California Olive Oil Production Reaches 13,300 Tons

An estimate by the California Olive Oil Council reveals strong growth in the state's production and market share.

Dec. 12, 2016
By Olive Oil Times Staff

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If California were a coun­try, it would rank between Albania and Lebanon in terms of annual olive oil pro­duc­tion, which is esti­mated to be 13,300 tons this year, accord­ing to fig­ures released today by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC).
See Also: Complete Coverage of the 2016 Olive Harvest
While olive oil pro­duc­tion is also found in other states includ­ing Texas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona, the bulk of American olive oil is from California, and today’s fig­ure is in line with a November 2015 fore­cast by the International Olive Council that pro­jected 14 mil­lion tons of U.S. out­put for the 2015/16 season.

The state’s sup­pli­ers now account for 5.8 per­cent of the olive oil con­sumed in the U.S., the COOC said in a state­ment; a dra­matic increase from its 2 per­cent mar­ket share just a few years ago.

At the same time, olive oil giants includ­ing Spain, Italy and Greece are expe­ri­enc­ing drops in pro­duc­tion this sea­son due to a con­flu­ence of cli­matic fac­tors, fruit fly infes­ta­tions and cycli­cal down­turns. Italy, in par­tic­u­lar, is expected to see half the out­put of last year.

While the fig­ures reveal a grow­ing indus­try poised to cap­ture an ever-grow­ing piece of the world’s sec­ond-largest olive oil mar­ket, it has­n’t been easy for pro­duc­ers in the state. A pathogen akin to bulls eye rot” began spread­ing among olive cul­ti­vars com­monly used for oil pro­duc­tion over the sum­mer and aggres­sive com­pe­ti­tion has dri­ven fruit prices higher.

But amid the grow­ing American appetite for high-qual­ity olive oil the out­look for California pro­duc­ers is bright, said the COOC, which was recently awarded a third grant of $357,000 from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

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The COOC’s exec­u­tive direc­tor, Patricia Darragh, said, The award will strengthen California agri­cul­ture over­all by build­ing part­ner­ships that will advance the immense impor­tance of both the olive oil seg­ment and the over­all agri­cul­tural community.”


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