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Weather Conditions Impact Australia’s Olive Harvest

The Australian olive industry endured challenging weather conditions which has impacted the 2023 harvest. Unseasonably cold, wet weather resulted in a shorter growing season, slower ripening of fruit and a delayed harvest, according to the President of the Australian Olive Oil Association, David Valmorbida.

“Early in the season the industry was poised for a promising harvest, but cold weather and rain in May and June, particularly in the south east Australia had an impact,” Mr Valmorbida said.

While the Australian olive harvest is not officially tracked, the Australian Olive Oil Association (AOOA) estimates the 2023 harvest will yield between 18-19 million litres of oil from approximately 110,000-120,000 tonnes of fruit.

This is compared to last year’s harvest of 14-15 million litres and the record 2021 crop of 20-22 million litres of olive oil.

“We need to take into account the biennial cycle of olives,” Mr Valmorbida said. “This is an ‘on’ year for olives and while we made a prediction for a very good harvest earlier in the year, it’s always weather dependant and the result has been mixed for growers.”

“The oil yield is definitely lower than average because of the cooler growing conditions, but the quality of oil remains high because the fruit ripened slowly,” Mr Valmorbida added. More