Geelong Region Olives claims top honours at national awards

November 20, 2023 BY

Geelong Region Olives operations manager Lachie Ayton (left) with owner Stephen Parker. Photo: SUPPLIED

GEELONG Region Olives has clinched the top honour at the Australian International Olive Awards (AIOA).

Lachie Ayton, Operations Manager of Geelong Region Olives, was elated to receive the award.

“It’s reward for years of hard work in maintaining and improving the groves we manage throughout the Greater Geelong Region,” Mr Ayton said.

“It’s also testament to our passion for quality extra virgin olive oil.”

The award-winning oil originated from the Bundara View grove located in Teesdale.

Discussing the secret to their success, Mr Ayton cited a combination of factors.

“Optimal harvest time, getting the olives straight to the press helps maintain their flavour characteristics and freshness, resulting in a better extra virgin olive oil.”

The AIOA stands out as a newer addition to the global olive oil and table olive competitions but is already among the most thorough evaluations.

The competition professionally assesses extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), flavoured olive oils, and table olives from around the world, identifying and honouring those of superior quality and taste.

Run by and for industry stakeholders, the AIOA is dedicated to promoting and supporting the industry.

According to the organisation, each entry undergoes a rigorous review, providing entrants with critical feedback to refine their future olive oil production.

The competition attracts entries from various countries, including Australia, Argentina, Chile, China, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Egypt, New Zealand, North America, and Spain.

Geelong Region Olives is known for taking over and managing groves that would otherwise fall into neglect and become overgrown.

“There can be a long process getting a grove productive again, but we are seeing great results from the 20,000+ trees under our care,” Mr Ayton said.

“We love the rejuvenation of these beautiful trees and getting them to a point where we are able to harvest and process an amazing end product in extra virgin olive oil.”