Olives New Zealand

Focus Grove


Pictured above are the NZ EVOO Awards Italian Judges enjoying lunch al fresco with  Focus Grove Project Consultants Stuart Tustin and Andrew Taylor at the Wairarapa Field Day held on 10 October 2017.


Current Status
The fourth round of Focus Grove visits and Field Days have been completed over March 2018, with more than 100 people attending across the country.

The Focus Groves in Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay were in outstanding condition in relation  to tree health, crop load and the size of the olives. The Nelson Focus Grove was also in continuing improved condition and showing significant improvement in tree health and with pleasing crop load. In Canterbury attendees were spoilt with a visit to the Bel-Hamed Grove, which had been early adopters of the pruning and spraying programmes, and were blown away with the tree health, appearance and wonderful crop. This olive grove is now really a model for other groves. The Canterbury Focus Grove showed a good crop load but it was felt that this could be improved by adopting the organic spray programme used in their vineyard in the absence of following the recommended programme.

The Fourth Focus Grove and Field Days Report is available below and contains further information on these activities and the status with the Focus Groves. Also released in March 2018 was the Canopy Management Fact Sheet 2.

There will be a full presentation on the project at the 2018 Olives NZ Conference to be held in October 2018 at Masterton. However the Sustainable Farming Fund has also approved a 12 month extension to the Project because of the adverse conditions experienced in 2017. This has been much appreciated and will enable to the Project to be concluded conclusively.

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 Focus Grove Field Days 
Monday 8th         Northland
Tuesday 9th         Hawke’s Bay
Wednesday 10th Canterbury
Thursday 11th     Nelson – starting at Weka Olives at Ngatimoti -morning tea from 10.30am 
 Friday 12th         Wairarapa (including a visit to River Grove followed by a BBQ).

Saturday 13th Conference in Masterton including formal presentation on the project

Olives New Zealand thanks and acknowledges the following for their sponsorship for the project. Without your support the project would not have progressed.

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
Southlea Olives
Robinsons Bay Olives
Bruce & Jill Chapman
Partners Holland & Whyte
 Waipara Groves
 Canterbury Branch of Olives NZ
Kakariki Olives Ltd
Bealuh Ridge Ltd
Waimea Nurseries Ltd
Kina Haus Olives
The Good Earth Company
Tasman Bay Olives
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

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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