Lentara Grove offers a contract processing service for other olive groves in our modern, clean facility. We use an Oliomio 150 two-phase processor with twin malaxing bowls, capable of processing over 150kg per hour and have made gold-medal winning oils for ourselves and for other groves with this equipment. Martin, our chief oil-maker, has undertaken Masterclasses in Olive Oil Sensory assessment (Modern Olives) and Olive Oil Processing and Quality Development (Pablo Canamasas), giving you the confidence that we will bring the best out of your olives.
We are based near Exeter, 30 minutes north of Launceston. Please take the time to read the following information, which should answer most of your questions about having your olives processed by us:
It is recommended that you phone us as early as possible to make a booking so that you don't miss out. When you book, you’ll need to give us an estimate of the tonnage you would like processed. If you are planning to bring multiple batches during the season, make multiple bookings ahead of time. Bookings can be changed if you think your olives are not ready closer to the booked date as long as there are alternative dates available.
It is very important that you are accurate with the amount of olives that you book in as we may not be able to accommodate more than 20% variance and this could mean the additional fruit is delayed or unable to be processed as it would be unfair to delay the processing of olives from other clients.
If you start harvesting and find you are going to have a lot more than your booked amount (greater than 20 %), stop picking and give us a call. Either we can accept the extra amount (with no additional charge) or you may have to make an additional booking for another day.
While there is no absolute date that is too early for receiving fruit, we cannot guarantee the ability to process olives beyond the second Friday in July without a prior booking.
We accept olives in picking bins up to 22kg in weight. From 2020 we will also accept larger bins/pallets.
It is important to ensure that the olives you bring to Lentara are free of leaves and other contaminants – not only does this ensure a better tasting oil, it can also avoid potential deleafing charges. Fruit from groves with diseases such as Olive Lace Bug will not be accepted if there are any leaves present. Transport the fruit in perforated containers that do not allow the fruit to sweat and transport to the mill as soon as possible after picking so that the fruit does not deteriorate.
Please also ensure that your olives do not contain any objects that could damage our equipment (such as rocks or metal screws) to ensure that you avoid paying for our equipment to be replaced.
Your olives and oil containers should be delivered no later than 6pm the day before your booking. Please ensure that you bring along sufficient storage capacity to hold your oil once it is made. For your own benefit, it is worth taking the time to ensure that these containers are of an appropriate food safe grade (preferably stainless steel) and as clean as possible to avoid any potential contamination of your oil. We can sterilise your containers for you for a fee.
We are unable to accept fruit that is rotten or mouldy as that could introduce potential contamination into our facility.
Most groves pick fruit by hand or using mechanical rakes. We recommend that you use specialist olive umbrellas under the trees to avoid fruit bruising on the ground, coming into contact with contaminants or being trodden on by pickers.
Olives ripen at different times according to variety, location, weather and farm management practices. Each of these factors also affects the percentage of oil that can be achieved – from as little as 4% to as high as 20% in Tasmanian conditions.
In addition, every person has their own view on how they would like fruit ripeness reflected in the taste of their oil, with greener olives tending to give a pepperier oil and longer shelf life while blacker olives tend to give a milder, fruitier oil but a shorter shelf life. Please contact us if you would like advice on harvest timing and how that will be reflected in your oil.
Clients can choose to either provide generic advice to us about how they want the oil processed – usually in the form of wanting quality over quantity or vice versa (it is difficult to achieve both in any meaningful way). Alternatively, clients can choose to provide more detailed instructions on time, temperature and the use of processing aids.
To aid extraction, Lentara offers customers the use of (i) micronised mineral talc; and/or (ii) enzymes. The enzyme is a natural occurring protein of the olive and enhances extraction of oil from green/difficult fruit and is eliminated with the waste. The mineral talc absorbs water from the fruit and is very important to avoid oil/water emulsions that would make clean oil extraction virtually impossible. As with the enzyme, the talc is eliminated with the waste.
We can not guarantee a particular oil extraction percentage, but we do commit to getting the best possible quality and volume within the parameters you choose and with the fruit you have provided.
Please be aware that olives that have had insufficient water during ripening may be higher in bitterness and pepperiness than olives that have had sufficient water. Please let us know if this is the case as there are some measures we can use in processing to moderate this effect.
There is some natural cloudiness in processed oil – generally if you leave it for 4 to 6 weeks, the sediment will settle to the bottom and the clean, clear oil can then be separated. Please do not leave the oil sitting on sediment for any longer than 6 weeks as it will eventually affect the flavor and bitterness level of your oil. Some oils remain cloudy without filtration, however this should not necessarily be a concern as long term cloudiness is caused by natural fruit waxes that are similar in density to oil and remain suspended in it.
Store your oil in a cool, dark place and ensure it isn’t exposed to excessive levels of oxygen, sunlight or temperature as this will reduce the shelf life of your oil.
In the event that our mill has a broken part that is unable to be sourced locally, the processing of your olives may be delayed. Our mill is very reliable, however if a more serious breakdown were to occur we may not be able to process your olives in prompt time. In this case your olives would have to be taken elsewhere to get processed.
We have a price per kilogram charge of $0.71 per kg plus GST and a leaf fee of $0.50 per kg of leaf collected. Batches that are especially ‘leafy’ result in exceptionally lengthy processing and will be charged an extra rate of $50 per hour to be deleafed prior to being processed.
Enzyme and talc are included in the per kg price for customers who wish to use those processing aids.
There is also a start-up/clean-up fee of $65 which applies on all occasions.
There is no minimum batch size.
The oil content of most olives is usually between 10-20%, dependent on the variety, ripeness and water content of fruit. The table below provides an example of what the processing cost is likely to be at different tonnages and how this might translate into a price per litre of oil produced:
|Weight charge||Setup Charge||Total Cost||Price per kg||
Processing price per litre
(at 20% to 10% efficiency)
$6.80 to $13.60
$5.18 to $10.35
$4.63 to $9.27
$4.20 to $8.40
$3.96 to $7.91
$3.88 to $7.75
NB: assumes olive crates provided are free of leaves