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In the next upcoming issue of the Olivegrower & Procesor read the profile on the new Olives New Zealand president, Andrew Taylor.

Married to Delyth, Andrew has two sons, Aston & Dylan and has lived in Hawkes Bay for 20 years.

A fruit grower (pip and stone fruit) by trade, Andrew was introduced to olives in 1997 when a neighbor planted olive trees. At the time there was little technical support for olive fruit production, so Andrew transferred fruit growing techniques from pip and stone fruit crops to olives.

It obviously worked and he went on to develop groves for other people, managing all processes from planting through to fruit production.

In 2000 he recognised the need for mechanical harvesting, researched what was available and bought his first harvester. He now owns three and runs a contract harvesting service around the north island. Pruning of groves to suit tree shaking mechanical harvesting is another specialty.

At present Andrew runs three groves, advises on groves around the country and does contract mechanical harvesting. He also planted his own grove of 2000 trees about 10 years ago as “a bit of a sideline.”

With his background as a fruit grower, Andrew’s personal emphasis is on improving olive grove production and fruit yields for consistency and volume, using management practices to achieve high yields consistently.

A previous member of the NZ Olives executive, he says the role of president provides “the opportunity to help represent the industry I work in and want to see move forward.”

When asked where he’d like to see the NZ olive industry in 10 years, he said he’d “like to see NZ olive oil and olive products dominating the domestic market.”

Read more on this and other profiles in the March/April edition of the Olivegrower & Processor, out soon.