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The good oil on olive oil

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Two intense days critically sampling a record 165 entries from 90 WA and interstate producers challenged the 25 judges who adjudicated the 2005 Perth Royal Show Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition.

Organised and supported by the West Australian Olive Council, the State's peak industry body which represents more than 200 olive oil producers and accounts for more than 90 per cent of WA production, the competition attracted about 25 per cent more entries than last year, with eastern states entries more than doubling.

Australia and New Zealand's most experienced judge and supervisor of the Australian Olive Association's internationally certified olive oil tasting panel, Richard Gawel, headed the panel.

After the judging, he noted that Australian olive oils were among the best in the world and that many would "give the best in Europe a real shake."

"We have many absolutely outstanding oils and I think the proof is in the pudding, where Australia is now exporting hundreds of thousands of litres of oil on a regular basis to Italy. The Italians, who are expert tasters and know their oils very well, are obviously very keen to buy Australian oils. That says a lot," Mr Gawel said.

The following awards will be announced and presented at the West Australian Olive Council's annual gala dinner at Royal Perth Golf Club on Saturday, September 10:

* Royal Agricultural Society Certificates to those oils meeting the Gold, Silver or Bronze quality level in each of the five classes.

* Royal Agricultural Society Ribbons for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd ranked oils in each of the five classes.

* Royal Agricultural Society Sash for the overall winner with the highest scoring Extra Virgin Olive Oil in classes 2 to 5.

* A "Best Oil of the Show" Trophy for the highest scoring oil in classes 2 to 5.

* A Trophy for the highest scoring Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from olives grown in WA.

* A "Best Boutique" Trophy for the highest scoring oil in class 1.

More than 100 guests are expected to attend the evening, which is sponsored by Plasdene Glass-Pak , The Packaging Company, and Visy Board.

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