Olive oil manufacturer Cobram Estate Olives is expecting an olive crop this year 20 to 25 percent below initial forecasts, driven by an unusually cold and shorter growing season that is delivering lower-than-average oil content, and smaller fruit size.
The company production of its two groves to be between 12.6 million and 13.2 million litres this year.
This compares to 9.5 million litres last year, and 16.1 million litres in 2021.
Cobram is the country’s largest vertically integrated farmer and manufacturer of olives and olive oil, with 2.6 million olive trees in Victoria, Australia and a further 306,500 in California.
It operates three olive mills, two olive oil bottling and storage facilities and its Modern Olives laboratories.
The company has now completed 60 percent of the harvest of its Australian groves, and expects to have sufficient supply to make its packaged goods sales plan over the next 12 months.
The company markets several brands including Cobram Estate and Red Island.
According to the company: “Olive oil quality is excellent with an historically high percentage of the oil produced being classified as premium or ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil.
“Consistently high and balanced crop levels, state of the art digital fruit scanning and sorting technology, (a) careful crop protection programme combined with favourable weather conditions during harvest have been the main reasons behind the high quality.”
While the crop is smaller than expected, this, plus good growing conditions during summer and above average rainfall has seen ‘pleasing levels of vegetative growth and productive potential across our farms’.
“This is expected to increase 2024 cropping potential, subject to a return to more normal weather conditions.”
Picture: Cobram Estate Olives