Olives New Zealand

Focus Grove















Current Status

This  sixth and final round of Focus Grove visits and Field Days were held in March 2019, carried out under the Project Extension Approval. This sixth round of visits was carried out by the two consultants engaged as part of the projects; Dr Stuart Tustin from Plant and Food Research and Andrew Taylor from Forty Groves Ltd. Also attending were Craig Leaf-Wright, President of Olives New Zealand and Gayle Sheridan, Executive Officer for Olives New Zealand. Josu Amelibia from Spacesonic Ltd, Greece attended all but Hawke’s Bay to demonstrate the Atrax 4 electric olive harvester. This was timely given the need for many grove owners to take on responsibility for managing their own harvests. Dr Vera Sergeeva from Australia (plant and disease specialist) attended all except Hawke’s Bay and Nelson to gather data for her new book.

The report on the October Focus Grove visits and Field Days has been added below.
The above photo was taken at Kakariki Olive Grove, Nelson.

The Focus Grove project is now nearing completion. The Final Review and Report document will be completed in October when the 2019 harvest data is available.

New Zealand consumes approximately 4m litres of olive oil annually of which the New Zealand produced product makes up less than 10%. There is therefore a significant opportunity for local producers to increase their market share.

The two biggest challenges facing the local producers is productivity (the ability to supply) and the cost structures. While there are more than 400,000 trees in New Zealand capable of producing around 1.8m litres of olive oil, currently production is less than 25% of that figure. The industry is also challenged with biennial bearing and other factors (disease, weather) that can devastate a potentially increased harvest.

The Focus Grove Project is aimed at “Increasing the Market Share for NZ EVOO” by identifying basic grove management practices to enable the industry to consistently lift production and also reduce costs. This project runs from July 2016 to October 2018 at a total cost of $140,000. Olives New Zealand is most appreciative of the financial assistance for this project received from the Sustainable Farming Fund, co-funding from Olives NZ members and Regional Groups and in-kind funding by various participants.

Expertise has been contracted from Plant and Food Research in the form of Dr Stuart Tustin.  Plant and Food Research are recognised globally for their research and technical support services to the horticulture industry. While Stuart Tustin has a history in the development and productivity of deciduous tree fruit crops, including intensive orchard production systems, orchard canopy architecture and planting systems design. He is involved in international collaborative projects. For more information on Stuart see Stuart Tustin – The Orchardist    Thanks to Rose Mannering and The Orchardist for approval to reproduce this article.

The Focus Grove Project will benefit all stakeholders in the olive industry, growers, processors, suppliers, etc. For more information on the Project “Increasing the Market Share for New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil” see the following documents:

2016 Project Startup Meeting Minutes
2016-17 SFF Extension Plan
Increasing the marketshare for NZ EVOO – presentation by Stuart Tustin October 2016
SFF Project 404831 Milestone M03 First Report – November 2016
2017 SFF Project 404831 Interim Project Status Report
SFF Focus Grove Project – Diseases Fact Sheets
SFF Project 404831 Milestone M06 – Regonal Field Days March 2017 Report
2017 SFF Project 404831 M07 and M09 Third FocusGroves and Field Days Report
2017 SFF Project 404831 Milestone M09 Conference Presentation
Olive Canopy Management Fact Sheet 1
Disease Management Fact Sheets – updated November 2017

March 2018 Documents:
Canopy Management Fact Sheet 2
2018 SFF Project 404831 M10 Milestones Report
2018 SFF Project 404831 M10 Milestone Report – Appendix

October 2018 Documents

September 2018 Executive Officer Report
September 2018 Executive Meeting Minutes 
2018 SFF Project 404831 M14 & M15 Milestones Report
2018 Conference Presentation
Anthracnose Bulletin – October 2018

March 2019 Document:
2019 SFF Project 404831 M16 & M17 Milestones Report

Thank you to the following contributors to the Focus Grove Project. Without your support the project would not have been approved.

John Valentine
D’Arc Grove
The Olive Press
Awhea Holdings
Loopline Olives
Penman Olives
River Grove Ltd
Olea Estate
Wairarapa Olive Harvesting
Parish House Olives
Joron Olives
Leafyridge Olives
Molive Olives
Olivo Ltd
NA & JF Egerton
Greg Clift & JA Pigou
Claire & Gillivray McKay
Mike & Maureen Hanson
Juno Olives
Greytown Olives Ltd
Left Field Olives
Gail Powell
 Wairarapa Branch of Olives NZ
Rob & Tricia Noble-Beasley
Te Horo Grove Ltd
Green Woods Enterprises Ltd
Cambrian & Aylesbury Trust
Rata Olives
J. Summerhays
Te Waka Grove
Bryan & Jill Upshon
Gaylene & Hamilton McConachy
Vint & Di Chadwick
Totara Tunnel Olives
Te Roto Estate
 Kapiti Branch of Olives NZ
Alec & Anne Webster
Southlea Olives
Robinsons Bay Olives
Bruce & Jill Chapman
Partners Holland & Whyte
 Waipara Groves
 Canterbury Branch of Olives NZ
Kakariki Olives Ltd – Dunlops
Bealuh Ridge Ltd
Waimea Nurseries Ltd
Kina Haus Olives
The Good Earth Company
Tasman Bay Olives
Timothy Lole
Kakariki Olives Ltd – Gregorys
Hawke’s Bay
Alan & Angie Alexander
Bruce Speedy
Sorenson Partnership
Esk Valley Olives
The Village Press Olive Groves
Matapiro Olives
NZ Olive Festival Incorporated
 Hawke’s Bay Branch of Olives NZ
Central Otago
Cairnmuir Olives Ltd
Dunford Grove
Salumeria Fontana
 Former Auckland Branch of Olives NZ
Strathview Olives
Oliven am Meer
Denis & Beth Raines
Olives on the Hill
Rodney Howarth
Chapel Olive Oil

There have also been a number of donations from people who wish to remain anonymous.
In addition thanks also to the Focus Groves who have already incurred costs of $4,000 per annum for the pilot project and will continue to incur these costs for the next three years of the Focus Grove Project:
Hawke’s Bay – Aquiferra
Wairarapa – Leafyridge
Nelson – Kakariki
Canterbury – Terrace Edge.

Typical pledges have ranged from $300 – $1500 and your contribution would most appreciated. For a Pledge Form click here   Pledge Form


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