Do they really grow olives in Australia?

Cobram Estate, Victoria, Australia

The fact that Australia produces some of the best extra virgin olive oil in the world is not very widely known. In fact, in China a lot of people don’t even realise that olives are grown in Australia! Some people do know that Australian extra virgin olive oil is available in China but a 2015 survey of respected online forums revealed that many believe that Australia imports the oil from Spain, Italy and Turkey, before exporting it to China.

Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact Australia has tens of millions of olive trees and produces very high quality olive oil. Over 95% of the oil produced is extra virgin and some say that as much as 98% is extra virgin.

Australia Olive trees were first introduced into Australia by settlers, pioneers and monks, around 200 years ago and some very old trees still survive today. In those early days, pressing was done in mills driven by donkeys and using traditional methods such as mat presses. Nowadays the most sophisticated equipment is used to produce extra virgin olive oils and they are winning awards and prizes in the top olive oil competitions in New York, Japan and even in Europe.

Ancient Olive Tree in Greenough, Western Australia

One of the best things about Australian extra virgin olive oil is that it is consistently excellent and if it carries the “Australian Authentic” certificate you can be absolutely sure that it is genuine. This means that you can be confident that you are buying one of the healthiest oils available anywhere in the world.

Sources:
1. China Skinny 2015 Survey carried out for Horticulture Innovation Australia
2. Author’s own research
3. Various international competitions – published results
4. Australian Olive Association, Code of Practice survey results Ancient Olive Tree in Greenough, Western Australia