New Zealand's olive oil industry is celebrating after wins at a prestigious international competition.
Four New Zealand olive oils, all from Wairarapa, were among the top winning oils in the world at the 2019 New York International Olive Oil Competition.
The competition attracts around one thousand entries from around the world, with a judging panel of 18.
Executive Officer for Olives New Zealand, Gayle Sheridan told Rural Exchange it was a great result.
"This is the largest olive oil competition in the world, and there were entries from 27 countries," she said.
She said were many entries were from the more traditional olive oil growing countries of Italy, Spain and Greece.
"We were pretty pleased with how the New Zealand olive oils performed," said Sheridan.
She said while the local industry supplies less than ten percent of the olive oil consumed in New Zealand, top local oils sell out quickly.
Sheridan said the issue of demand exceeding supply was something the industry was addressing.
"We have been working with growers on improving growth production, so already we have seen an increase in production from 10 kilograms per tree to 25 kilograms per tree, and we are looking at other strategies which we think will increase productivity even more."
Another strength of the New Zealand industry was the production of only extra virgin oils.
"We only produce extra virgin olive oil, whereas only ten percent of international olive oil is extra virgin."
The New Zealand climate also sets the local oils apart from others.
"That means our oils are very fruity and full of flavour, which is different from a lot of others which can be quite plain."
The winning New Zealand olive oils at the 2019 New York International Olive Oil Competition were:
Loopline Picholene, which was Best in Show at the New Zealand 2018 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, won Gold.
Juno Picual, which was Best Boutique at the New Zealand 2018 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, won Silver.
Juno Koroneiki, which was Reserve Best Boutique at the New Zealand 2018 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, won Silver.
Dali Frantoio, which was Best in Class at the New Zealand 2018 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, won Silver.
Watch the full interview with Gayle Sheridan.
Hamish McKay and Richard Loe host Rural Exchange, 6-8am Saturday and Sunday on Magic Talk with Carter's Tyre Service.