History of olives in Australia


Olives were first planted in groves in Parramatta near Sydney. All the states except Tasmania were planted with some varieties of olive trees during the 1800s.


South Australia began to lead the charge of the olive industry.


Five varieties of Olive trees that had come from Marseilles went on to produce oil which won honourable mention at the London Exhibition of that year.


Dr Michael Burr in his book “Australian Olives” details how there were over 3,000 trees in the parklands around Adelaide. By now there was a grove of some 10,000 trees in the foothills of the Mount Lofty ranges.


A paper is written under the heading “Cultural Industries for Queensland.” One of the topics covered was the growing of olives in Queensland, primarily the Brisbane area.


New Norcia Monastery in Western Australia, oil won a silver medal at the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908. Parliament house in Perth also has some very old trees in its front garden – some believe that they are the oldest in Australia.


The Stonyfell Olive Oil Company of South Australia won Gold Export Medals for its oil exported to Italy.


Mr Jacob Friedman started planting what is still today the largest plantation in Australia. The plantation is located at the foot of the northern end of the Grampians near Horsham. By 1956 there were 38,000 trees in the grove.


Vince Lubrano decides to bring olives from Spain and Greece. They process with their secret marinade still used today and sell into supermarkets.


A large olive grove, Robinvale pulled all its trees out when the Mediterranean labour and production costs were low and olive products were being imported at unbeatable prices.


Sandhurst Fine Foods introduces Australian Kalamata Olives to its range. It is a huge success and the family start to investigate why Australia is unable to produce more olives. It is decided that there is not the facility to keep up with the Australian demand of olive eating.


Sandhurst Fine Foods launches its exclusive range of Australian ‘Slow Cured’ Olives using ancient traditional methods of curing avoiding the use of chemicals and heat processing. They start the movement of ‘Slow Cured’ – The Natural Process of fermenting foods.