Despite weathering one of the toughest seasons on record, the quality of Australia's table olives and extra virgin olive oil this year is 'truly outstanding' the industry peak body says.

Olive production in 2018 was only about 40 per cent of the previous year and many producers in Queensland and NSW did not harvest an olive, according to The Australian Olive Association.

While drought has touched many production areas and severely decreased yields, the upside is that the quantity may be down this year but the quality is sensational, the association told attendees at an industry lunch this week.

Australian International Olive Awards Competition chief steward Trudie Michels said this year’s results are a testament to the continuing commitment to increasing quality across the industry.

“Last year’s very successful show saw medals awarded to 87 per cent of entries, which was a record for the 21 years of the Australian competition. This year an incredible 96 per cent of entries were awarded a medal, raising the quality bar to a completely new level,” Michaels said.

Not only have Australian EVOO producers been successful on the home stage this year but
during 2018 Australian olive farmers collected an amazing haul of 36 medals in EVOO
competitions in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Japan.

These are the same oils as those on Australia's supermarket shelves and farmers markets,
testament that Australian consumers can buy the very best oils in the world at a very, very
affordable price the Australian Olive Oil Industry says.

Fresh EVOO is the highest quality olive oil and because freshness is so important for ultimate consumer satisfaction, the AOA is developing a new level of certification for OliveCare® so consumers can be assured that the EVOO they are buying is fresh.

With a formal announcement on details of the certification due early next year, over 80 per cent of this year's medalists are already signatories of the AOA’s OliveCare® Code of Best Practice.