Table Olive Competition Information


Table Olive Classes


Treated or Natural, Plain, whole olives only, no added flavours. In Brine.


Small in size, variations in colour permitted, whole olives only. In Brine.


Plain, whole olives only, no added flavours. In Brine.


Sun, salt and heat dried olives, including spiced and pitted.



All varieties EXCEPT KALAMATA and California ripe processed. Plain whole olives only, no added flavours. In Brine.

CLASS 17: Stuffed Olives

Olives stuffed with declared country of origin grown product.



Plain whole olives only, no added flavours. In Brine.


Spiced and specially treated olives with declared Country of Origin ingredients.  Either:

CLASS 18(a): – Flavoured WITHOUT garlic and/or chilli or

CLASS 18(b):Flavoured WITH garlic and/or chilli.

There are no limits to the number of exhibits that any one company or individual can enter.

Chemical Analysis Testing

Exhibits will be tested by an accredited laboratory to ensure they are fit for human consumption and the salt and pH levels are within normal guidelines.

Competition testing requirements are consistent with AOA’s OliveCare® Code of Practice parameters in accordance with The Voluntary Industry Standard for Table Olives in Australia (RIRDC 2012):

Table olives in brine – natural (unpasteurised):

  • Minimum sodium chloride (NaCl): 6%
  • Maximum pH: 4.3
  • Microbiological Criteria – Escherichia coli: Not detectable (<3 cfu/g)

Table olives in brine – treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) (unpasteurised):

  • Minimum sodium chloride (NaCl): 5%
  • Maximum pH: 4.0
  • Microbiological Criteria – Escherichia coli: Not detectable (<3 cfu/g)

Table olives in brine – Pasteurised:

  • Maximum pH: 4.3
  • Microbiological Criteria – Escherichia coli: Not detectable (<3 cfu/g)
  • Microbiological Criteria – Lactobacillus: <10 cfu/g

Table olives not in brine – Dehydrated / Shrivelled (non-pasteurised):

  • Water activity <0.88
  • Microbiological Criteria – Escherichia coli: Not detectable (<3 cfu/g).

Judging Principles

  1. FAIRNESS: Judges, who may also be exhibitors, are NEVER able to judge their own Exhibit, nor influence another judge who has been given the task of doing so.All judges and stewards must complete a Conflict of Interest and Full Disclosure Policy before they can be involved in the competition.ALL Exhibits are tasted blind from plain standardised bowls marked with an exhibit code (only known to the Chief Steward). This ensures the identity of the Exhibit is not known.
  1. INDEPENDENCE: The Chief Steward will always be independent of the competition and its Exhibits. Stewarding is conducted under the auspices of an independent Head Judge/Chairperson who is not an exhibitor.
  2. CONFIDENTIALITY: The ONLY person that knows who’s entered the competition (until the results are released) or the identity of the Exhibits is the Chief Steward.
  3. ACCOUNTABILITY: Judges are briefed by the Head Judge before the commencement of judging and reminded of their responsibilities. Any judge found not adhering to these requirements will be relieved of their judging duties immediately.

Judging Criteria

Table olives will be assessed on the following characteristics:

  • visually appealing to eat
  • absence of blemishes
  • appealing colour
  • good flesh texture
  • olive flavour
  • acidity
  • saltiness
  • residual bitterness
  • absence of off flavours
  • overall flavour balance.

SKIN: The skin of the fruit should be fine, smooth and not wrinkled, yet elastic and resistant to handling damage.

FLESH: Should be firm but not woody or granular. Green olives should have firm, crisp flesh, ripe or black olives will have softer flesh due to the fruit being more mature than green olives, however it shouldn’t be soggy or flabby.

BLEMISHES: Blemishes should be absent however some white spots on green olives are natural. Others such as gas pockets or blistering are caused by processing and organisms that will reduce the point score.

COLOUR: Green olives should be bright green to strawy green colour. Some dulling may occur after several months in brine. Lye treated green olives are very bright green. Olives turning colour should be pale pink, and black olives vary from dark pink to black or winey colour.

BITTERNESS: The olive shouldn’t be bitter to taste but some bitterness can be balanced by the amount of saltiness and olive flavour.

SALTINESS: The level of salt governs the flavour of the olive and must be balanced with the bitterness and acidity.

FLAVOUR: the olive should have an appealing fruit flavour, which for green olives often is a typical fermentation taste but retaining ‘olive’ character, and for black olives is a stronger olive flavour. There should be no ‘off’ aromas such as rancid, cheesy or faecal aromas.

SPECIALTY OLIVES: Samples submitted for this award must be visually appealing and an appropriate combination of olive and stuffing. ALL food items used to stuff or flavour olives NEED TO BE sourced from the specified Country of Origin of the exhibit.

Conditions of Entry

  • All table olive exhibits must be 100% grown (all ingredients) and processed in the declared country of origin.
  • All Table Olives sold in Australia must comply with the new Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) scheme. They must carry the new Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) logo on their label indicating the Australian content of the product. For more information on the Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) guidelines visit:
  • 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.
  • All table olive exhibits will undergo physico-chemical and microbiological testing, specifically Minimum sodium chloride (NaCl), / Maximum water activity, Maximum pH, Microbiological Criteria – Escherichia coli (if unpasteurised) and / or Lactobacillus (if pasteurised), any exhibits found to be outside of the specifications of the Voluntary Standard for Table Olives in Australia will be ineligible for judging.
  • A minimum of 1 kg of olives, packaged in three separate containers must be provided for each exhibit entered. Any remaining table olives remain the property of the Australian Olive Association Ltd.
  • All entries should arrive in commercial food grade packaging including glass jars with sealed lids, plastic screw-cap containers or be vacuum packed to prevent damage to the olives, container breakage, spoilage and spillage.
  • Note: If an exhibit is compromised (jar/s broken) during transit then you will be notified at the Steward’s earliest convenience and asked to re-send your entries. The Steward takes no responsibility for receiving late replacement entries. The AOA will not under any circumstances hold itself accountable for any damage to, loss, or misdelivery of any exhibit.
  • Exhibitors understand and agree to the publication of competition results, and public tasting of their Exhibits. Please note that the identity of award winning products will be publicised. All other products will only be identified by the confidential code provided by, and known only to, the exhibitor and the Chief Steward.
  • Recipients of awards agree that all advertising, promotion or labelling arising from the award will include details of the year of the award, class number and nature of the award.
  • Recipients agree that only the specific product that received the award can have any reference to that award on the label or container. Awards are not transferrable across brands if the award-winning product is sold to another company.
  • The exhibitor agrees to accede to any reasonable request by the organising committee to prove that any exhibit submitted by them is commercially available in the volume specified on the entry.
  • The Chief Steward and/or Head Judge reserve the right to refuse any exhibit or reclassify Exhibits.
  • Additional conditions for exhibitors of Class 18 – Specialty Olives: This class is divided into those containing ‘chilli and/or garlic’ and those ‘without chilli and/or garlic’. Exhibits incorrectly identified may be re-categorised at the Chief Stewards discretion without notice.

Exhibit Fees (per exhibit)

To receive the discounted Exhibit Entry Fees below; all AOA Financial membership fees MUST be up to date or either paid in advance or at the time of entering the Competition. A remittance statement or payment for AOA & COP membership(s) must be sent with your entry forms. No Exceptions.

Prices are GST exclusive. International Exhibitors will not be charged GST.



Australian and International Table Olives (per exhibit) $350.00
43% Discount for AOA members (Australian and International) For more information on AOA membership see page 5. $200.00

Testing costs are included in the entry fees.

Awards, Decals & Results

Major Awards

Awards may be given for the following:

  • Best Northern Hemisphere Table Olive
  • Best Southern Hemisphere Table Olive
  • Best Australian Table Olive
  • Champion Green Olives (Class 11)
  • Champion Medley (Class 12)
  • Champion Black Olives (Class 13)
  • Champion Kalamata Olives (Class 14)
  • Champion Wild Olives (Class 15)
  • Champion Dried Olives (Class 16)
  • Champion Flavoured Olives (Class 18)

The organising committee reserves the right to not give out any awards if deemed appropriate.


All entrants will be emailed their results during the week 8-12 October 2018. The email will include any medals won, decal ordering, the National Olive Industry Conference & Trade Exhibition details and information about the Major Awards Presentation Dinner on the 19th October 2018. Medal certificates (and decals if ordered) will be posted to exhibitors during that week.

Presentation of Awards

The Best Table Olive of Show and other major award winners will be announced, and trophies presented at the AOA Awards Presentation Dinner, as part of The National Olive Industry Conference & Trade Exhibition at the Wagga Rules Club Wagga Wagga NSW on Friday 19th October 2018. If you cannot attend the dinner please notify

If the winner is not present at the Awards Dinner, awards will be posted to the entrant’s nominated postal address on the entry form.

An electronic (only) Preliminary Results List of medal winners will be published on the AOA website by end of day Friday 17th October 2018. Unless specifically advised otherwise on the Entry Form, the AOA may divulge details (name, address, telephone contacts, email) on award winners to the media.

Award Decals

  • Order forms for Medal Decals will be sent with the email to exhibitors during the week 8-12 October 2018.
  • Decals are available in packs of 200 stickers; the minimum order is 1 pack.
  • Prices are dependent on the total number of decals ordered, but as an estimate, prices will likely be around $20.00 per pack, plus postage.
  • Depending on pre-orders, packs of medal decals may be available at the Major Awards Presentation Dinner on the 19th October 2018 or day two of the Conference at the Registration Desk. If not, orders can be placed on day two of the Conference Registration Desk.
  • Decals (stickers and digital versions) for Major Awards will need to be organised and ordered directly with the AOA post the Awards Dinner.
  • Pack of decals will not be available for purchase from the AOA after the ordering cut-off date. The cut-off date will be stated on the decal order form. After the cut-off date electronic copies of decals will still be available.
  • Please ensure you calculate how many decal packs you require and send your order form in before the cut-off date to avoid disappointment.
  • NOTE 1. It is a strict requirement of entry to this Competition that Award decals are only applied to packaging containing table olives that have won the distinctions.
  • NOTE 2. Awards are not transferrable across brands if the award-winning table olives are sold to another company. Under no circumstances can Award decals be applied to any other table olives.
  • NOTE 3. Entrants found to be doing this will be prohibited from entering the next three Competitions.


Within a month of the Competition ending, all Exhibitors will receive confidential feedback via email detailing the judge’s comments, total score and any medal awarded.

Each entry in Classes 11-18 will receive a physio-chemical and microbiological analysis report after the judging.

How to Enter

  1. Go to and complete your online entry by clicking on the Table Olives link at the bottom of the website. Fill in your exhibit details and Add to Cart. You can add as many entries in this category as needed. When you have finished click View Cart and your entries will be detailed. If you wished to enter another category (Flavoured Oils, EVOO) click on the To enter more exhibits click here link at the bottom of the page. Add any other entries as needed.
  2. Once you have completed your entries they will all be in your Cart. When you have finished click the Proceed to checkout box. You then need to fill in your contact and company billing details. When you first register with the online entries, you will be emailed a username and password that you can use to view your entries and make subsequent entries.
  3. Then click on Place Order to make the payment by credit card. All payments will be made in Australian Dollars. You will receive an emailed receipt of the exhibits you entered and the payment made.
  4. Alternatively, you can download and complete the 2018 Australian International Olive Awards Entry Form from the same website. If you use a hard copy entry form you will be emailed an invoice from the AOA. Be sure to complete the Entry Declarations.
  5. Clearly mark each Exhibit with the identification code provided on the entry form.
  6. Send your adequately packed and labelled Exhibit/s with a copy of your entry details (online entry receipt or hard copy entry form), oil analysis (classes 6) and payment receipt to: AIOA Head Steward, Trudie Michels, C/o 88 George Street, Norwood SA 5067 Australia. Entries must be received by Friday 21st Sept 2018.IMPORTANT: Carefully wrap each bottle individually with bubble wrap or other suitable shock absorbent material to avoid Exhibits being broken during transit. Broken exhibits will not be included for judging. Exhibits fees will not be refunded.
  7. The AOA recommends that you track your parcel to make sure it reaches the intended address on time. The AOA is not responsible for shipping or customs charges.

International Exhibits

For posting Exhibits into Australia

  • Do not pack your entry in wooden or cardboard boxes that have been used to hold fruit, vegetables or meat/smallgoods – this packaging is a biosecurity risk.
  • Do not pack with straw or dried plant material; use bubble wrap or newspaper to wrap fragile goods.
  • Make sure you fill out the declaration label clearly and correctly, itemising everything inside the package, including any packaging materials you use.
  • Clearly label the contents “Table Olives” and/or “Olive Oil”. “Sample, No Commercial Value. Not for sale. Mark them “Food sample for competition”.
  • Exhibitors will be charged for all customs charges on their international shipping documents should the documents/sample package not be properly prepared.

AIOA Table Olive Competition Entries (including evidence of entry payment and online entry receipt/hard copy entry form) can be sent/couriered to:

Head Steward AIOA
Trudie Michels
C/o 88 George Street,
Norwood SA 5067
Mobile: +61 419 031 527


Table Olive Competition Enquiries

Enquiries regarding the Table Olive Competition should be directed to:

Mr Peter McFarlane
Head Table Olive Steward
Phone: +61 (8) 8376 2161
Mobile: +61 418 839 836

Australian International Olive Awards Enquiries

If payment is not received prior to judging (4th October) then the exhibit(s) will not be judged and there will be no refund.

Enquiries regarding the Australian International Olive Awards or general enquiries should be directed to:

Ms Trudie Michels
Competition Convenor & Chief Steward
Phone: 0419 031 527 (+61 419 031 527)

Download PDF

2018 AIOA Table Olive Competition Information | 2018 AIOA Table Olive Competition Entry Form| Table Olive Standard June 2018 | 2018 Helpful Hints for your Table Olive Entries


AOA Membership

The Australian Olive Association Ltd (AOA) invites all Australian International Olive Awards exhibitors to become a member of the AOA.

The AOA is the Governments Prescribed Industry Body (PIB) responsible for representing all levy payers in Australia.  The AOA is also the peak Industry body that looks after interests of Australian olive growers as well as supporting the broader community of industry participants, including service providers, marketers, our international partners and olive enthusiasts. Membership benefits:

  • As a member of the AOA you will receive a substantial 43% discount ($150/exhibit) on entry to the inaugural Australian International Olive Awards.
  • As a new AOA member, you will receive a complimentary copy of the excellent book Olive Growing, which is referred to as “the Olive grower’s bible” (normally $160.00).
  • AOA members receive discounts to industry run events such as workshops, training seminars and the annual National Olive Industry Conference & Trade Exhibition.
  • AOA members are also eligible to become Signatories to the OliveCare® Code of Practice.
  • AIOA testing is also accepted for compliance with OliveCare® requirements.
  • The AOA sends regular information and newsletters via email, and social media. AOA pages have industry focus and consumer focus

For more information visit


Key Dates

ENTRIES OPEN:  July 16 2018

ENTRIES CLOSE: Deadline COB Friday September 21 2018

ENTRIES JUDGED:  4-6th October 2018 in Adelaide, South Australia

WINNERS ANNOUNCED:  Exhibitors will be emailed with their results on Friday 12th October. The key awards including Best in Class, Best in Show etc. will be awarded at the Awards Presentation Dinner 19th October. The AOA ( and AIOA ( websites will be updated with full results on 22nd October 2018.

AWARDS PRESENTED:  Awards Presentation Dinner, Friday 19th October 2018, Wagga Wagga NSW