` California Farmers Remain Unfamiliar with New Olive Oil Commission - Olive Oil Times

California Farmers Remain Unfamiliar with New Olive Oil Commission

Oct. 15, 2015
Olive Oil Times Staff

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On September 2013, California Senate Bill 250 was signed into law estab­lish­ing the Olive Oil Commission of California (OOCC). Since then, new stan­dards for olive oil label­ing and qual­ity have been adopted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for every olive oil pro­ducer in the state with more than 5,000 gal­lons of sea­sonal pro­duc­tion.

Very few under­stand the grades and label­ing stan­dards that were estab­lished by the OOCC last year- Jeff Colombini, Chairman of the OOCC Board

Yet despite such swift changes affect­ing the Golden State’s ever-grow­ing olive land­scape, many pro­duc­ers are unaware of the com­mis­sion or unsure what it does and how it impacts their busi­ness.
See Also: Caifornia Grade and Labeling Standards for Olive Oil
To get the word out about the OOCC and its man­date, the OOCC has intro­duced a web­site, and it is plan­ning a sym­po­sium in January at the California Farm Bureau Federation offices in Sacramento.

Research shows that con­sumers are con­fused about olive oil and the dif­fer­ent kinds avail­able,” explained Jeff Colombini, chair­man of the OOCC Board. The OOCC was cre­ated and is funded by California olive oil farm­ers who are striv­ing to pro­vide a bet­ter prod­uct for con­sumers and who wish to pro­mote clear, sim­ple and accu­rate label­ing of California olive oil.

Our goal is to help con­sumers make more informed pur­chase choices when it comes to the health and fla­vor of their olive oil. But first, we need to make sure our own indus­try under­stands what the OOCC is doing.”

One thing the OOCC is doing is test­ing olive oil. Producers sub­ject to the OOCC stan­dards must par­tic­i­pate in manda­tory sam­pling and test­ing of their prod­ucts. Samples are col­lected by CDFA rep­re­sen­ta­tives and sent to a lab in Australia as part of the gov­ern­ment pro­gram.

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After the grade is deter­mined, pro­duc­ers will need to adhere to California’s new label­ing rules.

Very few under­stand the grades and label­ing stan­dards that were estab­lished by the OOCC last year,” Colombini added, and they need to know about the research that the com­mis­sion is con­duct­ing.”

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