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The 3rd annual Australian Olive Expo has grown to be the most important event on the olive industry calendar with more than 70% attending in 2006 and that number expected to rise in 2007, organisers say.

Canberra will once again play host to Australia’s olive industry as the 3rd annual Australian Olive Expo takes place in Canberra this October.

The Expo provides a chance for growers, in this rapidly growing market, to network, explore new equipment and products and most importantly attend educational seminars.

“We are excited about the line up for this year’s seminar program. After a lot of consultation with the industry we have sourced speakers who will provide not just information but practical strategies for the coming years.” said John Forrest, Australian Olive Expo Director.

“In particular we are delighted to announce that Professor Antonio Garrido Fernandez, a principal scientist and world renowned olive expert, from the Instituto de la Grasa, in Seville, Spain has accepted our invitation to speak at the Expo this year. It is estimated that the olive industry now has more than 2000 producers supplying domestic and export markets.

“Many of Australia’s olive groves are due to reach maturity and achieve full production potential over the next decade, with olive oil production expected to peak at 40,000 tonnes by 2015,” according to Paul Miller, president of the Australian Olive Association. “If half of this production could be sold internationally, exports could be worth AU$100 million. This represents almost 10% of the value of all Australian horticultural exports.”