Nick Whiting is a fourth-generation farmer and second-generation olive grower.
His family business, Pendleton Olive Estate, having been built over two decades to its current production of 600,000 litres each year, produces premium olive oil for the retail, restaurant and export markets.
Whiting, Pendleton’s executive director, says the region’s climate and the conditions are right for growing, which is spurred on by the high quality of food producers across South Australia.
“It’s very competitive, there’s a lot of really good food producers in South Australia,” he says.
“Having that support to explore new networks is helpful. It’s evidenced by the range of different businesses, all within the same sector, that are able to be successful.
“We’re very lucky to have a number of regions — Adelaide Hills, the Limestone Coast — that all have distinct climates and passionate people who make good quality products.”
Whiting says the region’s limestone topography has led to a distinct character that naturally gives the olives higher polyphenols — “robustness”, in industry parlance — that provide a key health benefit of olive oil.
Their processing plant allows oil storage in ideal temperature and nitrogen-controlled conditions, where freshness is preserved before bottling.
“Having that storage is key to us having continuous quality fruit,” he says.
The business recently upgraded its groves to double growing capacity and is also planning to boost its processing plant, to again double production capacity within three to five years.
This article originally appeared in The Australian's Future Adelaide Special Report.