Michael Esposito
Wednesday, 03 April 2024 / Published in blog

There’s a saying, ‘You plant a vineyard for your children and an olive grove for your grandchildren’. If you commit to olive farming, you’re in it for the long run. The olive tree is a fighter – some say you can’t kill an olive tree. It can endure neglect, disease, drought and even bushfires. It’ll be here long after we’re gone and will continue to bear fruit for hundreds if not thousands of years – it’s a family legacy I’m privileged and proud to carry on.

This creed was written leading into our 30th anniversary. 2025 will signify 30 years of olive growing on Kangaroo Island.

The Creed

To be successful for our customers, we must produce quality products and provide excellent service. To stay true to our heritage, we must hold ourselves accountable to the principles that our elders have taught us. Those are:

  1. Work with Mother Nature
  2. Live off the land
  3. Share the love

If you’re interested in learning more about the three principles of The Creed then keep reading below.

Work with Mother Nature.

We acknowledge what is good for the land must come first, but that’s sometimes easier said than done. Some days, Mother Nature is beautiful and magical. Other days, she’s a stubborn cow. It’s a constant work in progress, and things don’t work out the way you planned, but we test, measure, and go again. Make it work, then make it look pretty.

At Kangaroo Island Olives we apply regenerative agricultural practices and natural sequence farming. We look at our farm as a whole ecosystem, where native animals flourish, and woodland areas are protected by heritage agreement. We apply techniques to improve soil health, biodiversity, climate resilience and water security. All while making farming more productive and resilient. The adoption of technology is to be used for good and the application of economics to drive efficient use of resources. Doing more with less is a key driver for us.

Live Off The Land.

Be innovative & resourceful. Use what’s available, and build for the long-term. Money is not an abundant resource, and like most farms we have a massive boneyard. Nothing gets thrown away – repurpose, recycle, up-cycle and reuse. Bush mechanics and elbow grease. Here’s a few rules we live by on the farm:

  • Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it cant work (the best bits of machinery are the primitive ones)
  • Get the job done – improvise if need be
  • There’s not much that twitches of wire can’t fix
  • Empty olive drums have many uses
  • There’s no shame in borrowing things
  • Always return borrowed items in the same, if not, better condition
  • Never throw away food. Ever.

Share the love.

Whether it’s knowledge, resources, food, time, or money – if you can, share it. The day will come when you need help, and all those good deeds will eventually circle back. Share opportunities too. Celebrate success and share the wins. Share the workload, because you can’t do everything. Foster relationships and build positive connections within the community(s).

Most importantly, share the land, share the water, and share the love. Fight and care for heritage-protected lands, because humans aren’t the only species living here. Our farm is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora. Its our responsibility to protect it and not interfere

If you have any questions about how we farm, the island, or anything else, please reach out – info@kiolives.com.au


Michael Esposito

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island
Michael Esposito
Thursday, 30 November 2023 / Published in blog

Recently Kangaroo Island (KI) was named number 2 on Lonely Planet’s Best Travel Destinations for 2024 and we wanted to give you some extra local knowledge on some of our favourite spots to visit on Kangaroo Island. Let’s jump in.

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

Our kids call it the ‘secret beach’; others call it the Stokes Bay Rockpool; whatever you want to call it, you must go. A secluded beach sheltered from the ocean waves, this spot is perfect for swimming and snorkeling in calm, crystal-clear waters all day long. Alternatively, let the kids explore the nearby rock pools while you soak up the rays on the beach. Tip: invest in a cheap pair of ‘aqua shoes’ as they’ll save your feet when climbing over rocks. The cost is free, and we guarantee if you go once, it won’t be your last.

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

Beer & Pizza at the Kangaroo Island Brewery

Looking for a great spot to kick back for the day? The Kangaroo Island Brewery has you covered. The reason we love this place is it’s dog friendly, it’s relaxed atmosphere, and once again great for kids. There’s a big open backyard area to hang out, kick the footy, and enjoy the wide variety of food and drinks on offer. I believe there were hammocks once, but I think they got taken away after some visitors had a few too many. Entry is free. Well-priced food and drinks. Great vibes.

Vivonne Bay & Flinders Chase Drive

Got a car on the island? Allow a day to travel the south coast and drop into Vivonne Bay and Flinder’s Chase National Park. You wont believe your eyes when you see the water at Vivonne Bay, and a walk along the jetty will take you back in time. Flinders Chase Nation­al Park is a must for any Kan­ga­roo Island parks adven­ture. This vast area of wilder­ness fea­tures the icon­ic Remark­able Rocks, Admi­rals Arch and a long-nosed fur seal colony. There is a cost associated with entering National Parks ($13 per adult) which you can book and pay online: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/flinders-chase-national-park/booking

Pennington Bay Surf Spot

This rugged, wild, stunning part of Kangaroo Island will give you a taste for adventure. Whether you’re a die-hard surfer or like to sit up on the cliff with a hot mug of coffee (or cold beer) and watch the waves, Pennington Bay Surf Spot is a must. Head down in the morning and if you’re lucky the swell will be pumping. While you’re there, hike up to Prospect Hill and take in the panoramic coastal views – a perfect activity to fill up the morning and work out your calf muscles. No cost involved.

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

Visit Flavours Of Petite Provence

Flavours of Petite Provence is one of Kangaroo Island’s best-kept foodie secrets. Owned by our mates Kym & Bridgette, who live down the road, visit the FOPP Shop and you’ll find all sorts of gourmet delicatessens, seasonal Kangaroo Island produce, and a full range of Kangaroo Island Olives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Our favourites? Pink-gin and limoncello marmalades – absolutely divine. Visit the shop at 12 Florance Road Haines 5223.

Looking for a place to stay on the Island?

Our Little Liguria Farmstay located on our farm is a great option. Head to our Farmstay Page to learn more, or book online at Airbnb now.


Pictures supplied by Authentic Kangaroo Island

Michael Esposito
Friday, 28 October 2022 / Published in Uncategorized

Most people differentiate olives between black olives and green olives. That’s a great start, but have you ever thought about the fact you might enjoy your daily dose of olive goodness if you actually knew which varieties you like best?

Below are some quick facts about 5 popular olive varieties in Australia and what each is known for. At the end of this article, you’ll be able to go to your local supermarket (or head to our online farm shop) and know what to look out for. Let’s jump in:



The most popular one.

Also known as a Kalamon, this olive originated from Greece (the island of Kalamata) and is well-known for its size, texture, and rich fruity taste. It packs a lot of flavour, especially when picked ripe. Is generally well-balanced, and the consistency between batches makes it a great entry into olives.


Jumbo Kalamata

The big one.

When people refer to jumbos, they mean jumbo Kalamata. Similar to their baby brother, jumbos have a great well-rounded taste but are firmer and larger in size with more flesh. Jumbos are generally reserved for special occasions and we like to harvest our Jumbos when they are still green (they can be harvested green or black).

Fun fact: In Australia, this variety is also referred to as a ‘donkey olive’.




The mighty one.

Frantoio olives are the main variety grown in Italy. Here at Kangaroo Island Olives, we reserve Frantoio for making high-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil due to its high oil content and aromatic tasting notes. Flavours range from fresh-cut grass and artichoke to floral and nutty with moderate bitterness and pungency.




The ‘round green’ one.

Also known as South Australian Verdale. Originating in southern France, Verdale olives are harder in texture and hold a light and fruity aroma. Verdales can be used for producing sweeter-tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil too. The olive is medium to large-sized. A fabulous eating olive especially when picked green.




The Tuscan one.

Another cultivar which originated in Italy, but is widespread around Australia. Typically harvested when turning colour, its full of flavours that include cinnamon & green almonds. Light bitterness, medium pungency. Usually reserved for making Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but it makes a great table olive as well.



All of these olives can be found inside our Mixed Mediterranean Olives Pouch. Head over to our online Farm Shop and start your own tasting journey at home!

Michael Esposito
Friday, 22 July 2022 / Published in blog, News

Last week Kangaroo Island Olives were awarded ‘Best In Show’ from the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia for their Smoked Kalamata Table Olives. After winning the award General Manager Michael Esposito explained he couldn’t be happier and it was an honour to receive such a prestigious award.

He went on to say: “Our smoked olives truly are a unique Kangaroo Island delicacy. Not only were they grown and on the island, but they were developed in collaboration with a range of local KangarooIsland chefs and growers to get them to where they are today. Our team have put a tremendous amount of effort into these olives, and we’re so happy all the hard work has finally paid off. To not only win Best In Show, but to see them garner an almost cult-like following was absolutely amazing and leaves all of us here extremely proud of our efforts!”

The olives were described by judges as having “an attractive smoked aroma followed by great flavour, balance and strength”, with a “persistent long finish and overall good texture, shape and size.” Kangaroo Island Olives also picked up a swag of medals which included Silver for their MixedMediterranean Olives and Bronze for their Traditional Kalamata Olives. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Novello Olive Oil also won Bronze awards in their respective classes.

“I’d like to thank the dedicated and hard-working team that includes our farming staff, processors & packaging partners. The 2020-2021 growing season was a challenging year, however, we’re grateful for the ongoing support of our distributors and customers who make this all possible. We look forward to developing more unique products and flavours in the future.”