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Reader forum: Have your say

How would you spend $200,000?

Anita Donaldson

The Australian Olive Association has said it will receive $200,000 in Federal Government grants and will earmark the monies for “a high profile marketing campaign”. The new grant comes on the back of around $300,000 in grants provided to the AOA in recent years. Attracting Federal funding is a good result by the AOA and a real positive for all involved in the olive industry, but how is this money best spent?

Feedback we’ve received at Olivegrower & Processor magazine, and through readers of Friday Olive Extracts, indicates you think the greatest challenge facing olivegrowers today is the fight to be competitive in the face of cheaper olive oil imports (there is a story on this in the upcoming July-August issue of Olivegrower & Processor – out soon). Readers also believe there is an urgent need for more and better targeted marketing that educates consumers about the benefits of olive oil consumption as part of a healthy diet.

The AOA said it will use the new monies for a campaign to raise the profile of Australian olive products, including to build consumer awareness of the AOA’s Code of Practice. Part of the earlier grant money was spent on establishing the Code of Practice, which currently is only an option for AOA members.

As the Federal Government grant is Australian taxpayer money, it should be put to the benefit of the industry as a whole – members and non-members.

Have your say:

So how would you suggest the AOA best spend $200,000 for marketing purposes? Here are some ideas:

• Offer ex-Australian text cricketer, Matthew Hayden, the role of Australian olive ambassador. The big Queenslander is as Aussie as you get. He is a known foodie – of the backyard, fish-cooked-fresh-out-of-ocean-BBQ-variety that strikes home with ordinary Aussies. And who knows what Matty might do for some dollars and a never-ending supply of extra virgin olive oil? Blokes and women love him!
• Here’s a great idea from John and Lorraine Milla of Abilene Grove in Borenore NSW, one of our Olivegrower & Processor readers: “We need to be like the wine industry – premium EVOO at all restaurants with a choice of labels to have with bread before a meal – let’s get rid of the butter. We need to market EVOO as a food to enjoy by itself and sell lesser quality oil for cooking.” I’ve experienced this at The Lane restaurant in the Adelaide Hills, where bread was served with extra virgin olive oil, not butter, prior to the meal and the taste was amazing.
• What can we learn from the initiatives of Pendleton Estate (see the story in the May-June issue of Olivegrower & Processor, and in today’s Friday Olive Extracts ). They have a great promotion currently under way in select retail outlets across Australia involving branded tasting units and education stands.

What are your ideas for best spending $200,000 to promote the Australian olive oil and table olives? Tell us your view by writing to: