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Absa awards the top olive oils in SA for 2018

Absa has recognised and awarded top locally produced extra virgin olive oils since 2013. Being an Absa Top 10 winner is a remarkable achievement for winning producers and an award in this competition is confirmation that their oils are of the highest quality.

Congratulating the finalists and winners, John Tshabalala, Absa’s Head of Relationship Banking Western Cape, says the group is proud to partner with the SA Olive Association in presenting these important and prestigious industry awards.

“On behalf of Absa, I extend heartfelt congratulations to this year’s outstanding winners in the Absa Top 10 Olive Oil competition. We wish all the trophy winners great success on their olive oil making journey and hope they continue to prosper in local and international olive oil markets”, he says.

“We are proud to have been part of the SA olive oil journey over the past 6 years, and we look forward to many more years together. Absa remains committed to promoting the uniquely and proudly South African extra virgin olive oils. Our continued involvement with and support of this competition is driven by our confidence in the South Africa extra virgin olive oil producers. These producers are working hard to increase the prestige and sophistication of olive oil produced in South Africa.”

Tshabalala adds that Absa’s continued support of the SA Olive Oil Industry Association is in line with the bank’s vision of making a lasting and positive impact in the communities that we serve.

A total of 93 oils were evaluated for the 2018 SA Olive Awards and awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals. The Absa Top 10 oils were selected from the SA Olive gold medal winners.

The oils were individually blind tasted by an international panel of experts in a controlled environment over a period of four days. Sue Langstaff, sensory specialist from California, led the panel for the second year in a row. Olive oil experts, José Mingo from Chile and Pablo Canamasas from Argentina, completed the international contingency. South Africa was represented by Reni Hildebrand and Benedetta Lami – both regular faces on international judging panels – and SA Olive tasting panel members, Birgitta Hofmeyr and Hazel Henman.

The top 10 oils according to their taste profiles are:

Delicate: Rio Largo Gold EVOO, Tokara Mission EVOO, Olyfberg EVOO Blend A

Medium: De Rustica Estate Collection Frantoio, Serrado EVOO, Oakhurst EVOO, Zoetigheyd Daniel’s Delish EVOO

Intense: Mardouw XXV Intense EVOO, Porterville Olives Andante Intenso EVOO, Marbrin Farm Directors Reserve EVOO

Nick Wilkinson, Chairman of SA Olive, is very confident about the future of the industry when reflecting on the positive comments by acclaimed international judges serving on this year’s tasting panel. He commented “that despite the horrendous drought and challenging growing conditions our growers have once again produced world quality premium oils. Competitions like the SA Olive Awards and the ABSA Top 10 Awards not only shine a light on the skills of SA olive oil producers, they also encourage South African and international consumers to buy locally produced extra virgin olive oils. The industry has shown itself to be forward thinking and innovative in all aspects of production.

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