SA Olive – Ensuring Integrity in the South African Olive Industry
We’re fortunate in South Africa to have a thriving olive oil industry, driven by dedicated and passionate producers. However, buying genuine, good quality extra virgin olive oil can be a minefield. Supermarket shelves confront the consumer with the daunting task of choosing between imports, blended oils and local oils, some that are marketed as something that they’re not. So, as a consumer, how do we know what to buy and whether the local brands we are supporting are legitimately delivering on their promises? Fear not, that’s where SA Olive steps in to take all the thought out of it for you.
SA Olive is an association representing the interests of the South African olive industry. Its members consist of olive growers, olive oil producers, table olive producers, tree nurseries and olive importers. To ensure that the consumer chooses the best quality, locally produced oils, SA Olive has introduced a seal that will appear on olive oils of participating SA Olive members.
What to look for… essentially this seal is what you want to look out for – it’s your quality guarantee and where it appears, you can rest assured all the due diligence has been done for you.
The CTC Seal means that the producer confirms that the content is 100% South African. The year of harvest will be prominently displayed, indicating the freshness of the oil. The producer is committed to the standards set in the SA Olive Codes of Practice, which are based on international quality standards. Honest and transparent labelling – if the label states that the content is extra virgin, the producer verifies that the content is in fact extra virgin and not virgin, or a refined olive oil.
Did you know? South African extra virgin olive oils have regularly received international quality awards, proving that locally produced extra virgin olive oils can compete successfully with the best in the world. An up-to-date list of CTC scheme participants is available on the SA Olive website.
The SA Olive Awards give recognition to the top extra virgin olive oils of each year’s harvest. Entries for the competition are judged blind by a panel of expert tasters from South Africa, led by an international panel leader. The 2016 judging panel comprises international olive oil maestro, Dr Antonio G Lauro and members of the SA Olive tasting panel: Leonard Arangies, Robert Claasens, Gerrie Duvenage, Reni Hildenbrand, Birgitta Hofmeyr, Benedetta Lami, Louise Rabie and Kelly White.
This year’s medalists, the Olive Achiever of the Year and recipient of the Mentorship Award will be unveiled during an awards ceremony on 1 September 2016.