`California Establishes Olive Oil Commission - Olive Oil Times

California Establishes Olive Oil Commission

Sep. 25, 2013
Olive Oil Times Staff

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PRESS RELEASE — Office of California State Senator Lois Wolk

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Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 250 Tuesday, a mea­sure by Senator Lois Wolk (D‑Davis) to estab­lish a state com­mis­sion to help coor­di­nate efforts by state olive grow­ers and oil man­u­fac­tur­ers to strengthen the com­pet­i­tive­ness of California’s olive oil indus­try.

Establishing this com­mis­sion is a vital first step toward pro­tect­ing con­sumers and pro­vid­ing California’s olive oil indus­try a fair play­ing field where they can grow and thrive. That’s why this bill received bipar­ti­san sup­port from day one,” said Wolk, Chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Olive Oil Production and Emerging Products. I applaud the Governor’s deci­sion to sign this mea­sure into law, and look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work with the state’s olive grow­ers and olive oil pro­duc­ers to help ensure that Californians can be con­fi­dent about the prod­ucts they’re serv­ing to their fam­i­lies.”

SB 250 would cre­ate the Olive Oil Commission of California within the Department of Food and Agriculture to allow the indus­try to con­duct research and estab­lish prod­uct grades and stan­dards through the Secretary of Food and Agriculture. There are cur­rently 16 active, indus­try-funded agri­cul­tural com­mis­sions in California cre­ated to enhance their indus­tries com­pet­i­tive­ness through pro­mo­tion, adver­tis­ing, edu­ca­tion, mar­ket­ing research, sci­en­tific research, and the cre­ation and reg­u­la­tion of qual­ity stan­dards.

SB 250 is part of Wolk’s ongo­ing effort to address chal­lenges fac­ing state’s expand­ing olive oil indus­try, includ­ing com­peti­tors sell­ing fraud­u­lent and low-qual­ity olive oil. A study con­ducted by the U.C. Davis Olive Center found that 65 per­cent of imported extra-vir­gin olive oils bought off the shelves of California super­mar­kets failed to meet inter­na­tional stan­dards for olive oil qual­ity – con­clud­ing that many of the imported olive oils tested were falsely labeled as extra vir­gin grade.

Similar com­mis­sions have been very effec­tive in advanc­ing research and qual­ity stan­dards. SB 250 is an impor­tant step for the indus­try,” said Dan Flynn, Executive Director of the U.C. Davis Olive Center.

The COOC is delighted to hear the news of the sign­ing of Senate Bill 250 by Governor Brown,” said Patricia Darragh, Executive Director of the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), one of SB 250’s sup­port­ers. As the indus­try grows, our long stand­ing com­mit­ment to qual­ity and stan­dards becomes a crit­i­cal issue for con­sumers and retail­ers in the mar­ket­place. Kudos to State Senator Lois Wolk for her vision and sup­port of the California olive indus­try.”

Governor Brown has done a tremen­dous ser­vice for all those who enjoy the health ben­e­fits and culi­nary enhance­ment of world class extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duced in California by sign­ing SB 250 into law today. Thanks to the Governor’s actions and the tire­less work of Senator Wolk to estab­lish the Olive Oil Commission of California, con­sumers of California olive oil every­where can con­tinue to trust the excep­tional qual­ity of extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duced there,” said Kimberly Houlding, Executive Director of The American Olive Oil Producers Association.

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