Table Olive Information



ENTRIES CLOSE: Deadline extended to COB Wednesday 13th September 2017

ENTRIES JUDGED:  21, 22, 23 September 2017 in Adelaide, South Australia

WINNERS ANNOUNCED:  Friday 29 September 2017 on the AOA Website

AWARDS PRESENTED:  Awards Presentation Dinner, Tuesday 10th October 2017


Follow these easy steps:

STEP 1: Complete the online entry form

STEP 2: Clearly mark each exhibit with the identification code you specified on your entry form.

STEP 3: Purchase the required number of exhibit entries from the web store here

STEP 4:  Send your exhibit/s (adequately packed) together with your test results, by Wednesday 13 September 2017, to:

               AOIA Head Table Olive Judge
               Michelle Wirthensohn
               PRC Waite Campus PMB 1,
               Glen Osmond  SA 5064

               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.

STEP 5:  Pay your fees
              An invoice with online payment methods will be emailed to you within 1-2 days.  Please pay that invoice ASAP.
              Once payment has been received, your exhibit(s) are officially part of the competition.

REMEMBER: When sending exhibits by post it is your responsibility to ensure you allow adequate time to meet the delivery dates. Exhibits received without payment, or payment advice will not be accepted. Deliveries will not be accepted after the closing dates.


POSTAGE INFORMATION (International Exhibitors)

International Entrants

When posting exhibits to Australia, remember:

Do not pack your exhibits into wooden or cardboard boxes that have been used to hold fruit, vegetables or meat/small goods as this packaging is considered a biosecurity risk to Australia and will most likely be detained in customs.

Do not pack your exhibits with straw or dried plant material for the same reason stated above.  Instead use newspaper, bubble wrap or foam to wrap and secure fragile goods.

Carefully wrap each bottle individually with bubble wrap or other suitable shock absorbent material to avoid Exhibits being broken during transit.

Make sure you complete and sign the declaration label on the package correctly.  This means itemising everything inside the package, including the packaging materials.

Exhibitors will be charged for all Customs costs billed to the AOA that relate to inadequate shipping documentation or sample packaging

Clearly label the package as containing:

  • write the words “NO COMMERCIAL VALUE & NOT FOR SALE” on the package
ENTRY FEES (per exhibit)

To receive the discounted Table Olive 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.  You will be instructed to type in your Coupon Code at the point of checkout to receive your discount.  All members will be emailed the Coupon Code Information, however as the invoices are manually checked before being sent, only financial members will have the discount applied to their invoice.

Australian and International TABLE OLIVE/OTHER (per exhibit) AUD $350.00
[MEMBER DISCOUNT] Australian and International TABLE OLIVE/OTHER (per exhibit) AUD $200.00

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

Click here to buy your entry



All Exhibits must be 100% grown (all ingredients) and processed in the declared country of origin.

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 Exhibits should arrive in a plastic screw-cap food grade container or be vacuum packed to prevent breakage, spoilage and spillage.

Note: If an exhibit is compromised (bottle/s broken) during transit then you will be notified at the Steward’s earliest convenience and asked to re-send your Exhibits. The Steward takes no responsibility for receiving late replacement Exhibits. 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 Australia in the volume specified on the entry form.

The Chief Steward and/or Head Judge reserves the right to refuse any exhibit or reclassify Exhibits.


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

  CLASS 11: Green Olives
Plain, whole olives only, no added flavours. In Brine.
  CLASS 16: Dried Olives
Sun, salt and heat dried olives, including spiced and pitted.
  CLASS 12: Medley of Olives
Plain, whole olives only, no added flavours. In Brine.
  CLASS 17: Stuffed Olives
Olives stuffed with declared country of origin grown product.
CLASS 13: Black Olives
All varieties EXCEPT KALAMATA and California ripe processed. Plain whole olives only, no added flavours. In Brine.
  CLASS 18: Speciality Olives
Spiced and specially treated olives.CLASS 18(a): – Flavoured WITHOUT garlic and/or chilli
  CLASS 14: Kalamata Olives
Plain whole olives only, no added flavours. In Brine.
CLASS 18(b):Flavoured WITH garlic and/or chilli.
  CLASS 15: Wild Olives
Small in size, variations in colour permitted, whole olives only.
In Brine.
Olive tapenades.


Additional conditions for exhibitors of Class 18 – Speciality 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.


All table olive exhibits will undergo physico-chemical and microbiological testing by an accredited laboratory to ensure they are fit for human consumption.  Specifically the Minimum sodium chloride (NaCl), and Maximum pH, Microbiological Criteria – Escherichia coli (if unpasteurised) or Lactobacillus (if pasteurised) will be tested to ensure they are within the safe guidelines.  Any exhibits found to be outside of the specifications of the Voluntary Standard for Table Olives in Australia will be disqualified.

Testing requirements will be in conjunction with the AOA’s Code of Practice and following the 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: <103 cfu/g

Table olives not in brine – Dehydrated / Shrivelled (unpasteurised):

  • Minimum sodium chloride (NaCl): 10%.
  • Microbiological Criteria – Escherichia coli: Not detectable (<3 cfu/g).

Table olives not in brine – Dehydrated / Shrivelled (Pasteurised):

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

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 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.

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.

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.

ACCOUNTABILITY:   Judges are briefed by the Head Judge before the commencement of judging and reminded of their responsibilities. The Head Judge will nominate a panel leader for each panel.


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. The flesh should separate easily from the stone.

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.

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.

SPECIALITY OLIVES: Samples submitted for this award must be visually appealing and an appropriate combination of olive and stuffing.

TAPENADES: Samples submitted for this award must be commercially produced pastes and tapenades, made from olives and other ingredients that are grown and processed in the specified Country of Origin of the exhibit.


ALL food items used to stuff or flavour olives NEED TO BE sourced from the specified Country of Origin of the exhibit.  All tapenades must comply with all Australian Food Safety Regulations and labelling laws.

Major Awards

  • Best Northern Hemisphere Table Olive
  • Best Southern Hemisphere Table Olive
  • Best Australian Table Olive

Style Awards

  • 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 Stuffed Olives (Class 17)
  • Champion Flavoured Olives (Class 18)
  • Champion Tapenade (Class 19)

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



An electronic (only) Preliminary Results List of winners will be published on the AOA website stating the award(s) won by end of day Friday 29th September 2017. 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 will be available for ordering after the Conference Dinner on Tuesday 10 October 2017.
  • Decals are available in rolls of 200 stickers; the minimum order is 1 roll.
  • Prices are dependent on the total number of decals ordered, but as an estimate, prices will likely be around $20.00 per roll, plus postage.
  • Rolls 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 order form. After the cut-off date electronic copies of decals will still be available.
  • Please ensure you calculate how many 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 transferable 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 who do not comply with Note 1 and 2 above will prohibited from entering the next three Competitions.

Decals are available in rolls 200 stickers; minimum order is 1 roll. Prices are dependent on the total number of decals ordered.  Estimate: $20.00 per roll, plus postage. Decals will also be available for purchase on day two of the Conference from the Registration Desk.


The Best TABLE OLIVE of Show and other major award winners will be announced, and trophies expected to be collected, at the AOA Awards Presentation Dinner to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide on Tuesday 10th October 2017 in Adelaide, South Australia. If you are unable to attend the Awards Presentation dinner please notify the AOA on

If the winner is not present at the Awards Dinner, all award certificates will be either given to a person nominated by you to collect it in your place or posted to the entrant’s nominated postal address on the entry form.


An electronic (only) Preliminary Results List of winners will be published on the AOA website stating the award(s) won, by COB Friday 29th September 2017. Unless specifically advised otherwise on the Entry Form, the AOA may divulge details (name, address, telephone contacts, email) on award winners to the media.


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

The organisers of the Australian International Olive Awards welcome feedback, good and bad,  from exhibitors on all facets of the competition.  Our aim is to continually improve the competition experience for everyone.  Feedback can be sent to Trudi Michels via email



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 discounted entry fees on each exhibit entered into the inaugural Australian International Olive Awards (AUD $200.00 reduced from AUD $350.00)
  • As a new member, you will receive a complimentary copy of the informative hard cover book called Olive Growing, which is referred to as “the Olive grower’s bible” (normally $160.00).
  • Members receive discounts to industry run events such as workshops, training seminars and the annual National Olive Industry Conference & Trade Exhibition.
  • The AOA sends regular information and newsletters via email, and social media which will keep you informed of events that affect the olive industry.
  • The AOA has a dedicated consumer focussed page full of useful information, recipes and video clips aimed at shifting the dial and getting more people to embrace the virtues and flavours of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Your membership helps us to continue this work.
  • The AOA also has a popular FaceBook page which keeps our members and other olive enthusiasts informed about events and issues that affect the industry.
  • The consumer focussed EVERYDAY Campaign also reaches out to consumers via their EVERYDAY FaceBook page.  Please visit and “like” these pages.

Enquiries regarding the conduct of the competition or general enquiries should be directed to:

Dr Michelle Wirthensohn
Phone: +61 (8) 8313 6653
Mobile: +61 0427 526 473