AUSTRALIAN olive growers will form a new world alliance to help restore trust in the product.
Roundtable discussions between Australian, US, Spanish and Italian growers and industry experts next month in Victoria will centre on forming an alliance.
Australian Olive Association chief executive Lisa Rowntree said producers were concerned about the effects of adulteration and mislabelling on olive oil prices.
"Restoring trust in the trade of olive oil" is the theme of the association's national conference at Wangaratta on October 25-26.
Ms Rowntree said the conference would focus on the global devaluation of olive oil's image and price.
She said the issue had caused widespread grief among genuine small, medium and large olive producers.
World trade and domestic quality issues for table olives are also on the agenda.
Among the keynote speakers will be US investigative journalist Tom Mueller, whose exposure of adulteration and unethical practices advanced reform of olive oil standards in the US.
International and national speakers will cover edible oil markets, marketing and labelling, and new analytical methods of detecting lower quality oils.
Australian growers will have the opportunity to attend a workshop outlining the new Australian standards for olive oil.
Olive Producers North East Victoria president Michael Freudenstein said the Australian standards would boost consumer confidence in labelling, remove confusion and improve the image of olive oil.
"There will no longer be extra light or premium oils - they will be either extra virgin, processed or refined," he said.
"At supermarkets at the moment, we are seeing a clearance of stock as these standards start to bite."
Mr Freudenstein said the conference was being held regionally for the first time and would attract 300 delegates.
The conference will incorporate the 15th National Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards dinner and presentation on October 25.
- For details, phone Ms Rowntree on (08) 8535 7170.