Australian International Olive Awards, promoting and celebrating quality.
The Australian International Olive Awards (AIOA), in its second year, 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 an industry organisation-owned competition: there is no agenda except 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 their capabilities.
The competition in 2017 was strong with a record of over 87% of entries being awarded medals. Entries came from Australia, Argentina, Chile, China, New Zealand and North America. Of the international entries 70% of entries were awarded a medal with 40% of entries winning Gold medals.
The competition convenor places a strong focus on drawing together an international judging panel of more than 30 well-credentialed olive experts from across the globe and Australia. Together they form judging panels 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 refresher training is undertaken by all judges to align palates and benchmark product styles. This ensures the highest level of quality and consistency across all classes and the judging panel.
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.
Welcoming the world’s best olive products to be judged at this competition allows international exhibitors to have their oils benchmarked against Australian oils – some of which have led the field at international competitions in recent years.
Now in its second year with international status, the competition provides the opportunity for producers to benchmark their products against both Australian and international peers – and to showcase their winning oils and table olives to the world market.
Extra virgin olive oil classes include Mild, Medium and Robust, Non-packaged, and various Varietal categories. The Flavoured Olive Oil classes focus on Infused/Flavoured and Agrumata style olive oils. All oils are assessed using official IOC-standard blue olive oil tasting glasses.
Recent growth in production, sales and quality in the Flavoured Olive Oil category has led the AIOA to create a separate Flavoured Olive Oil competition within the awards. Award winning flavoured olive oils stand out on their own merits and the style should be commended.
Table Olive classes include Varietals, Wild and various Flavoured categories. All table olive exhibits will undergo physico-chemical and microbiological testing. This requirement provides a significant benefit for table olive producers, as the testing is carried out as part of the AIOA entry process. The cost is included in the entry fee and the testing results will be provided with judging results and feedback.
The AIOA will also provide comprehensive tasting notes, which producers can then use for training and marketing. They can also use them to refine their processes and improve their products, providing future benefits for both the producers and overall industry quality.
Table olive competition entries are NOT restricted to the current year of production. Well processed table olives will last several years and 2018 exhibits may include 2016-18 product.
Promotion and Benefits
Success at this Australian International Olive Awards has significant benefits in terms of sales and marketing. The competition is promoted widely across media and commercial channels, significantly enhancing both the prestige and commercial benefits of the awards to entrants.
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 Australian and international outlets, online and print-based, with particular emphasis on food and lifestyle communicators.
Key winners will be celebrated at a national food influencers and media event in Sydney in October, and winning entries 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.
The competition is working assertively towards becoming one of the top international olive competitions in the world by 2022, and the status which goes with winning an AIOA award will continue to grow.
As a winner, you’ll help spread awareness of the world’s excellent olive products both in Australia and on the world stage.
If you would like to enter oils or know someone that would be keen to enter, we would welcome their entries. Entries are now open and close on 21st September 2018. Full details and online entry are available at: //internationaloliveawardsaustralia.com.au
ENTRIES OPEN: 16 July 2018
ENTRIES CLOSE: Deadline COB Friday 21 September 2018
ENTRIES JUDGED: 4-6 October 2018 in Adelaide, South Australia
WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Exhibitors will be emailed with their results on Friday 12 October.
The key awards including Best in Class, Best in Show etc. will be awarded at the Awards Dinner on 19th October 2019, being held in conjunction with the 2018 AOA National Olive Conference & Expo in Wagga Wagga NSW. //nationaloliveconference.com.au/
The AOA (www.australianolives.com.au) and AIOA (www.internationaloliveawardsaustralia.com.au) websites will be updated with full results on 22 October 2018.
For more information contact:
Competition Convenor: Chief Steward
Phone: +61 4 1903 1527