In case you missed it, here is the wrap up of the Olive Exposium 2017, the only International and Australian Olive Industry event hosted in Australia.
Spirits were high at McLaren Vale in the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula during 7-9th February where more than 110 industry experts, influencers, growers, distributors, producers, marketers, researchers and suppliers worldwide were brought together to focus on olives and olive oil.
This year’s theme dealt with “Future direction, insight and innovation… making ideas happen” and delivered a high level of information covering a number of areas to air some of the biggest industry issues.
First in a successful line of inspiring guest speakers at OE17 was Pip Forester from Fleurieu Peninsula Food group, an ambassador for the regional produce, who the official opened the event. Pip has been instrumental in establishing and building the regional brand The Fleurieu, a region which also encompasses one of Australia’s internationally renowned wine regions, McLaren Vale under its scope.
David Valmorbida, CEO of Conga Foods, brought the house down with his presentation on how industry growth could be realised whilst highlighting challenges, opportunities and risks. Certainly, a new perspective showing how the Industry could grow substantially by an integrated approach. The strategies incorporated cellar doors, market stalls through to supermarkets.
Dr Aseem Malhotra gave a presentation which drew special attention to how the aspects of diet, health and misinformation are rampant in the health industry. Dr Malhotra is a leading influential voice on these issues and he certainly highlighted why olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, is required for daily health and well-being.
USA’s Paul Vossen, who made his debut at the 2015 Olive Exposium, impressed delegates with detailed information on the diversity of olive trees and practical strategies in dealing with irrigation challenges. He also covered reasons why olive trees can become unproductive and gave growers new and varied ideas and techniques in dealing with certain issues in the grove.
Prof. Robert Spooner-Hart and Dr Len Tesoriero gave an interactive talk about various and persistent pests and diseases within the olive industry, including latest findings and research. Some interesting images of pests and diseases tested delegate’s identification skills and motivated many to sharpen up on their skills.
Sessions were varied and diverse and covered;
- Biosecurity by Dr Len Tesoriero
- Olive Oil Gastronomy, which included Olive Oil Caviar and Olive Powder tasting, led by Dr Roger Haden and Dr Rodney Mailer
Collective Marketing Hub, which highlighted how high-quality product can be showcased and offered as an elite product whilst maintaining price – Claire McAsh
- Table Olive Production led by South Australian expert James Smyth
- Improving the Performance of Olive Trees, where Dr Greg O’Sullivan demonstrated methods of dealing with underperforming trees.
- Innovative Uses of Olive Oil by USA’s Rick Cummisford with the current most varied options of olive oil uses imagined and implemented worldwide.
- Ultrasonic devices for the EVOO Industry presented by Maria Lisa Clodeveo and Prof. Riccardo Amirante.
- Marketing Seminar and Workshop by Peter Strohkorb, who gave many valuable insights and smart strategies into marketing a product and service to consumers.
- Tasting the Science of Olive Oil by Dr Richard Gawel who took Delegates on a tasting journey of discovery into the depths of olive oil and how a laboratory report relates to taste.
A presentation of Food Labelling by Jenny Hazelton uncovered the fact that as an Industry we can apply to have claims and health claims stated for all to use Industry-wide. It was recommended that an application is made to FSANZ to be able to validate claims and health claims and have these approved.
A Cellar Door Forum with Daimien & Rod Vodusek from Rich Glen Olive Estate, Mimmo Lubrano from Sandhurst Fine Foods, and Michael House from Pukarar Estate – from three very different aspects of successful olive businesses – was a highly popular and lively session with delegates offering a valuable exchange of ideas, challenges, strategies, experiences and possibilities to explore in the small businesses.
Networking dinners at Primo Estate lighted up the courtyard well into the night as the ambience of the Jazz Quartet, irresistible aromas of wood oven fired pizza and a regional seafood paella, and premium wines of Primo Estate were indulged by every guest… even the ones who snuck in. A full house.
d’Arenberg bought a new experience of indulgence with an 8-course degustation food and wine pairing dinner prepared by renowned Chef, Peter Reschke… the roars of laughter and sheer indulgence was another highly enjoyable soiree evening.
Barry McLeod, comedian and Master of Ceremonies, ensured there were lots of laughs and had many delegates on the edge of their chairs in fits of laughter.
To wrap up on Friday, an EVOO tasting workshop was offered by Dr Richard Gawel and Paul Vossen, both renowned international judges and olive oil experts, with tastings of some of the top award-winning EVOO’s from the USA, Europe, South America and Australia.
A special thank you to all sponsors and exhibitors of the Olive Exposium 2017 who helped to make this event a success.
See more photos: Olive Exposium 2017