Toowoomba, 3rd December 2017 – A first for the Australian Olive Oil industry with more than 25 Olive Growers and aficionados from Queensland and Goulburn who took part in an Olive Oil Tasting Course with a core focus on Provenance. The course was led by Dr Richard Gawel, International Sensory Expert and Senior Researcher who is the chief investigator for a recently approved Government funded project by Farming Together program.
Mrs Bailey said olives tended to prefer a cooler climate than many parts of Queensland offered, purely for purposes of avoiding fungal and disease issues.
But with a resurgence of people buying up boutique olive orchards and existing producers refining their products to better suit the market, the only way she could see the industry going was up.
“The Queensland olive industry has gone through some trials and tribulations over the years because of the warm environment, fungal problems, pests and disease because growing is more challenging in a warmer area,” she said.
“But with that in mind there are a whole bunch of dedicated growers and even a lot of new growers and the Queensland industry is going through a re-invigoration stage at the moment.”
She said behind the resurgence in growing olives and producing oil was a number of factors including better commodity prices, good growing seasons and even a willingness among customers to spend a few extra dollars buying a boutique oil at a farmers’ market rather than heading for the mass-produced products in a supermarket.
But as far as the last point went, Mrs Bailey said it was all to the good of consumers, who would get a much fresher product with significantly higher health benefits.
She said the active healthful ingredient in an extra virgin olive oil was polyphenols, which were a form of antioxidant.
Participants came away with essential skills with commonly recognised taste defects, identifying important varietal characteristics, interpreting basic chemistry and influences on quality to understanding minor components in Extra virgin olive oil and their influence on taste and healthfulness.
What attendees had to say;
RH, Ravensbourne “The day was extremely informative and as a whole very well presented. Everyone I spoke to had the same comments. Overall a wonderful set of information for growing olives and how all the actions you take out in the grove relate to quality. I will certainly be taking on board the points for furthering our processes. It was also wonderful to be able to see other Growers in the local Industry.”
IR, Coolana “The day was truly one whereby even with extensive industry knowledge forged over 20 years, I learnt something new too. Very well presented and it is a loss to anyone who was not there. The event was absolutely top class. Thanks to Dr Richard Gawel who presented some very technical material in an easy to understand format. Well done!”
BK, Scenic Rim “The day was fantastic. It was truly a day to bring the Queensland Industry forward”
Source, Rural Weekly: Putting the Taste to the Test