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Comvita, which uproduces health products from manuka honey and olive leaves, has bought an 85ha organic olive estate with potential to expand its production of olive leaf extracts by 130 percent over the next five years.
The price paid for Organic Olives (Aust) by Comvita's Australian subsidiary is undisclosed. The estate comprises some 7000 certified organic olive trees, with room for further plantings, and is in Coominya, on the shores of Lake Wivenhoe in south-eastern Queensland
The company recently reported clinical trials at Auckland University's Liggins Institute had found a beneficial impact from its olive leaf extracts on secretion of insulin and the action of insulin in overweight men.
The research has yet to be peer-reviewed and published, but is expected to boost global interest in the product.
"We're also scoping the possibility of building on this science, with additional clinical trials," Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett says.
"The acquisition ... effectively future-proofs this rapidly growing part of our business. Together with fully developing our existing property, the development of our new purchase will provide the capacity to increase supply over the next five years by approximately 130 percent."
Comvita shares last traded on the NZX at $3.65, although none changed hands immediately after the announcement.
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