The echo of 2020 will reverberate through many years to come. In a year that many consider a black swan event to have occurred, the local olive oil industry stayed steady in its pursuit of delivering a world-class product from a bumper crop.

The pinnacle of this collective achievement is receiving an Absa Top 10 trophy. This is no mean feat, as 104 extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) entered the 2020 SA Olive Awards competition, of which 34 were awarded gold medals. The Absa Top 10 olive oils are selected from the gold medal winners in the SA Olive Awards. The EVOOs are blind tasted by a panel of trained tasters and they all concurred that it was a close race between the entries.

Absa has supported the industry since 2013 by recognising the excellence of our local EVOOs and the dedication of its producers. Congratulating the finalists and winners, John Tshabalala, Absa’s Head of Relationship Banking Western Cape, spoke about the local and global socio-economic pressures we are experiencing and that it demands a long-term view of how Absa maintains and develops excellence. He said that ‘as a growing industry, the olive producers play a critical role in job creation and significantly contribute to the growth of the South African economy every year.’ He also reiterated Absa’s commitment to do more in supporting the industry, so that everyone in the sector can say ‘I can overcome and thrive’.

The 2020 Absa Top 10 olive oils according to their categories are:

Cederberg Olives – Cederberg Olives Frantoio
Rio Largo Olive Estate – Rio Largo Gold
Kleinbergskloof Olive Estate – Kleinbergskloof Frantoio

Zoetigheyd – Zoetigheyd Frantoio
Morgenster – Morgenster EVOO
Wildekrans Wine Estate – Wildekrans Endless EVOO
Chaloner – The Peregrine Limited Edition
PG Fruit Olives – Pai Parakore EVOO

Porterville Olives – Andante Intenso
Mardouw Investments ZA – XXV Intense

SA Olive’s chairperson, Nick Wilkinson, praised South Africa’s olive oil producers’ sheer tenacity, determination and commitment, which once again delivered the goods against all odds. He thanked Absa for their continued support of the industry and placed emphasis on how this type of collaboration shows what can be done when we work together.

As we navigate the unknown waters of a new socio-economic reality, it is good to know that you can still trust the quality of our locally produced extra virgin olive oils. Look out for the CTC seal when you shop for olive oil – it guarantees that the oil is extra virgin, fresh and locally produced.