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A principal scientist and world-renowned olive expert from the world’s foremost research facility for table olives will be a keynote speaker at the Australian Olive Expo in Canberra in October.

Professor Antonio Garrido Fernandez from the Instituto de la Grasa, Seville, Spain has been invited by the Australian Olive Association in conjunction with the Olive Expo to provide extra focus to the local table olive industry.

While the olive oil industry continues to develop every year, with some world class oils being produced, the table olive industry in Australia is still very fragmented with only two or three reasonably-sized commercial enterprises. The remainder of the industry ranges from hobby-sized to single grove enterprises. Olive sales in Australia have reached approximately $120 million dollars per year, with oil representing approximately $80 million and table olives $40 million.

With this in mind, the value of table olive production to Australia has become more appreciated with the possibility of good returns particularly from export being possible. The availability of large quantities in Australia of Manzanillo which are very suitable for the production of green and black table olives provides a good basis for a viable industry.

The table olive industry in Australia lacks a scientific basis and largely depends on methods used for centuries by forebears of European migrants and brought to this country by them. Professor Garrido Fernandez will provide an insight into the scientific basis of the Spanish and world-wide table olive industry and the vast amount of research that has and is being done by the Instituto de la Grasa and other organisations.

Jim Smyth, a leading figure in the Australian table olive industry, said “It is extremely important that we get this opportunity to learn from Prof Fernandez.

“Many in our industry are starting to appreciate the potential revenue to be made in table olives. It is a little more complicated then producing olive oil, but the returns could certainly make it worth while.”

The Australian Olive Expo will be held in Canberra at Exhibition Park from 30-31 October 2007. Showcasing the latest in olive production and technologies the two-day trade expo will focus on the production, processing and marketing of Australian olives and olive oil.

For more information on the Australian Olive Expo visit