Growing Innovation: Issue 9, June 17, 2016

New Handbook to get olive oil producers export ready

To encourage and support industry to meet the required standards for gaining access into China for Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Hort Innovation is set to launch The Olive Industry Export Handbook.

The Handbook is one component of a Hort Innovation project funded by the olive industry R&D levy and government funds, which aims to facilitate increased exports to China, remove roadblocks and enhance the competitive advantage of Australian olive oil producers.

Barriers to growth in the China market have traditionally been an incomplete understanding, not only of import and export protocols, but also of technical and laboratory testing requirements. Further uncertainty has been driven by new Chinese standards for phthalate content.

The Handbook provides guidelines for export to China covering product standards, food safety, traceability, quality, packaging, labelling and product distribution. It also provides tips and advice across areas from planning and shipping to finance and insurance and brand development and communication.

The Handbook aims to assist EVOO producers’ to brand their products and take their story to the Chinese consumer, with a QR code that allows consumers to link to a short video about the olive grower and farm. A second Security QR code will help demonstrate product authenticity and traceability and provide provenance verification. Purchasers can scan this to establish that the product is genuine and see when and where it was produced.

This initiative addresses the findings of a survey of what Chinese consumers value in EVOO. The survey found that 90 percent of consumers research a product online before purchase. The origin of olive oil, as well as a quality guarantee and delivering in original condition, are top concerns for Chinese consumers. Price is less important if other requirements are met.

Authored by industry consultants Chris Mercer and Paul Miller, the Handbook will be available through Hort Innovation.

According to Mr Mercer, “Australia’s share of the Chinese market for EVOO effectively halved in recent years due to a number of barriers. The Olive Industry Export Handbook addresses these barriers by educating and supporting growers with a one-stop export guide”.

“We have drawn on our years of experience and conducted extensive research to highlight the key issues and provide achievable solutions for producers to support them in gaining and maintaining access to this lucrative market”.

 

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