Each year the NZLGA holds an Oil Awards program for the benefit of members and growers worldwide.
The Awards help growers become more skilled at producing good quality oils and identifying faults that may occur.
The Oil Awards are organised by a sub-committee. This committee is responsible for training judges and making sure there is a competent panel available at judging time. Growers who take part in the Oil Awards submit their oil samples to a designated member of the sub-committee who then codes each sample before presenting them to the judging panel. This ensures that the judges do not know the origin of the samples.
Each sample of oil is subject to rigorous ‘sniffing’ by each judge and scored against a range of nationally recognised criteria. The scores for each sample are collated and Gold or Silver Awards are given to oils that reach the required standards. If the oil samples fail to meet the required standards in a specific category e.g. Lavandula angustifolia Pacific Blue, no awards will be made. Trophies and certificates are presented to successful growers at the AGM or national conference (held on alternate years), following the judging of the oil samples. Judging and the awards ceremony normally take place in August or September.
The NZLGA Oil Awards are held in high regard by lavender growers around the world. Growers who receive Gold or Silver Awards often use their success to promote their oil and market their products.