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One of the main outcomes of the Hort Innovation Olive Levy Strategic Investment Plan 2017-21 is improved product quality, with a number of completed and ongoing olive fund R&D projects dedicated to this purpose.

Supporting the strategic outcome of those projects is the annual Australian International Olive Awards (AIOA). Much more than just a competition, the event aims to assist producers improve their quality through feedback, incentive and the financial viability provided by international award recognition.

Run by the industry for the industry, the AIOA has no hidden agendas. Its purpose is simply to promote and celebrate quality extra virgin olive oil, flavoured olive oil and table olive production, and to nurture growers and producers to improve and further develop that quality.

It does that in a number of ways, starting with the judging process:

  • high-calibre judging panels, with each member undergoing annual sensory training
  • personal and group attention given to each entry, with no time limits on the judging process
  • strict adherence to entry anonymity and results confidentiality
  • ALL oil entries judged using IOC standard blue glasses
  • Individual comments and scores recorded by each panel member

This attention to detail during judging then enables the provision of comprehensive quality feedback for EVERY entry, providing producers with the opportunity to learn from their results and refine or improve their practices in future production.

The success of this is proven by long-term medal statistics from the AOA’s annual national competition – now the AIOA. The average score across all entries per year since 2009 to 2018 increased steadily from an average of 68.5/100 points in 2009 (a medium bronze) to 76.6/100 points in 2018 (a low silver). This equates to a growth in average scores of 11.8% over the last 10 years.

For the winners, the exacting judging process also provides prestige and widespread recognition of their awarded products and brand through:

  • peer and industry recognition at the AIOA Gala Presentation Dinner
  • post-event media releases and resulting international, national and regional coverage
  • AOA-AIOA media event, Sydney
  • AIOA medal decals on product.

The promotion generated by an AIOA award in turn provides proven marketing benefits, increasing business viability and providing the opportunity for further investment in quality.

Entries for the 2019 Australian International Olive Awards close on 30 August. Don’t miss your chance to be a winner and share the industry-wide celebration of the best in quality olive production.

Full details and enter here.