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NZ Olive Oil Scoops Medals at International Competitions

New Zealand Olive Oil Scoops Medals at International Competitions
Press Release 1st May 2017

Winners in two prestigious international Olive Oil competitions have just been announced and New Zealand features in both.
In the New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC), which is arguably the largest of international Olive Oil Competitions, Robinsons Bay and Old French Road both won GOLD with their Extra Virgin Olive Oil entries. Both olive groves are from Akaroa and were Best in Show and Reserve Best in Show respectively at the 2016 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards.
The 2017 NYIOOC attracted more than 800 entries from 26 countries and was judged by an international panel of experts. For more information see
At the Olive Japan Olive Oil Competition Telegraph Hill from Hawke’s Bay won GOLD medals with their Roast Garlic and Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime, Chili Flavoured Olive Oils and SILVER with their Thyme, Sage, Rosemary Flavoured Olive Oil. The D'Arc Grove from Wairarapa won SILVER with their Extra Virgin Olive Oil entry.
With 620 entries from 25 nations, this is the largest number of the entries for Olive Japan’s 6 years history. For more information see

There are in excess of 400 olive groves in New Zealand and the grove size generally ranges between 500 and 1,000 trees. Three regions have one super large commercial groves each; Auckland (40,300 trees), Marlborough (5,117 trees) and Nelson (9,000 trees). Hawke’s Bay has three (15,039; 27,541; 38,000). The typical annual production of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in New Zealand is in excess of 400,000 litres.

Research has shown that Extra Virgin Olive Oil has more health benefits than any other food and it is a key component of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil must be Extra Virgin to have the associated health benefits.

It is estimated that New Zealand consumption of olive oil is around 4.5 million litres per annum (approx. 1 litre per person), of which more than 90% is imported. Unlike other countries, there are no subsidies available for agriculture in New Zealand and its location in the Southern Hemisphere means that importing costs of specialist equipment from Europe are high. Accordingly, the New Zealand producer cannot compete with importers on price, but by quality and superior taste is a different scenario.

Olives New Zealand implemented the OliveMark® Certification Programme in 2004. To qualify for Olives New Zealand Certification and to use the OliveMark®, New Zealand olive oil must meet specific requirements. These include bottling and labelling standards as well as the chemical and sensory criteria that Olives New Zealand has based on the International Olive Council (IOC) standards for extra virgin olive oil, using the Oil Testing Service operated by the Department of Primary Industries in New South Wales. This ensures that products carrying the OliveMark® are guaranteed to be authentic New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

A big challenge for the New Zealand industry is to increase public awareness of the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the quality and freshness of New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil in particular. This should accordingly increase consumption of the locally produced product.

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