26 May 2015

NZ hoping to fill gap in olive market

6:48 am on 26 May 2015

New Zealand olive oil producers are hoping they can fill a gap in overseas markets caused by a disastrous olive harvest in Europe.

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Photo: 123rf

A combination of poor weather and plagues of the destructive olive fly have laid waste to crops across Europe.

Greg Scopas, who grows olives and produces oil at Wellsford, north of Auckland, said last year's harvest produced a bumper crop and for the first time his company exported olive oil to Taiwan.

Mr Scopas said despite this year's harvest being significantly down on last year's, he was hoping to cash in on filling the gap again.

"There's more interest now from Japan, we exported for the first time last year to Taiwan and we're talking again to some Taiwanese contacts, so it's early days, there's nothing confirmed yet, but it's promising to have that interest.

"I think they're pleasantly surprised with the quality that they're finding here in the flavour, and I think people are just generally waking up to the fact that it's hugely beneficial to their health to have a fresh product like olive oil, that's not pasturised."