Australian Olive Industry Survey: Industry Issues ~ Part 9

Top 10 Issues facing olive groves in Australia

The biggest issue facing the Olive Industry:

  1. Water & Irrigation (41.8%)
  2. Pest & Disease control (35.2%)
  3. Marketing (31.5%)
  4. Biennial bearing (29.7%)
  5. Harvesting Issues (25.5%)
  6. Unproductive Varietals (22.4%)
  7. Cost of Labour (22.4%)
  8. Climate Change/Seasonal Conditions (17.6%)
  9. Inconsistent cropping (17%)
  10. Competition from imports (17%)

Other responses (15.2%)

  • Drought
  • Lack of liason, communication & transparency from industry bodies.
  • Trees too young
  • Waste and EPA compliance
  • Regulations
  • Land cost
  • Distribution
  • Poor health
  • Lack of lobbying government.

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Issues – How to overcome

  • Education, Knowledge & access to more information
  • Consumer education
  • Tax  cheap oil imports, industry association help to establish export markets, encourage more serious growers to join the industry.
  • I believe the situation will improve as more trees come into production through maturation, and more trees are planted in due course.
  • More time, understanding of the best practices for my grove, my own pressing, better networking to sell product and financial profitability. 
  • access to info for small growers. Olive association is mostly about BIG industry. Cost of equipment is exorbitant in Australia not the case in other olive oil-producing countries. 
  • Processors prepared to process at night
  • anything to drop chemical (and fertiliser) costs
  • Better attention to growing needs
  • Government to wake up to themselves despite what the CSIRO claimed in their investigation of some 10=15 yrs ago.  We live in a country of very diverse weather conditions.
  • Not entirely sure. Working through issues as we identify. Biggest thing is probably time management.
  • Processing ability
  • Industry promotion
  • Government and industry support for small to medium growers (1000 to 2000 trees)
  • Mentoring eg Farm needs a farmer program
  • I don’t know
  • Distributors willing to carry and promote Australian olive oil
  • Lower wages, lower freight costs, cheaper production inputs, cheaper packaging, better grower oil prices
  • The issue with imported oil standards is the same issue that was a problem 15 years ago when I started in the industry.  
  • Heavy mulching to protect soil during summer heat using green mulch of firstly nasturtiums followed by sweet potato. More efficient irrigation.
  • An independent inquiry into the operations and financials of the Australian Olive Australian.  Advertise paid positions within the industry to the wider public so that selection process be based on merit and equal opportunity.  Independent performance based assessment of individuals holding paid positions within the Australian Olive Australian
  • A world price of $6
  • Rain and no backpacker tax.
  • I believe I am already doing the best I can to deal with these issues.  I just have to live within my limits (water available for irrigation, low price of olive oil, limited time etc).
  • Proactive and financially buoyant industry driven by a collaborative body
  • Better bank financing – short term loans
  • Diesel Rebate on travel fuel for Harvester Machinery; subsidy on purchase of new harvesting machinery
  • Access to reduced labour costs OR being able to sell the product at a higher price.
  • Research to understand best varietals to use in various regions of Australia.  Resource sharing/regional co-ops to reduce costs.
  • Policing fraudulent products and countervailing tariff imposed against EU. 
  • Find more water at a reasonable price
  • Complete extermination of Olive Lace Bug nationwide. A winter chill with a halt to climate change. 
  • Large producers selling cheap oil to supermarkets below cost of production 
  • Less regulations

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