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Olivenz Launched For Emerging Olive Industry

Olivenz Launched To Build Infrastructure For Emerging Olive Industry


Last week Olivenz Ltd signalled their intentions to play a significant role in the development of New Zealand ' s emerging olive industry through the offer of Growers ' Class Shares.

" The offer has been opened in response to the interest shown by many olive growers who want to participate in the commercial potential of olive processing and global marketing " , says Olivenz Chair Sue Suckling.

The share offer opened on May 8 and is expected to close on May 29. Forty percent of the company is on offer as Growers ' Class Shares, available to growers who have signed a long term supply contract with Olivenz. The shares are offered at $1.00 per share on a progressive payment basis; growers will pay an initial $0.80 per share on application and the final $0.20 to be paid by 31 March 2001. Applications are for a minimum of 2,000 shares with further shares available in multiples of 500. 620,000 Growers ' Class Shares are being offered.

The olive industry is growing significantly at present. Currently there are approximately 500,000 olive trees in New Zealand at different stages of maturation. These trees have the potential to produce 2.5 million litres of olive oil, which is equivalent to New Zealand ' s total annual consumption. Every year in excess of 120,000 additional trees are being planted.

" High placings for New Zealand ' s olive oil in international competitions has shown that we can hold our own in terms of quality.

" What the industry needs is the development of a significant commercial processing and marketing infrastructure that will enable premium New Zealand olive oil to be successfully marketed internationally, " says Ms Suckling.

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The company is building a new millhouse amongst the Ohoka plantation of over 50,000 olive trees (near Rangiora north of Christchurch). It will house a state of the art 1.5 metric tonne / per hour continuous flow olive press.

It is envisaged that the press will initially process olives from Canterbury, Marlborough, Martinborough, and other South Island growers.

The first commercial season will commence with the autumn 2001 harvest. Oil processed this year will be limited and will be used for market development purposes.

Olivenz will market premium quality olive oil internationally. The company is in the process of registering Olivenz and Virginz as trademarks for its products.

" As a well-capitalised and commercially focused company, Olivenz will enable New Zealand ' s olive growers to market their products globally. We have a long term focus and we ' re developing long term relationships within this emerging industry " , says Ms Suckling.


ENDS

Background Information - Olivenz Limited

Olivenz Limited was established by Directors Robin Hughes and Brian Thomson, who facilitated the development of New Zealand’s largest olive plantings in Ohoka, north-west of Christchurch and Sue Suckling, a leading New Zealand business woman with substantial expertise in the agricultural industry.

Oil produced by Olivenz in 2000 will be contract processed and used for market development, while the first commercial yield, using Olivenz’s state of the art press, is expected in 2001. In the fifth year of full production it is estimated that Olivenz will produce at least 100,000 litres of premium quality extra virgin olive oil.

Directors expect the company to generate a profit and pay dividends to shareholders in the fourth year of trading.

Board of Directors

Sue Suckling, Chairperson
Ms Suckling has extensive experience in the agricultural industry and is currently Chairperson of AgriQuality New Zealand, Barkers Fruit Processors Limited, the New Zealand Dairy Industry CEO Forum and the Oxford Clinic Limited, and Managing Director of Acemark Consulting Group.

Her contributions to New Zealand business earned Ms Suckling the title of New Zealand Businesswoman of the Year in 1985 and an OBE in 1996. She holds a degree in Food Technology from Massey University.

Robin Hughes, Director
Mr Hughes has researched the olive industry in the USA and Australia and led the establishment of the Ohoka olive blocks. He has managed other large, successful property developments in the South Island and is currently developing one of Christchurch’s largest residential projects.

His experience in business development and leadership includes a Directorship of WaltCorp Pty Limited (Australia). Mr Hughes founded and is Chairman of R D Hughes Developments Limited and Hughes Rees Sara Construction Limited.

Brian Thompson, Director
Mr Thompson has been instrumental in the development of the New Zealand olive industry, with involvement in industry strategy, planning and implementation, and research into olive oil production, processing and marketing overseas.

He is Chairman of the New Zealand Olive Association’s Research Committee and the Christchurch Branch of the Association, and a member of the New Zealand Olive Oil Organoleptic Tasting Panel.

Mr Thompson’s strong management background includes 20 years, and several senior positions, at ANZ bank. Mr Thompson drove the implementation of the Ohoka olive project and Ohoka nursery (producing 60,000 trees per year) and managed establishment of the utilities and infrastructure companies supporting the Ohoka olive development.
Background information - Olivenz Advisory Board

The Olivenz Advisory Board comprises key leaders in the olive industry. The inaugural members represent significant commercial and industry expertise.

The Advisory Board will assist Olivenz Limited in achieving its vision, through strategic and operational advice including:
 advice to ensure sustainable development for Olivenz Limited as well as for the New Zealand olive industry
 critique and input into Olivenz Limited’s strategies for marketing, grower relations, product quality, and wider strategies for the olive industry.

Board Members

Sue Suckling, Chair of Olivenz Limited

Graham Brown
Graham is a leading New Zealand chef who won several major awards for his restaurant, Scarborough Fare in Christchurch, before selling the restaurant in 1992 to join the New Zealand Game Industry Board.

Graham plays a major role in a successful international marketing programme to promote Cervena, New Zealand farm raised venison to the North American market. As a result of this work, Graham has contact with some of the finest restaurants and chefs around the world.

Professor Don Beaven
Don is actively involved in the New Zealand olive industry both as a grower and a member of the New Zealand Olive Association and the New Zealand Olive Oil Organoleptic Panel.

His interest in olives came from his medical work focusing on diabetes and wellness management. Don was Foundation Professor of Medicine at Christchurch School of Medicine until 1990 and is internationally renowned for his contribution to medicine, having received numerous prestigious awards.

Bruce West
Bruce is a technical consultant to the New Zealand olive industry and Technical Officer for the New Zealand Olive Association. He has more than ten years’ experience in the local olive industry, with strong expertise in the production, harvesting and processing of olive oil.

For four years Bruce was Horticultural Manager for Blumenfelds Olive Grove (now Marlborough Olives) and he has studied olive propagation, growing and processing in key overseas olive producing countries.

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