` California Olive Ranch Negotiating to Buy Importer Lucini - Olive Oil Times

California Olive Ranch Negotiating to Buy Importer Lucini

Nov. 5, 2014
Olive Oil Times Staff

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California Olive Ranch CEO Gregg Kelley (OOT File Photo)

California Olive Ranch, the largest American olive oil pro­ducer, announced it is in nego­ti­a­tions to acquire Lucini Italia, a pro­ducer and importer of Italian extra vir­gin olive oils, accord­ing to a com­pany spokesper­son.

Gregg Kelley, CEO of California Olive Ranch said in a state­ment released today, Lucini shares our stan­dards of qual­ity and authen­tic­ity and like California Olive Ranch it is one of the fastest grow­ing brands on the US mar­ket. We greatly admire their prac­tices and their oils.”

California Olive Ranch is owned by a group of Spanish investors, includ­ing mem­bers of the Sumarroca fam­ily, Catalan agri­cul­ture indus­tri­al­ists whose port­fo­lio also includes pro­duc­tion oper­a­tions in Australia and Chile.

If nego­ti­a­tions are suc­cess­ful, each entity will con­tinue to oper­ate under its own label with all Lucini oils grown and milled in Italy and all California Olive Ranch oils still grown and milled in California, accord­ing to the state­ment.

Possible changes to Lucini prod­ucts, the com­pany said, might include the imple­men­ta­tion of California Olive Ranch best prac­tices such as a seal of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and har­vest dates on the label and bot­tling in col­ored glass.”

California Olive Ranch recently came under crit­i­cism for dis­play­ing only the sec­ond year of the har­vest sea­son on its bot­tle labels — a prac­tice sanc­tioned by new stan­dards adopted by California pro­duc­ers.

At an indus­try con­fer­ence last April, Kelley described what he saw as green shoots of fun­da­men­tal change” in the sec­tor, evi­denced by the sub­stan­tial growth by brands that are pro­duc­ing qual­ity prod­ucts and are trans­par­ent about qual­ity. Kelley cited his com­pa­ny’s 50 per­cent annual growth, and Lucini’s 18 per­cent growth, as evi­dence of an evolv­ing mar­ket­place.

Lucini Italia prod­ucts have won numer­ous awards at the New York International Olive Oil Competition, includ­ing two Gold Awards this year. Lucini olive oils are avail­able nation­ally at gro­cery and spe­cialty food stores.

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