Good oil on olives

A family day at the Olea Australis olive farm, Dandaragan, was an opportunity for investors and local residents to share in a vision of the region as the premier olive growing area in WA.

The relaxed lunch at the olive farm gave potential investors, shareholders and neighbours a chance to see how the agricultural business operates.

Olea Australis director, Ken Richards, said Yates, the renamed Norgard Clohessy Equity, has a 31 per cent interest in Olea Australis which is a listed company in its own right.

“There are 200ha of olive trees in the field and we are looking at raising more money to put in another 200ha,” Mr Richards said.

Olea Australis offered helicopter joy-rides to give people an understanding of the size of the operation and bus tours with Olea Australis technical director, Dr Cosimo Faiello, who explained the technicalities of growing, harvesting olives and producing the oil.

Participants were given the opportunity to ask questions about operating details of the farm and

the likely returns on their investments.

Olea Australis has proposed a model based on growing a number of different olive varieties which will allow for an extended harvesting period.

Frasers Restaurant director and head chef Chris Taylor prepared a barbecue for the guests and Dr Faiello hosted an olive-tasting class to demonstrate how consumers could identify a top quality olive oil.

The family day also gave neighbouring farmers and Dandaragan residents an opportunity to see how the farm would operate as part of their community.

“There are four full-time staff and four permanent casual staff and other casual jobs. Economically this is quite a big project for Dandaragan,” Mr Richards said.

In the long-term, Olea Australis plans to build a processor on the farm site and the company has a long-term contract with Italian company Casa Olearia to sell the oil.

“Our plan over time is we’d like to build our own brand in Australia and Europe,” Mr Richards said.


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