` California Farmers Remain Unfamiliar with New Olive Oil Commission

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California Farmers Remain Unfamiliar with New Olive Oil Commission

Oct. 15, 2015
By 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 more: 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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