Cobram Estate named a Sustainability Innovator for 2022

It’s a widely regarded fact that Cobram Estate extra virgin olive oil is good for you, but today it has been recognised as good for the planet too.

Cobram Estate has been named on the Australian Financial Review’s Sustainability Leaders 2022 list in the category of Agriculture & environment, which celebrates companies making real progress in tackling sustainability challenges while also delivering business value.

Joint-CEO and chief oil maker Leandro Ravetti is thrilled with the accolade and says the Cobram Estate team have been working for more than 25 years to ensure the business is as gentle on the planet as possible.

“At Cobram Estate we firmly believe that the food we eat and how we produce it will determine the health of people and the planet,” said Ravetti.

“Increasingly we are becoming aware that the dominant diets currently consumed globally are not nutritionally optimal, lead to large increases in diet-related diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, and are major contributors to climate change and environmental damage.

“Olives as a crop, when managed like ours, and extra virgin olive oil as a product, are perfectly positioned to play a critical role within the sustainable production of food and the adoption of sustainable and healthy diets”.

Zero Waste One of the most significant ways sustainability is embraced at Cobram Estate is its zero-waste approach.

“When you look at our operations, only 0.1 per cent of our operations’ output ends up in landfill,” said Ravetti.

“Everything is used, recycled or up-cycled. Branches pruned from the trees are mulched and returned to the soil as organic amendment. Leaves are used to produce our Stone & Grove olive leaf teas or Wellgrove olive leaf extracts.

“Even the olive pits are separated from the rest of the pulp left after pressing the extra virgin olive oil and used as a renewable energy source with the remaining flesh composted as fertiliser or used for stock feed.”

The company is also able to take this one step further. It recently received a grant from Sustainability Victoria to support the development of a new waste handling system at its olive mills that will use a combination of recycling technologies to de-water the olive pomace and extract valuable components from the waste.

This project will deliver an estimated 65 per cent reduction in the volume of the waste material it processes, together with lower greenhouse gas emissions and the creation of new commercial products.

“But it’s not just zero waste we’re concerned with, although that’s obviously very important when it comes to sustainability,” said Ravetti.

“We’ve also studied our carbon footprint and improved biodiversity across our properties.”

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