Olive project for Gingin

ANOTHER olive oil project is off the ground, this time north of Perth near Gingin.

The Kallamar Olive Project aims to reduce Australia’s reliance on imports of premium olive oil.

Kallamar Olive Project executive director Derek Fisher said the Gingin region was ideally suited to olive production because of its climatic and geographic similarities to traditional Mediterranean olive growing regions such as Spain, Italy and the Middle East.

“Kallamar has a small grove of forty year old olive trees growing on it and, although the trees have been ignored for decades, they fruit abundantly without any irrigation or fertiliser,” Dr Fisher said.

“Olives virtually grow wild here and, with the help of the latest technology and farm practices, we will develop a high yielding olive grove that will account for a significant part of the national olive crop.”

The Kallamar project will provide premium local oil for the Australian market.

Australian imports of olive oil are growing at 13 per cent per annum to supply growing demand.

Australian olive oil consumption has increased more than threefold in the past decade from 7,000 tonnes in 1986-87 to 23,000 tonnes in 1997-98.

To meet the escalating demand, Australia spends more than $73 million on overseas olive oils – primarily from Italy, Spain and Greece.

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