Wildfires Not Expected to Impact Record Olive Oil Production in California

The 2017 harvest is on track for a record production of 4.3 million gallons, according to the California Olive Oil Council.

California Olive Ranch
Oct. 23, 2017
By Olive Oil Times Staff
California Olive Ranch

Recent News

October finds olive oil pro­duc­ers through­out California dust­ing off equip­ment, mon­i­tor­ing oil con­tent and prepar­ing for har­vest. As the state begins what is expected to be an unprece­dented har­vest, mother nature chal­lenged the course of events in sev­eral oil-pro­duc­ing regions with wild­fires in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake coun­ties and beyond. Overall the indus­try is expect­ing only minor set­backs, accord­ing to the California Olive Oil Council (COOC).

The 2017 har­vest, tak­ing place from October through December in California, is on track for an esti­mated total pro­duc­tion of 4.3 mil­lion gal­lons. This would be the high­est pro­duc­tion to date, with the fall 2016 har­vest hav­ing pro­duced 3.5 mil­lion gal­lons of extra vir­gin olive oil and 4 mil­lion gal­lons in 2015.

The antic­i­pated land­mark num­bers are being ush­ered in at an oppor­tune time for the indus­try. This har­vest coin­cides with remark­able growth in both pro­duc­tion and demand.

From 2015 to 2016, nation­wide sales of California olive oil expe­ri­enced almost 40 per­cent growth year over year accord­ing to IRI data. This is 10 times the over­all cat­e­gory growth of 4 per­cent. This upward trend in demand is being reflected in wide­spread invest­ment in new acreage.

As of August 2017, there are over 40,000 acres planted in California for the pro­duc­tion of extra vir­gin olive oil. This num­ber is com­prised of over 400 grow­ers and pro­duc­ers of olive oil in California, with the great­est con­cen­tra­tion of olives for oil through­out the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.


An addi­tional 20,000 acres are antic­i­pated to be planted by 2020, accord­ing to the COOC, increas­ing the total acreage by 50 per­cent. With the dev­as­ta­tion caused by the recent wild­fires some­what iso­lated to the North Bay region, con­sumers are likely to be unaf­fected as pro­duc­tion vol­umes and price com­par­isons are expected to remain con­stant.

In an effort to sup­port pro­duc­ers impacted by the wild­fires, the COOC has estab­lished a fund­ing mech­a­nism to assist those in need. Contributions will be donated to recov­ery on behalf of the entire indus­try.

In addi­tion, a reg­istry has been set up on the COOC web­site for those who have been affected to become eli­gi­ble to receive aid.


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