The big news right now in California is the establishment of the Olive Oil Commission of California. After Senator Lois Wolk introduced Senate Bill 250 in April 2013 and Governor Jerry Brown approved and signed the bill in September 2013, 86 percent of participating California olive oil producers have voted and endorsed the Commission’s operation. The next step is the election of Board of Directors to get things rolling.
What is the role of the Olive Oil Commission? Well, being part of the state’s government within the Department of Food and Agriculture,the Commission is empowered to conduct research and recommend the adoption of olive oil grades and labeling standards to the Secretary of Food and Agriculture. This is a huge step in the right direction to protect consumers from manufacturers mislabeling low quality olive oil as extra virgin and gives California olive growers and producers a level playing field in the competitive olive oil industry.
So, what does this mean for you, the consumer? Kimberly Houlding, Executive Director of The American Olive Oil Producers Association, states it clearly in this quote:
“Governor Brown has done a tremendous service for all those who enjoy the health benefits and culinary enhancement of world class extra virgin olive oil produced in California by signing SB 250 into law today. Thanks to the Governor’s actions and the tireless work of Senator Wolk to establish the Olive Oil Commission of California, consumers of California olive oil everywhere can continue to trust the exceptional quality of extra virgin olive oil produced there.”
The Olive Oil Commission of California is supported by several advocates of the California olive oil industry including the California Olive Oil Council, UC Davis Olive Center, and the California League of Food Processors.
Sources: Olive Oil Times, Daily Democrat http://www.dailydemocrat.com/ci_23071720/wolk-bill-establish-california-olive-oil-commission-earns,