Down on the Olive Farm

06/11/2015

Down on the Olive Farm With Aaron Prior, Comvita® Olive Leaf Farm Manager.

You’re invited to explore the world’s largest specialist Olive Leaf Grove.  Come and meet the team who bring you Comvita's fresh picked extracts. Located in rural South East Queensland you will find row after row of luscious green Olea Europaea trees blanketing the hills of Lakeview Olive Estate.

SUMMER 2015

Summer is nearly here and for the past few months we have been preparing for the hot dry weather. As summer is typically our dry season here in Queensland, we have needed to start conserving water to keep our trees happy and healthy throughout the next few months.

We have two dams, a seasonal creek and underground water that supply our water needs. Usually the creek is our main water source for the majority of the year, however in summer it dries up so our dams become our main water source. Our main dam was quite low at the end of winter this year as it has had no runoff water from lack of rain. So taking everything into account, we made a decision to pump water from our underground bores into our dam. Pumping water from our bores is quite a slow-process, but absolutely necessary to have water for our trees throughout summer.

Our dam is now at around 60% capacity. This level should see us through summer once we get drenched from a few good storms. We hope the weather is on our side this year and all the farming communities across western QLD and NSW have a very wet, wet season!

 

SPRING 2015

Spring has sprung and we welcome the end of the frosty mornings and short days. However, with the extra warmth and sunshine, comes our old nemesis - weeds!

With our 400 km’s of olive tree rows, we’re kept very busy spraying under the olive trees to prevent weeds and grass from growing up into the olive leaf foliage. The weeds, if allowed, will compete with the olive trees for water and nutrients. Also we can’t have foreign matter like tall weeds or grass getting harvested with the leaves.

The farm has been greatly blessed by the purchase of an electric buggy which has been set up as a spray unit. The buggy overcomes many problems associated with quad-bikes, which have been traditionally used on farms. Quad-bikes have a disturbing rate of death and injury, which the electric buggy overcomes with different wheels, a lower centre of gravity and lower speeds.

On the farm we are focused on protecting the environments and our workers health. We use a soft weed spray called Basta, which burns the plant on contact without leaving any residue to effect the soil or damage our olive trees. Better spraying practices = better plant health = better olive leaf extract!

DOWN ON THE FARM

All of the Olive Leaf Extracts are grown and manufactured at Comvita’s specifically-designed olive groves situated in the beautiful Brisbane Valley. There are two sites covering a total area of 246 hectares. The properties are surrounded by cattle grazing properties and virgin scrub. Apart from the natural wildlife corridors, most of the properties are covered by olive trees. More than 752,559 Olea Europaea (olive) trees are grown for production of fresh picked Olive Leaf Extract. We operate the world’s largest Olive (Olea europaea) grove dedicated to the scientific farming of olive leaves.

Comvita is committed to manufacturing products which are of a high standard and maintain these standards through a Quality Management System managed by a quality team. As Olive Leaf Extract is classed as a complimentary medicine, Comvita operates and complies with a GMP standard enabling Comvita to hold a TGA licence to manufacture Olive Leaf Extract and is HACCP certified.

Managing our Olive Leaf Extract consists of propagating and planting trees, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, bottling, storage and distribution of product destined for domestic and export markets.

Comvita cares about quality of leaf and therefore health of trees. Our farm management practices are based around tree and soil health. We invest heavily in protecting our trees through Integrated Pest Management programs and providing the trees with their nutrient requirements. Trained staff perform daily tree inspection and clearance of trees before harvest. Then, leaves are freshly harvested with same day extraction to ensure quality & potency of the olive leaf extract.

Comvita has developed an extraction process with detailed operating procedures, in process inspections and final product specifications to ensure a high quality product. Documentation and record keeping is an important part of the manufacture of Olive Leaf Extract allowing full traceability from the finished bottle of Olive Leaf Extract back to the tree that the leaf was harvested from. Each batch of Olive Leaf Extract is sampled and tested to meet Final Product Specifications.

Comvita Olive Leaf Extract contains naturally occurring, beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. These polyphenols contribute to the antioxidant activity of the Olive Leaf Extract and help to support a healthy immune system. Oleuropein is the most well-known polyphenol in Olive Leaf Extract. Each batch of Comvita Olive Leaf Extract is measured and standardised to ensure the polyphenol Oleuropein is consistent, regardless of the season in which the leaf is picked (and therefore regardless of the taste, colour or body of the liquid).

Comvita is proud to manufacture the fresh picked Olive Leaf Extract ensuring that our customers always have a high strength, high quality product made from a fresh daily harvest.

 

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