Thu, 13 Sep, 2012
Alicedale olive farmer Craig Rippon says winning first prize for his Springvale Extra Olive Oil is a feather in the cap for the Eastern Cape.
After only 12 years in the business and in his first competition, Rippon received first prize at the Marco Zichella Awards in Stellenbosch recently, in the Delicate category, placing the Eastern Cape olive oil industry firmly on the map.
It's a major boost to me, as sometimes I get the impression consumers seem sceptical that an Eastern Cape olive product could seriously compete with such products from the Western Cape, he told Grocott's Mail in an email.
This perception certainly exists among Western Cape producers regarding our Eastern Cape olive products. The competition was named after Marco Zichella, a prominent pioneer of the olive oil industry in South Africa.
It was attended by representatives of 26 estates and the competition is divided into three categories: Delicate, Medium Intensity and Intense.
Rippon's oil was cold-extracted with the use of an Oliomio machine imported from Italy. His estate comprises 7 400 trees and has produced more than 100 tons of olives this year. He produces just under 11 000 litres of oil. Rippon's prize-winning olive oil is for sale at independent retail outlets, as well as privately.