demonstrated the “Teleoliva” system , developed exclusively by Global Olive Consulting. This system is currently being used by producers internationally as a measurable method in the production process. Prior to the Teleoliva there were no objective and measurable parameters available, or any possibility of replicating the process from one day to the next or one year to the next.
Provenance at work
As part of the course, participants were also able to see the concept of Provenance at work. They experienced first hand how regional food produce was incorporated in the provenance menu served at Top 100 restaurant, Fino. The luncheon offered an exceptional and sophisticated experience which participants did not want to end.
Other Provenance experiences included:
- a tasting of local olives, small goods, vinegars and various condiments during a grazing lunch hosted at the award-winning cellar door with Vasse Virgin Tasting Room in the Barossa.
- fine food canapes at Pindarie Restaurant, Gomersal. The restaurant is in the middle of a vineyard. The food was accompanied by a Jazz band and a view of the stunning sunset over the gorgeous Barossa Valley.
Events like this offer course participants valuable networking opportunities for exchange of business and grove experiences and ideas.
Sandhurst a proud sponsor
“Sandhurst Fine Foods was a proud sponsor of the Table Olive Conference- the first olive conference of its kind in Australia. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the growers and processors of table olives”, said
Mimmo Lubrano, CEO Sandhurst Fine Foods.
“Statistically of all the olive trees in the world, we know that only 6% of production is dedicated to table olives, so this makes us a very unique and niche industry. The conference was a great learning experience and many people were impressed with the level of knowledge of our presenter Rafael”, he said.
“Sandhurst is a family company committed to supporting Australian farmers. By attending these conferences, we hope to bring Australia to a higher level of quality and consistency in order to sell more Australian olives to local and export markets. Thanks to the Olive Centre for organising such a great show.”
First time the course has been offered in English
“This is the first time I have presented this course in English, so it posed a challenge. However, considering the diversity of the Australian Table Olive market we decided to have a look over the entire process needed to give producers an all-round insight into the challenges and techniques employed in the production process. It was a real highlight to see the participants’ level of involvement, with their constant interest in learning and participating in active discussion during the course. The professionalism of the producers has attracted my attention in their ability to learn and improve , giving emphasis to sustainable production”, said
Rafael Pleite Guiterrez, from Global Olive Consulting .
“It is encouraging for Australia as a younger player in the international market and not constrained by tradition is willing to embrace new technologies for improving the quality outcome of the product and thereby improving their company profitability and of course a more sustainable product which was at the fore of the participants”. he said.
“I would like to commend Amanda Bailey of The Olive Centre for hosting the event and we hope to run future events in this sector. The future for Australian Table Olives is promising with growth on the horizon.”
Too many quesions!
During the two-day course there were so many questions that the program ran overtime — everyone was engaged to know more and draw information from Rafael. A great all-round experience and participants referred to the days as a conference rather than a course. They are looking forward to participating in future industry events to be presented by The Olive Centre.