If you are looking to start a grove, purchase an existing grove or you are wanting to assess olive industry statistics and figures, you might find this information helpful.
The renaissance of the Australian olive industry is entering its second decade. During the last 10 years, the Australian industry has grown solidly from a cottage industry to a technically sophisticated industry that is increasingly export focus. Over this time, the quality of Australian olive oil has consistently improved, and production efficiencies increased, to the point where high quality and affordable Australian extra virgin olive oil is now widely accessible to consumers both in Australia and Internationally. The growth in the table olive sector has been slower, yet there is a significant scope for further growth in expanding domestic and international markets. Significant growth always presents additional challenges. Waste from oil and table olive production needs to be appropriately managed, or even better, utilised for both economic and environmental gain. Inputs also need to be used with greater economy. In particular, the efficient use of scarce and increasingly expensive water resources will always be a high priority for the Australian olive industry. Effective strategies that could be used to inspire domestic and international consumers to further switch from European to Australian products also need to be investigated in order to grow demand.
Future growth for the Australian Olive Industry
There is also significant growth potential for Australian olive oil in the emerging markets of China and India. Exports to China have increased significantly in the previous two years and India’s recent decision to reduce significantly import duties on olive oil from what many would consider previously debilitating 45 percent to 7.5 percent, will be helpful in olive oils obtaining a greater share of the edible fat market in that country. However, Australian exporters face increased competition from larger New World producers from Chile, Argentina and the United States who have started to produce high quality extra virgin olive oil from highly mechanised super high-density groves.
Information from: Australian Olive Industry RD&E Plan 2010-2015
Australian Olive Industry Statistics:
Australian Olive Production
Australian Olive Oil Production
Australian Virgin Olive Oil Production
Australian Olive Oil Consumption
Australian Olive Oil Imports
The health benefits of olive oil are being learned around the world. In 1991 Australia imported $38 million worth of olive products. By 1996, just five years later, imports had risen to $115 million and they are still rising. (Australian Bureau of Statistics). In fact, over the past decade, Australian olive product imports have increased by more than 300 percent (Reichelt & Burr, 1997). Olive oil now commands up to 50 percent of the edible oil shelf space in some of our leading supermarkets … but with our own Australian olive products always sold out well before the next year’s harvest, we have to import more than 50% of the olive products we consume.
Australian Olive Oil Exports
Australian growers are encouraged to reduce imports by producing olives in Australia, for Australian Consumers. However, now about 10% of Australia’s groves are Asian owned and are solely owned for export purposes. As Asia has had problems in recent years with food fraud the Asian market is looking for ethical brands and producers like those in Australia. The Asian diet today is demanding more of a varied Western diet which brings the desire for items such as pizza topped with sliced or whole olives, olives in salads, and the use of quality olive oils for salads and cooking. With around two billion people there is a large opportunity for Australian Olive Producers in this market alone. Japan’s imports of olive oil almost doubled from 1995 to 1996 when they reached 16,637 metric tonnes. (Nikkei Kezai Newspaper 20/11/97) And in the 1997/98 year, they imported a staggering 34,228 tonnes! (International Olive Oil Council). In 2014, the Japanese market has grown to a staggering 51,000 metric tonnes. The USA is importing 100 times the olive oil they produce and the best marketed Californian oils are selling at unrealistic retail prices of up to US$100 per litre. (San Francisco Chronicle) Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and many northern European countries are also rapidly increasing their demand for high-quality olive products.
Table Olives – Production, Import, Export, Domestic Supply and more
In 2010, Australian table olive production accounted for only 0.15 percent of the 1.98 m tonnes produced worldwide
Note: The food balance sheet (Table Olives – Production, Import, Export, Domestic Supply and more) presents a comprehensive picture of the pattern of a country’s food supply during a specified reference period. The food balance sheet shows for each food item i.e. each primary commodity availability for human consumption which corresponds to the sources of supply and its utilisation. The total quantity of foodstuffs produced in a country added to the total quantity imported and adjusted to any change in stocks that may have occurred since the beginning of the reference period gives the supply available during that period. On the utilisation side, a distinction is made between the quantities exported, fed to livestock + used for seed, losses during storage and transportation, and food supplies available for human consumption. The per capita supply of each such food item available for human consumption is then obtained by dividing the respective quantity by the related data on the population actually partaking in it. Data on per capita food supplies are expressed in terms of quantity and by applying appropriate food composition factors for all primary and processed products also in terms of dietary energy value, protein and fat content.