Back in October 1993 a small group of like-minded folk met at the Kerikeri home of Pam and Miles Cook to share the experience and knowledge they had gained in olive cultivation and the early production of fabulous Northland Extra Virgin Olive Oils.
What also evolved at that gathering – and something that is still very much part of the “Oliveti” philosophy – was the concept that there would be the open exchange of information and assistance to each other while at the same time enjoying the olive culture.
The following April, Whangarei Community Education held a well attended one-day course on olives and olive care with on the pickling of olives. The next meeting attracted 60 people and it was agreed that there was a need for regular meetings and for a newsletter to keep everyone in touch.
The interest in olives continued to grow, membership increased and by April 1995 we had 150 attending our meetings. As the group got larger it was unanimously decided that should be reshaped into a more formal structure. A constitution was adopted and the name of the organisation amended from ‘Olivetis’, to ‘Oliveti’ – Italian for ‘olive groves’. The officially became ‘Oliveti Northland Incorporated’ in July 2001 and it became a Regional Member of the New Zealand Olive Association in March 2002.
Oliveti has continued to hold regular meetings, co-ordinate field days and publish newsletters every year since then whilst its membership has continued to grow to the more than 200 growers we have today.