About the Awards

Australian International Olive Awards, promoting and celebrating quality

The Australian International Olive Awards (AIOA) is one of the newest and most comprehensive olive oil and table olive competitions in the world. Its aim is to professionally judge extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), flavoured olive oils and table olives from around the globe, uncover those with the highest quality and flavour and then award them medals and trophies in recognition of excellence.

This competition is a national industry organisation-owned event. It is run by the industry for the industry.  Its only purpose is simply to promote and celebrate quality extra virgin olive oil, flavoured olive oil and table olive production, and to nurture growers and producers to improve and further develop that quality.

This attention to detail during judging enables the provision of comprehensive quality feedback for EVERY entry, providing producers with the opportunity to learn from their results and refine or improve their practices in future production.

Entries for the competition come from Australia, Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, North America and Spain. Since the inception of the competition an average of over 91% of entries have been awarded medals.

The beginning

The inaugural Australian International Olive Awards took place in Adelaide South Australia in 2017. This competition was the creation of the Australian Olive Association Ltd (AOA), Australia’s peak olive industry body, and replaced the long standing Australian National Olive Competition (the oldest, largest and most prestigious olive competition in Australia), which would have been in its 21st year.

The Australian International Olive Awards provide an amazing opportunity for both international and Australian exhibitors. The competition is promoted widely across media and commercial channels, significantly enhancing both the prestige and commercial benefits of the awards to entrants, while also showcasing to the rest of the world our unique Australian oil styles. It is a great chance to see how those styles stack up against the best from the rest of the world.

Going global

The move to a global competition reflects the increasing recognition of Australia’s high quality extra virgin olive oils and table olives across the globe. The decision to elevate the status of the AOA annual olive competition to an international event provides an unprecedented opportunity for peer review. The Awards also enhance the existing quality reputation of our Australian producers and provide the opportunity for global benchmarking.

Welcoming the world’s best oils to be judged here also allows international exhibitors to have their oils and table olives benchmarked against Australian oils – some of which have led the field at international competitions in recent years.

The AIOA is open to olive producers from both the northern and southern hemisphere. Separate Best Northern Hemisphere and Best Southern Hemisphere awards honour the different harvest times; however, all entries compete for the coveted Best EVOO of Show and Best Table Olives of Show awards.

Judging the exhibits

The competition convenor places a strong focus on ensuring broad-ranging judging expertise. It draws together an international judging panel of more than 30 well-credentialed olive experts from across the globe and Australia. Together they form an overall judging panel of the highest calibre, offering a wealth of global olive competition experience and knowledge which then allows for objective judging panels. These diverse panels ensure a thoughtful, non-biased judging process based purely on merit.

Every entry is treated fairly and with respect, with the judging panels given adequate time to assess each entry’s aroma and organoleptic characteristics. Medals are then awarded on those individual merits, rather than by comparison. The judges’ assessments are used to provide comprehensive tasting note feedback for all entries which can be used for future improvement and promotion.

Additional intensive refresher training is undertaken by all judges to align palates and benchmark product styles. This is an integral part of the competition framework, ensuring the highest level of quality and consistency across all classes and the judging panel.

Promotion, promotion, promotion!

Knowing that success at competitions – particularly one as prestigious as the AIOA – has significant benefits in terms of sales and marketing, the AOA has a communications plan focussed on promoting all medal and award winners widely across media and commercial channels, significantly enhancing both the prestige and commercial benefits of the awards to entrants.

It also gives winning international exhibitors the ability to promote that their oils have won in the very rigorous and highly regarded Australian International Olive Oil Awards.

Feedback from numerous award and medal winners’ reveals that producers have been able to increase sale prices of award-winning oils and in many cases, they have quickly sold out of these products. Winners and their olive brands have also gained excellent exposure in the market place. 

Commencing on announcement of the results, promotion of winners will start with the delivery of medal certificates and option to purchase medal decals to use on packaging for promotion.

Promotion via peer recognition will take place at the AIOA Presentation Dinner and broad-ranging media dissemination to local, state, national and international outlets, online and print-based, with particular emphasis on food and lifestyle communicators.

Key winners will be showcased throughout the coming year at Australian and international tastings, consumer tastings and training events, and also across the Olivegrower communications platform through the Friday Olive Extracts e-newsletter and feature articles in the Olivegrower & Processor industry journal. 

Big picture benefits

The commercial benefits of winning are well worth the entry fee but, as the industry’s national competition, taking part has even greater benefits in the long run.

The competition is working assertively towards becoming one of the top international olive competitions in the world by 2025, and the status which goes with winning an AIOA award will continue to grow.

The emphasis on improvement also means that by supporting the competition you are supporting your olive industry and helping to lift the quality of olive products available in the marketplace.

As a winner, you’ll help spread awareness of the world’s excellent olive products both in Australia and on the world stage.

 

Entry costs have been kept at 2017 prices, and once again AOA members receive a considerable discount on all entries.

Full details and entry forms are available on this website.

 

2021 KEY DATES

INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES OPEN: Monday, 14th June 2021

AUSTRALIAN ENTRIES OPEN: Thursday, 1st July 2021

ENTRIES CLOSE: COB Friday, 3rd September 2021 (post Australian entries by 15th August to ensure arrival by 3rd September 2021.

MAJOR WINNERS ANNOUNCED:  15th October 2021

Major awards will be celebrated at the Gala Awards Presentation Dinner 15th October 2021. All awards and medal winners will be commended in the 2021 edition of the Results Booklet, on the AOA’s Olivegrower & processor publication and various other media.

The AOA (www.australianolives.com.au) and AIOA (www.internationaloliveawardsaustralia.com.au) websites will be updated with full results on 18th October 2021.

For more information contact:

Trudie Michels
Competition Convenor: Chief Steward
Phone: +61 4 1903 1527
Email: tmichels@globaldial.com