12 May 2014

Great conditions for olives this season

6:25 am on 12 May 2014

The olive harvest is off to a good start with the hot dry summer combining with the industry's maturing trees to provide lots of high quality fruit.

Olives New Zealand president Andrew Taylor said the harvest began in the far North in late March and will finish up in Canterbury in July.

He said it was the second consecutive summer that the industry had had ideal weather conditions for growing olives, which had led to excellent fruit quality, and the odds of great oil were high.

"The biggest advantage has been that we've had a long dry summer over the majority of the country and that's usually beneficial to olives - they're grown in arid climates as a rule. Trees are now reaching ages where the tree canopy volume means they can support good size crops and growers that have put the effort have actually, are reaping the benefit."

Mr Taylor said in New Zealand olive trees reached maturity at about 15 to 18 years of age.

He said the vast majority of olives were consumed domestically.

olive tree

Photo: PHOTO NZ