I recently came across an interesting story in the Business Daynewspaper that reported that South African wine farmers facing tough conditions in the global wine industry are planting olive trees to produce alternative sources of income.
“More olive trees are being planted on large swathes of land that have for years fed and nurtured the grape vines from which the country’s wines are produced,” the newspaper reported.
Mr Ernst Janovsky, head of agribusiness at ABSA bank, toldBusiness Day that diversification into olive framing is proving to be worth an investment particularly if the farmer had sufficient hectares to break even.
“Although the first few years of oil olive production were characterised by low-quality products, the advent of the South African Olive Industry Association five years ago has standardised product quality,” the newspaper reported.
“In the past five years, southern African extra virgin olive oil has regularly received international quality awards, proving that locally produced extra virgin olive oils can compete successfully with the best in the world,” Louise Rabie, convener of the South African Olive Industry Association toldBusiness Day.