Israeli horticulturalist Gidon Blumenfeld is seen as the founder of New Zealand’s commercial olive oil industry. When he retired to Marlborough in 1986, he imported olive plants from Israel and planted a grove near Blenheim. The trees produced high-quality olive oil. Other growers followed his lead and began planting productive Italian and Israeli cultivars on the east coasts of both main islands. These trees now form the basis of New Zealand’s olive industry.
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