Field Notes, powered by KPMG, is a weekly news update on news nationally and globally from the agri-food sector.
Olives New Zealand has completed research and developed new techniques, which have enabled olive production to more than double. This could see the local share of the olive oil market grow to 20 percent. The Ministry for Primary Industries helped to support the three year trials, which cost $195,000, which also helped to improve the issue of biennial bearing which means that crops will be light one year but heavy in the next. Craig Leaf-Wright, a Wairarapa Grower reports that as a result of the studies, each of his trees average on producing 25 kilograms of olives a year, which is much higher than the New Zealand average of under 10kg. 90% of oil consumed by New Zealanders is imported, with citizens estimated to spend $35 million each year on 4.5 million litres of oil. Low production was found to be better managed through better pruning and disease control. ‘’Olives New Zealand has received MPI funding for a further three years to see if production can be extended more. The new project aims to produce an additional 5kg per tree, and will include revising harvesting methods. It will also trial organic methods of production’’.
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