Q & A with Sue Langstaff

sa olive awards, olive oil
What are your thoughts on South African olive oil?

The quality of the oils I have tasted has been very good and on par with other very good olive oils from around the world

What can we as an industry do to improve the South African olive oil industry.

Other than changing the climate to include more rain, it would be helpful to get growing and processing guidance from experts in the southern hemisphere, such Chile, Argentina and Australia. Also, it will just take time to discover which olive varieties will do best in each region of South Africa, as California is discovering. Sharing information within the industry is crucial to the success of the industry as a whole.

What makes a great olive oil tasting panel leader?

A taste panel is a team and a great panel leader has all of the qualities of a great coach: organized, process oriented, objective, knowledgeable, balanced/fair, patient/tolerant, tough/firm and realistic.

How can a consumer make better decisions when purchasing olive oil.

Consumers purchase olive oil for many different reasons: health benefits, pretty bottle, friend’s recommendation, price, value, etc. There are two main issues we want consumers to decide when making their purchase: that it is OLIVE oil (not another kind of oil) and that it is free of defects. Since all oils go rancid, it is important to stress the concept of freshness to consumers.

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