Olive growers and processors will gather in Dixon, California for the 1st Annual Olive Oil Conference on January 19th and 20th. The two-day meeting will focus on a proposed olive oil marketing order and practical information for olive and olive oil industry professionals, according to organizers NursTech, a Gridley, California-based supplier of propagated olive plants, and California Olive Ranch. There will also be a trade show featuring products and services from industry suppliers.
Marketing orders establish, with a vote of producers, a set of self-imposed rules — and usually an assessment or fee — for a variety of industry activities.
Details of the marketing order will be made public for the first time, said Ken Noran, director of sales and marketing for NursTech, adding that the conference discussion will center on olive growers and processors working toward the enforcement of olive oil chemical and quality standards in the United States.
The goal for the marketing order is to enforce these standards and improve the quality of domestic olive oil. The line-up of industry leaders and experts will bring attendees up to speed on the current state of the order and its surrounding issues.
Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center, and author Tom Mueller will begin the day with an industry background and overview. California Olive Ranch’s Gregg Kelley and Pacific Farms’ Brendon Flynn will discuss the need for the marketing order. California State Senator Lois Wolk, Australia’s Paul Miller, and several others will delve into state involvement, the international market and the finer points of the marketing order proposal.
Day two will focus on olive farming and growing practices, including super high density (SHD) olive farming and production. Xavier Rius, one of the world’s leading experts on SHD olive growing will share practical insight on the harvesting method, as well as irrigation scheduling, crop management and orchard monitoring. Rius and the other expert panel members will be presenting “some of the most cutting edge information available,” Noran said, adding that he expected this to be one of the biggest draws of the event.
Another draw is free admission. “Anyone can show up,” Noren said. Event organizers anticipate upwards of 200 growers and processors from California, Oregon, New York, Texas, Missouri, Georgia, Florida and Arizona to attend.