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MEDIA RELEASE 07 August 2008

Australian Olive Association officially launches Code of Practice
The Australian Olive Association (AOA) has signed off on an industry Code of Practice to better support quality, authenticity and confidence in the Australian olive industry.

The Code aims to provide security and confidence to consumers and investors in Australia and overseas that certified Australian olive products meet high industry standards. To be certified by the Code of Practice, products must be Australian and undergo organoleptic (taste) and chemical testings.

Paul Miller, president of the Australian Olive Association (AOA), said the Code of Practice for the olive industry is a world first and helps differentiate the Australian industry and its products.

"Australian consumers will finally be able to confidently buy extra virgin olive oil knowing that it really is extra virgin. They will have a clear choice based on quality and trust - Australian extra virgin olive oil which is backed by the Australian industry Code of Practice or imported olive oil of questionable origin and quality," said Miller.

Consumers will be able to identify certified products thanks to the official Certified Australian Extra Virgin logo to be used on labels of approved products. The labels should start appearing on products in the next few months.

Miller said the Association started planning the Code of Practice in 2004 as a response to imported products of poor quality.

"In 2004, we found imported oil which did not comply with its label. The government was not prepared to assist with this issue until the industry had a Code of Practice with its own approved industry standards," Miller said.

"In addition, the Australian olive industry has a good reputation for high quality extra virgin olive oil and we wanted to capture and enhance that reputation by adopting a Code that underpinned quality production.

"The Code of Practice is received very positively by the industry as well as food retailers," he added.

In conjunction with the Code, the Association is undertaking a Consumer Education and Awareness (CEA) campaign to promote the superior quality of Australian olive products backed by the Code. The Association is also doing marketplace surveillance of olive oils.
The Australian Olive Association was founded in 1995 as the industry body to encourage research and dissemination of information and the sustained development of a national olive industry in Australia.

More information on the Australian Olive Association is available at www.australianolives.com.au or by calling (02) 9863 8735.

Released for Australian Olive Association by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)
For further information please call Kim Larochelle or Dennis Rutzou on (02) 9413 4244.

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