Food heritage down under: olive growers as Mediterranean 'food ambassadors'
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business
Among those individuals who migrate to other countries or regions, some take with them valuable aspects of their culture and traditions. Within these elements, migrants’ food heritage often becomes an integral part of their lives, accompanying them in their journey. Food heritage also evokes images, memories and pride, or motivates habitual consumption, while in other cases, it can become a lifestyle or even a source of income. By focusing on the cases of five different olive groves, whose owners are of Mediterranean background, this study examines the extent to which food culture and heritage are decisive factors in their involvement with olive growing in Australia. Through semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted among these olive growers, information about their motivations and level of involvement in an extension of olive growing (‘olive-based agritourism’) was also gathered. The overall findings illustrate that based on their passion for olive growing, these ‘food ambassadors’ are contributing to increased knowledge, consumption, and to the preservation of a food culture. However, this process is not without its challenges, particularly as cheaper olive oils threaten the further development of their olive growing business. Implications of the findings for olive growing, olive-based agritourism, hospitality, and consumers are discussed.