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Producers Orchard Management Olive Oil


									ENGLISH EDITION Magazine num. 6 Nurstech – October 2007

 Interview: Jaime and Jesus Salazar of SOS Cuetara

Orchard Management
 Irrigation Programming in Olive Orchards

Olive Oil
  Interview: California Olive Oil Council’s Patricia Darragh and Alan Greene

Cover photo: Xavier Marques
                                            Editorial, page 3
                                            California and the Tipping Point

                                            Producers, page 4
                                            Interview: Jaime and Jesús Salazar, President and Vice President
                                            of SOS Cuétarra

                                            Research, page 8
                                            Interview: Professor Angelo Godini, University of Bari, Puglia, Italy

                                            Research, page 11
                                            Olive Oil Research: Current Challenges

                                            Orchard Management, page 14
                                            Programming of Irrigations in Olive Orchards
 High density olive orchards magazine
 Editor/Art Direction: Jeffers Richardson
              Olive Oil, page 19
                                            Interview: California Olive Oil Council, Alan Greene

                                            Olive Oil, page 22
                                            Interview: California Olive Oil Council, Patricia Darragh

         612 East Gridley Road
                                            News, page 24
     Gridley, California 95948 (USA)        The Next Texas Oil Boom?
          Phone: 530 846 0404               SHD Featured at the Paso Robles Olive Oil Festival
            Fax: 530 846 2549               New Plantings in California
    E-mail:             Slippery Business, The Trade in Adulterated Olive Oil


                    California and the Tipping Point
          alcolm Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point, com-              Adding teeth to this expansion is the possibility of a USDA rul-
          ments that several little things can make a big difference:    ing, by the end of this year, regarding a revision to U.S. standards
          The tipping point is that magic moment when something          for grades of olive oil. Something that has not taken place since
crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. Regarding the       1948. The California Olive Oil Council petitioned the USDA in
super high-density orchard system (SHD) and the growth of the            2004 for new standards that would conform more to internation-
California olive oil industry, we believe we are at that tipping         ally accepted ones. Currently, the U.S. is being used as a dumping
point.                                                                   ground for some imported mislabeled and adulterated olive oil. It
  The following trends continue unabated from last year: The             is time to level the playing field.
demand for olive oil is growing at 20 percent annually in the U.S.;         The subject of authentication and adulteration took on added
production and infrastructure problems persist in Europe leaving         weight and increased the awareness of this problem, when a recent
a gap between production and demand. In the meantime, local              article entitled Slippery Business was published in the New Yorker
growers and producers enter the breach with several developments         Magazine in August. The article highlighted some unscrupulous
that bode well for the industry in the US.                               olive oil producers in the European Union and their efforts to cheat
  There are now three large-volume mills in California offering          consumers. National Public Radio took up the debate as well.
growers more opportunity for long-term contracts with a mill                So we think that the confluence of all these events puts our
closest to their orchards. Olive oil producers therefore have more       industry at a threshold, Gladwell’s tipping point. In our current
opportunity to offer fresh extra-virgin olive oil, and catch up with     issue we have an interview with Professor Angelo Godini of Bari
demand.                                                                  University, Italy. In it, Dr. Godini expresses a European concern
  We are seeing more large-scale plantings take place that will          regarding California’s potential to dominate the olive sector: “I hope
put California on target to surpass France’s production by 2008.         that the United States will not do the same in the olive sector as
Production is estimated to be one million gallons of olive oil by        they did in the last forty years with the almond sector and in the
2010. We are even seeing SHD plantings and production of olive oil       last few in the pistachio industry.” Our sentiments could not be
outside of California. Texas entered the fray this year with its first   more opposite: we hope and think it will. We anticipate even more
mechanical harvest of an SHD orchard. These are exciting times.          good news in the coming year.


Jesús and Jaime Salazar                          Q: What is your vision of the world market for olive oil in the next
                                                 few years?
                                                 Jesús: Today there are only three countries in which the olive oil

    President and Vice-President
                                                 market is mature: Spain, Italy and Greece. In these countries, the
                                                 consumption of olive oil is so high that it is very unlikely that it
                                                 would fall. In the rest of the world, on the other hand, the market is
                                                 growing so strongly that double-digit growth is expected, annually.

                  of SOS Cuétera                 The fundamental reason for this is the strongly held belief that olive
                                                 oil promotes good health. Therefore, we believe that the demand
                                                 for olive oil will double every five years if the price is high and that
                                                 it will double in three years if the price is more competitive.
                                                 Jaime: If we draw a graph of the last 15 to 20 years, the production
                                                 and consumption of olive oil is growing very strongly. The moments
          Jesús and Jaime Salazar are the top    when growth halts or declines is due to lack of production, which
                                                 creates a crisis in prices. That delays the growth, but usually every-
 people in the Cuétara Group, and the world      thing quickly returns to normal. There are never season surpluses
                                                 as consumption continues to go up. In addition, when the per
leaders in the commercialization of olive oil.   capita income of a country reaches a certain point the population
                                                 can afford this fat, for the sake of good health (as in the case of
 Olint wanted to find out their opinion about    wine), which demands even more consumption.

 the future of the market. We also wanted to     Q: What are the current figures in the olive oil market for the
                                                 SOS Group?
   learn about the details of their ambitious    Jaime: Today the SOS Group, with all its brands in Spain, Italy
                                                 and some other countries has approximately 15% of the world
            project “Project Earth,” which was   market share, which in terms of olive oil are 250,000 tons annu-
                                                 ally for sale. We think that the most important aspect is that out
     recently introduced to the mass media.      of the countries that represent 60% of the world olive oil market,
                                                 we are the first or second name brand, and in the majority of

them we are already the first or second           “We believe that the demand                   prices that we had in the producer countries,
company. This is tremendously impor-               for olive oil will double every              the market became flat. It did not move one
tant because it means that the increase in         five years if the price is high              bit. If we are capable of producing more,
consumption in those countries will be              and that it will double every               this will allows us to be more competitive.
accompanied by the growth in our position            three years if the price is                The market has no limits.
in the market. In numbers, our group sells              more competitive.”
one billion euros of olive oil. The number                                                      Q: The appearance of new techniques
two seller is Unilever with four hundred                                                        of cultivation like the super-intensive or
million. That means that we are by far the          “in countries where it is                   hedge cultivation has permitted the birth
leaders and we will maintain our effort to        produced, olive oil is going                  of a new olive culture in many countries
be the dominating force at the same time              to generate domestic                      that did not exist until today. How do you
that we are extending our market.                  consumption and the olive                    evaluate this situation?
                                                      oil culture is going to                   Jaime: In the global perspective, it will
Q: What were the strategic reasons that          expand … those countries are                   have an extraordinary effect, because in
motivated you to acquire “CARAPELLI”                   going to increase the                    the countries where it is produced, olive
and “MINERVA?”                                             supply of oil.”                      oil is going to generate domestic consump-
Jaime: Our greatest goal is for the good of                                                     tion and the olive oil culture is going to
our customers. The customer understands         Q: Then we have the paradox that the            expand. Another important subject is
that olive oil is an important aspect to the    Italian olive oil is in the hands of Spanish    that those countries are going to increase
Italian culture. In every Italian restaurant    companies.                                      the supply of oil. For us, the SOS group,
you will find a bottle of olive oil on every    Jesús: I think that this has been the big       which has a huge demand for olive oil
table. The SOS Group bought the Italian         contribution of the SOS Group to the            (about 1,000 tons a day), the bigger sup-
brand because customers demand the              olive oil world, and it has resolved an         ply we can get, the better it is for us. From
Italian brand. The Anglo-Saxon countries        old aspiration of the Spanish sector to be      the company’s point of view, it is a risk
or the northern European countries are          the biggest producer; moreover, we also         and an opportunity. It is a risk because
beginning to discover Spanish olive oil,        wanted to be relevant in all aspects of com-    we have a competitive advantage being
but the demand is always for Italian olive      mercialization. Today the SOS Group is the      in Spain, we are the biggest producers, so
oil. Instead of waiting 20 or 30 years to       world leader. Our goal is to not only be        if we diversify and we are not capable of
convince them that the Spanish olive oil        the world leader but also consolidate day       adapting to the changes, we can suffer what
is as good as the Italian one, we thought       by day our position, buying more brands,        we call a “strategic risk.” However, we see
that it was more practical to use the Italian   gaining more market shares and distancing       this issue as a great opportunity because
brands in those markets.                        ourselves from the competition.                 we can modify our plans, change our
                                                                                                supply sources, and we can also establish
                                                Q: Considering those projections of             ourselves in new countries. It can be more
                                                growth in consumption in the world in the       quantity at a better competitive price and
The Carbonell bottling plant in Cordoba,
Spain, the most important in the world          next five to 10 years, what market share or     that makes our business new.
                                                volume of commercialization in tons does
                                                the SOS Group hope to achieve?                  Q: You just introduced the “Earth Project.”
                                                Jaime: We think that the total market is        What is this project about and what are
                                                now more or less 2.5 million tons a year.       the motivations for it?
                                                We believe that it is going to grow in the      Jesús: We are an industrial group with
                                                emerging countries, such as Japan, Aus-         enormous force and presence in the mar-
                                                tralia, the US, and Germany that are not a      kets with our products. Until a few years
                                                big part in the market like Spain, Italy and    back we did not need to have a bigger
                                                Greece. It is possible that in five years the   share of the market and for strategic rea-
                                                market will reach three million tons a year.    sons KOIPE Group sold its oil mills. Now
                                                We want to keep extending our market            with serious problems of production and
                                                shares; that is the reason why our strategic    quality of olive oil we decided to buy oil
                                                position will be introducing our brands         mills. Today, our group has five oil mills
                                                in new markets through different entry          in Spain, one in Morocco, one in Turkey,
                                                platforms. Then, in emergent markets, we        one in Greece and also one in Italy and
                                                will take our position with our brand, the      we will continue to build oil mills every
                                                distribution brand or the local brand.          year. Secondly, we work hard in the mar-
                                                Jesús: The evolution of the international       ket for future olive oil shares. We are the
                                                market is clearly going to depend on the        main actor there, and that will allow us to
                                                capacity of production that the world can       sign contracts while maintaining stability
                                                accept. The world consumes more than is         in prices. Thirdly, we already buy a big
                                                being produced; that is, the actual produc-     quantity of olive oil outside the traditional
                                                tion is not enough to supply the demand         markets like Spain or Italy precisely to
                                                of the international market at a reasonable     make sure we have the needed quantity
                                                price. Last year with the absolute chaos in     to supply the market. Still we lacked the

 “Today with the contribution of technology that brings the super-intensive system of cultivation … we
   can start harvesting olives in two and a half years; not long ago we had to wait five or more years.”

opportunity to strengthen our strategy,         Q: Do you have a minimum goal for the           market will give us security through all the
that is, to have enough land for cultivation.   project?                                        process, which will give great value to our
Today with the contribution of technology       Jesús: Yes. It is difficult to work in areas    customers. In the wine industry, everyone
that brings the super-intensive system          with less than 1,235 acres and globally         can see these aspects, but in the case of
of cultivation, the timing is much better       in each country we would like to have           olive oil, it will be even better. It is our
because we can start harvesting olives in       24,710 acres.                                   mission that the oil we put in our bottles
two and a half years; not long ago we had       Jaime: In the beginning we will work in         will be the closest to the one extracted
to wait five or more years. In other words,     Spain, then in the Mediterranean area           from the tree with little transformation.
the super-intensive system is not only a        and finally in North and South America.         We need better agricultural technique
technology that allows a great quality,         A good example would be Chile. It is a          as well as industrial techniques and oil
great production and the mechanization          great opportunity because it is a country       filtration that is not aggressive in order to
of cultivation, but makes shorter time for      with no risk that offers political stability.   achieve this.
harvesting. Without the super-intensive         It also offers alternatives for the olive oil
system, this project could not be possible,     industry with good professionals and an         Q: The “Earth Project” is in an expansive
so we had decided to buy more land year         export mentality, which allows the creation     market environment. Does it mean a
by year with our funds and with investor’s      of joint ventures. We also take into account    strong positioning that would result in a
funds. That is the way to increase our own      that Chile is in the southern hemisphere,       new market balance?
production to guarantee adequate qualities      which completes the agricultural circuit        Jaime: Definitely no, 75% of the market
and to assure that we have the raw material     covering both hemispheres.                      still remains free. Our intention is not to
at the right moment, which is at the begin-     Jesús: The “Earth Project” is a long-term       eliminate the supplier but rather to guar-
ning of the season. Moreover, working on        project. We are in it forever. We will use      antee the stability of the process. Thus
that path we can share margins that allow       diverse sources of financing. We have to        maintaining good quality, and having good
us to be more competitive in the interna-       recognize that our group now needs the          cost bases for production to compete fairly
tional markets. The “Earth Project” starts      equivalent of 370,500 to 494,000 acres          in the market and bring to the customers a
this year, we will plant about 4,940 acres      depending on the production zones.              superior product. This is our foundation,
on the Iberian Peninsula and each year we       Jaime: This also brings a great value to        because now vertical integration is totally
will plant an additional 12,350 to 24,700       our customers because we are totally            necessary.
acres. In two or three years, we will do the    integrated. We control all aspects of the       Jesús: What is clear here is that this project
same outside the Iberian Peninsula. This        supply and we are going to have complete        is born because the world is not capable of
is a very ambitious project, it will take all   control from the beginning, the olive tree,     meeting the real demand that exists. We
of our lifetime and it will be financed by a    to the end, the bottle of olive oil. All that   need to assure the quality, quantity and
diverse international funds.                    with the best technical advantages of the       also the process. We have made this deci-
                                                                                                sion because of the super-intensive system
                                                                                                of cultivation. Without it, if we had to plant
                                                                                                with traditional systems we would never be
                                                                                                able to compete. That is the reason behind
                                                                                                buying TODOLIVO in Spain. They are the
                                                                                                main planters of hedge olive trees in Spain.
                                                                                                We think that we can translate the experi-
                                                                                                ence of 20 years in the hedge plantation
                                                                                                to the SOS Group.
                                                                                                Jaime: The industrial world controls the
                                                                                                yearly productivity and mechanization in
                                                                                                order to reduce costs. Thus customers have
                                                                                                a final product within reach in a very com-
                                                                                                petitive manner. That is what the corporate
                                                                                                industry does. Why wouldn’t the olive oil
                                                                                                industry modernize? If the olive industry

                                                                                                Bottling machine

modernizes, quality improves and also cost       as well as South American countries like         consumption because the tendency for
becomes lower as well. This is beneficial        Argentina, Chile, Mexico and the United          healthy diets are established when con-
for the farmer, for the customer and for         States. California, therefore, has a very        sumption of olive oil becomes a healthy
the entire process. We cannot forget about       interesting potential.                           eating habit.
mechanization; we can not believe that                                                               We have to take into account that
we can produce the same amount as our            Q: Do you think that California has the po-      the American people have more buying
grandparents did without change. What            tential to become a key figure in meeting        power than those in Europe; therefore,
the SOS Group has to do, as the leader in        demand for olive oil consumption?                the potential of the United States market
the market is to bring about and a com-          Jaime: In California, the climate, the qual-     is enormous.
plete change in the industry. That is exactly    ity of the soil, infrastructures and the pro-
what we are going to do.                         fessionalism of farmers have made, in fact,      Q: What do you think of the adulteration
                                                 this region a great place with big potential     of olive oil in the United States?
Q: In your estimation, how many acres            for the cultivation of olive groves.             Jaime: The adulteration of a product is
would it be necessary to plant worldwide to                                                       fraud and authorities must act against it.
keep a constant supply for customers?            Q: Do you believe in the potential of the        The SOS Group, as the first world producer
Jaime: The world is going to go from de-         American olive oil market?                       of olive oil, has a 15% share of the world
manding 2.5 million tons to 3 million tons       Jaime: United States is a market with an         market, and totally supports the USDA
a year. Those extra 500,000 tons mean that       enormous potential. First, the American          and its efforts to apply the law. Unfortu-
great quantities of new acres need to be         consumers are more conscious and aware           nately, those kinds of frauds do occur in
planted. What happens now is that farmers        of the importance of a healthy diet and          products like olive oil, products that have
are still planting with traditional methods      demand products that are safe and healthy.       a huge demand because of their scientifi-
for investment reason or because they do         At the same time, American authorities           cally proven health benefits. Therefore, we
not have enough confidence in the new            have begun to regulate the consumption           support an absolute vigilance for high
technology. In a short period of time, we        of “trans fats” and the authorities have         quality olive oil.
are going to see the necessary growth. In a      also prohibited those kinds of fats in the
matter of few years, we will see 1,235,000       restaurants of New York.                         Q; Do you think that the petition to review
new acres planted.                                  In fact, American restaurateurs as well       the olive oil standards will benefit all
                                                 as the distribution channels are looking         producers of olive oil who operate in the
Q: What message would you like to trans-         for alternatives to “trans fat.” This opens      United States?
mit to our readers who are producers of          great opportunities for the olive oil mar-       Jaime: Of course, the review of olive oil
olives?                                          ket: a healthy fat with beneficial effects       standards is necessary because the current
Jaime: We would like to say that they            for people’s health. Many studies have           legislation was approved in 1948 and it
are not wrong if they are planting. They         certified those findings as well as scientific   does not meet the terminology of current
need to plant. We are ready to buy olives        investigations all over the world.               law and it is out of date. With the new
whenever they are ready to sell. Tell them          In 2006, American people consumed             modification of the legislation, the United
that they will always sell their oil at a good   215,000 tons of olive oil the International      States would adopt the standards of the
price and that the SOS Group will be there       Olive Oil Council says. Almost all that          International Olive Oil Council already in
for them.                                        olive oil was imported because American          place in Europe and the majority of coun-
Jesús: As a final note we would like to          production is barely 1,500 tons.                 tries that produce olive oil. In addition,
comment that a few days ago the SOS                 In any case, olive oil consumption is still   to set the analytical rules of each type of
Group received the Prince Felipe award           lower when compared with the consump-            olive oil, it establishes a clear classification
in entrepreneur excellence, with our best        tion in Europe (.211 gallons per capita          of the different types of oil, basically the
known brand of olive oil CARBONELL.              compare with 3.69 gallons per capita in          types of olive oil are: virgin olive oil and
We are positive that when we start the           Spain or Italy). We hope for increases in        extra virgin olive oil.
“Earth Project” we will have even more
relevance in the market.

Q: Does SOS Cuétara have any interest in
producing olive oil in California?
Jaime: The SOS Group has interest in
producing olive oil in all the regions of
the world that have the right climate and
the soil conditions, among others factors
that are adequate to the cultivation. To this
extent, all countries in the Mediterranean
coast like Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia,
Morocco, Turkey, Syria etc., have the con-
ditions for the cultivation of olive groves

                               Quality control

                                  Professor angelo Godini
                                Bari university, Puglia, Italy

Professor Godini is the Chairman of the Department of                    32 members as teachers and another 35 members as
Arboriculture at the Agricultural University in Puglia in                technical administrative staff. He is also a member of
southern Italy, the most important Italian region in the                 such groups as the International Society for Horticultural
cultivation of olive trees (about 914,270 acres). Given                  Science (ISHS), the Mediterranean Studies Group for
its situation, the scientific and cultural interests of this             the Investigation of Pistachios and Almonds (GREMPA)
department have been focused on methods of cultiva-                      and the Italian Horticultural Society (SOI), as well as
tion related to the chemical and/or mechanical harvest                   academies such as la Accademia Italiana della Vite e
of olives. He is also the Director of the Department of                  del Vino (AIVV) and la Accademia Nazionale dell’ Olivo
Science of Vegetable Productions, which consists of                      e dell’ Olio (ANOO).

Q: A state of euphoria exists around the world caused by the             How would you describe the situation of Italian horticulture
increase of olive oil prices. What is your evaluation?                   currently?
In the international market, the increase of olive oil prices should     More than 80% of the Italian horticulture is of the traditional kind
have a positive influence on the future of the olive cultivation. It     with elements such as relative distribution, and a variety of practices
is a sign of the increase in the demand in countries that tradition-     that go back to the times before the French Revolution. In Italy, the
ally do not cultivate olive trees; however, they started to appreciate   total area of olive trees is approximately 2,717,000 acres and the ol-
olive oil and consume it because of the issues related to health and     ive plantations cover about 2,470,000. That means that the average
diet. Unfortunately, here in Puglia, the increase in prices wasn’t as    dimension of the typical Italian plantation is about 2.47 acres. Costs
euphoric: from 3.40/3.50 Euros per kilo in November of 2005, we          of production are high, even higher in those places with workers
went to 4.75/4.80 euros kilo in January 2006 and then went back          because of the high cost of labor (around 10/11 euros/hour).
to 3.90/4.00 euros kilo by the end of 2006.
                                                                         Q: How do you see the future of the Italian olive culture?
Q: Italy is the second biggest producer of olive oil in the world.       The level of production of the best irrigated olive groves can’t

go higher than certain limits (about 4.16           Q: Do you think that, in the future the pro-
tons/acre/year). Meanwhile, the price of raw
material to work this field is out of reach for
                                                    duction of olive oil will diminish in the EU,
                                                    and it will appear in new countries, and
                                                                                                        “I hope that, for the
most of the producers and the price of olive
oil doesn’t have the necessary return for
                                                    therefore the new countries will have a
                                                    more specific role in the olive market?
                                                                                                      good of the European
farmers. The olive culture is a branch of hor-      That event is already taking place, for in-           olive industry, the
ticulture, a primary sector of the economy,         stance, on the American Continent. As you
and for this reason, its balance shouldn’t be       well know, the United States never showed          United States will not
in the red. Everyone knows that the balance         any interest in the cultivation of olive trees
of the vast majority of the olive plantations       because they used to consider olives a non-          do the same to the
(not only the Italian ones) do not finish in        profitable business. However, if you read
the red because of the intervention of the          the 2006 edition of The Olive Oil Source it         olive sector as they
EU (European Union). It is a different matter
for those plantations that have developed
                                                    shows that in the five-year period from 1999-
                                                    2004 in California 2,470 new acres have
                                                                                                         did in the last forty
very sophisticated marketing strategies and
they have succeeded in marketing olive oil
                                                    been planted. Seventy percent of those with       years with the almond
                                                    the Arbosana, Arbequina and Koroneiki
at very reasonable prices. However, we have         varieties of olives with a density of 625 to       sector and in the last
to note this valuable segment of the industry       688 plants per acre. They follow the super-
represents only between five and 10 percent         intensive model of cultivation, invented and        few in the pistachio
of the Italian production of olive oil.             developed by Agromillora in Spain. I hope
                                                    that, for the good of the European olive                       industry.”
Q: The EU (European Union) is the main              industry, the United States will not do the
producer of olive oil in the world with an          same in the olive sector as they did in the
estimated share of 80% of the total pro-            last forty years with the almond sector and
duction. What is your opinion about the             in the last few in the pistachio industry.        the Arbosana and Arbequina varieties. We
producer countries of the EU?                                                                         also got promising results with the Urano
I do not think that the situation is much dif-      Q: In your Department at the University,          and Cipressino varieties. It is obvious that
ferent among the five countries that produce        what projects are you working on related          our investigation is still going on not only
olive oil (Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and       to olive growing currently?                       searching for adequate Italian varieties for
France), because in each of those countries         We have been working in my Department             this model, but also we continue to consider
the characteristics of traditional olive cultiva-   for the last forty years on growing olives        the number of years that this model will be
tion are very similar and all of them realize       and especially on the issue of reducing           feasible.
profits with the production integration             production cost in traditional olive growth.
system of the EU. If there are differences,         We study using individualized alternative         Q: What is your opinion about the longevity
they are related to the average dimension           methods and comparing them to traditional         of the super-intensive olive groves?
of the olive plantations, the cost of labor,        methods. We investigated the efficiency of        The olive tree is a secular species and it has
and with a more efficient organization of           mechanical harvesting with vibrators com-         always been considered that everywhere
the commercial sector. These three aspects          bining this with chemical methods which           because of its economic aspects. As Agromil-
do not play in Italy’s favor.                       are called “falling agents,” that is, chemicals   lora, the creators, say, If we could create a
                                                    that make olives fall from the tree. We also      system that would be feasible for a period of
Q: What do you think is going to happen             have achieved really good results in over-        15 to 18 years, this super-intensive system
after 2013 when it is projected that the            coming the problems that traditional olive        would be justifiable. If after that period of
subsidies for the olive industry are going          growing will face in 2014. For that matter,       time, the technical problems related to the
to disappear?                                       we started in 1999 to be interested in a new      growth of the tree created a bigger produc-
We have to take into account that starting in       model of olive growing, the super-intensive       tion cost, then nothing would be an obstacle
2014 this fear exists. As for me, I am certain      model, a model invented by Agromillora in         to eliminate the olive grove once we achieved
that the subsidies for the olive industry are       Spain. We were convinced that it was worth        the economic success we were pursuing.
going to suffer an important reduction in           the effort to analyze this method for Italy;         In other words, it is not how many years
accordance with the decisions of the OMC            therefore, we looked and found financial          an olive grove can live, but rather how many
(World Commerce Organization) in its                support in Puglia to have an experimental         years that olive grove is feasible to live and
meeting of December 2005 in Hong Kong.              olive grove right here. On aspects directly       produce. It will be important to distinguish
The agreement in that meeting was nothing           related to machinery, we had the collabora-       between the biological longevity and the
other than ending the subsidies to the devel-       tion of Professor Franco Bellomo from Bari        economic longevity or if we want to use a
oped countries. Having said that, I believe         University. Because the genetic material we       current term the working longevity of the
that the only possible way to reach profits         used to calibrate the super-intensive model       tree. It is a completely new discourse that
in the olive industry in Italy in general, and      is totally different in Italy than anywhere       we have to seriously consider assuming for
in Puglia in particular is going to be based        else, we used some Spanish varieties with         instance examples from the animal-techni-
on the reduction of the cost of production,         some local ones to evaluate how they              cal sector. Here, for economic reasons we
especially the harvesting costs. To achieve         adopted to the soil here. After five year of      sacrifice cattle, sheep or pigs at an age lower
this goal, we need to create models that al-        investigation and observation, we can say         than the age those animals would reach if
low drastic reductions in labor costs.              that the best results were obtained with          we let them die of old age.

This article originally appeared in “Inform” (volume 18, pages 285–288), a publication of the American Oil Chemists’ Society ( Reprinted
with permission.

           Olive Oil research:
           Current Challenges
                        Diego l. García-González and
                                     Ramón Aparicio

                Olive oil is a traditional food and
     integral part of the Mediterranean diet,
   which conveys health benefits but is yet
     palatable. These facts, however, do not
    mean that further study is not required,
             but rather provide the incentive to
     undertake systematic studies toward a
   better understanding of the science and
        technology related to olive oil and its
  production. Such studies are considered
             necessary in order to gain greater
                     fundamental knowledge while
         perpetuating the important elements
                   of a cultural inheritance dating
                                           back to 6000 BC.
Virgin olive oil is the oil obtained from olives solely by physical           content, and yield. The resulting information currently determines
means under conditions that do not lead to alterations in the oil, the        the price to be paid to the farmer for the olives as well as the need
major part being obtained by centrifugation systems that include              for oil refining in cases of high free acidity. However, definitive
the steps of crushing malaxation (slow churning of milled fruit)              information on olive oil sensory quality is not available despite
and centrifugation. The protection of the designation of virgin olive         the oil being classified into categories (viz., extra virgin, virgin
oil until it reaches the consumer continues to be a major challenge           and lampante — oil unsuitable for human consumption) based
facing scientists. Processing and by-products, analytics and chemi-           primarily on the flavor; the category determines the retail price
cal composition, commerce and consumer demands, and nutrition                 that consumers are going to pay. Thus, an established procedure
and health are subjects that present some of the most pressing                intended to set olive oil prices based on sensory quality is more
current challenges with olive oil, as well as the need to facilitate          and more demanded by farmers. Consequently, the current chal-
olive oil traceability from farm to consumer.                                 lenge is how to predict olive oil sensory quality of the delivered
   When farmers deliver their olives to an oil mill, samples are col-         olives before processing.
lected for physicochemical analyses related to free acidity, water               Process improvement in order to enhance virgin olive oil quality

continues to attract research interest. To          Spanish olive
achieve this objective, new strategies are                oil mill
being studied to perfect the malaxation
process, in which milled olives are slowly
churned so that the small oil droplets
coalesce into large ones in a preliminary
step to the separation of olive oil from
water and solids by means of horizontal
centrifugation. The current challenge is
how volatiles (responsible for aroma) and
secoiridoid compounds (bitter-tasting
components responsible for antioxidant
activity) can be protected against their
oxidative and enzymatic degradations
during the malaxation process. Current
research is based on the use of an inert gas
(nitrogen) to avoid the presence of oxygen,
the addition of endogenous enzymes, and
the adjustment in the temperature and
time of malaxation.                            tive process is still present. In-tandem          search for a reliable method to determine
                                               or combined processes as co-treatments            the presence of any kind of adulterant in
ENVIRONMENTAl                                  with other waste streams (e.g., municipal         olive oil.
CONSIDERATIONS                                 effluents) or by-products exploitation (e.g.,        The potential application of DNA-based
The evolution of modern technology             enzymes, antioxidants, activated carbon           techniques merits attention, but can be
for olive mills from three-phase to two-       and composting, or as an energy source)           useless for detecting the most recalcitrant
phase continuous centrifugation systems        are the aim of current research. Thus, mo-        current adulterations such as low percent-
has affected the by-products that pose         lecular distillation is a promising approach      ages (<10%) of refined hazelnut oils in
an environmental threat to surface and         for the recovery of organic compounds             refined olive oils or the addition of deodor-
groundwater. Olive oil solid waste and         from olive mill effluents and olive refining      ized virgin olive oil to virgin olive oil.
liquid effluent of three-phase centrifuga-     process (e.g., pigments, volatiles).                 Adulteration with hazelnut oil may fi-
tion are transformed into a very wet olive                                                       nally be detected by mathematical models
cake of by-products by the “ecological”        AUTHENTICATION                                    based on the differences between theoreti-
two-phase continuous process that only         The development of new analytical tech-           cal and empirical fatty acid compositions.
delivers olive oil and a solid residue (the    niques is addressing topics related to            The detection of adulteration with deodor-
so-called “alpeorujo”). Solution to this       authentication, traceability, and safety. The     ized virgin olive oil is still a challenge as
contamination problem has long been            rights of olive oil consumers, in terms           the current approach, based on the ratio
sought. A large panoply of methods based                                                         between a-pheophytins and a-pyropheo-
on detoxification processes, recycling         “The protection of the                            phytins, does not explain precisely the
                                                                                                 adulteration. Its main flaw is based on the
and recovery of valuable components,
and production system modification has              designation of                               fact that a-pyropheophytins are present
been tested. The individual application of                                                       in virgin olive oil as a natural degradation
physicochemical treatments (e.g., filtra-       virgin olive oil until it                        product of pheophytins whose formation
tion, combustion, pyrolysis, flocculation,                                                       increases with the temperature of the
and electrocoagulation) for wastewater has            reaches the                                deodorization process. The challenge is
                                                                                                 to find other compounds degraded only
not been able to reduce the organic load
and toxicity to acceptable limits.
                                                consumer continues                               when temperature is as high as that of the
   Per contra, combined processes for the
treatment of effluents arising from the
                                                     to be a major                               deodorization process.
                                                                                                    Spectroscopic and isotopic techniques,
three-phase centrifugation process (e.g.,          challenge facing                              however, are still important. While there
ozonation or Fenton’s reagent — hydrogen                                                         has been a steady growth in the applica-
peroxide and an iron catalyst — and aerobic           scientists.”                               tions of these techniques where adultera-
treatment, membranes plus physicochemi-                                                          tions are easily detectable by a simple chro-
cal processes), and anaerobic digestion        of adulteration, are well protected by the        matographic quantification of fatty acids or
at mesophilic (moderate) temperature,          European Union and the International              sterols, there has been very little research
in the case of two-phase centrifugation        Olive Oil Council regulations. However, a         in building large databases of edible oils
by-products, can treat the persistent con-     definitive authentication of olive oil is still   analyzed by techniques such as near in-
taminants to desired levels. The problem       a challenge because frauds are becoming           frared and fluorescence spectroscopy that
is, however, far from being solved mainly      so sophisticated that adulterations are           would allow determining their reliability.
because of practical and economic reasons.     increasingly difficult to detect despite the      The EA-Py-IRMS (elemental analyzer-py-
Thus, the challenge of implementing an         current battery of analytical techniques.         rolysis-isotope ratio mass spectrometry)
environmentally friendly and cost-effec-         The most pressing challenge is the              technique, for example, might provide

very efficient detection of the presence of     for odor or taste perception. Explanation
hazelnut oil in olive oil but only when the     of sensory assessment by the quantifica-
provenance of both edible oils is relatively    tion of chemical compounds has been              “A strategy based on
close. This drawback, however, turns into
an advantage if the application is to deter-
                                                a long-sought-after objective. Although
                                                interesting results have been published
                                                                                                         the health and
mine the geographical origin of olive oil.      concerning off-flavors and some distinctive        nutritional benefits
                                                flavors, a conclusive virgin olive oil sensory
TRACEABIlITy                                    evaluation is still a challenge. Approaches          naturally leads to
There is growing enthusiasm among pro-          have considered the design of rapid and
ducers for high quality olive oils with a       nondestructive techniques (i.e., sensors),             preparations for
clear geographical identity [i.e., Protected    a better knowledge of the role of the en-
Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protect-        zymes responsible for olive oil flavor, and      particular consumers
ed Geographical Indication (PGI)]. As well
as heightened producers’ and consumers’
                                                the substitution of statistical Bayesian
                                                procedures by fuzzy algorithms to explain
                                                                                                  such as the elderly,
awareness there are legislative driving
forces for a reliable analytical technique
                                                consumers’ subjective opinions that are
                                                determinants for olive oil commerce.
                                                                                                      obese people, or
to verify olive oil provenance.                                                                   surgery patients …”
   SEXIA™, a combination of gas chroma-         MARkET POTENTIAl
tography and an expert system designed in       Olive oil continues to be a buoyant com-
the 1980s, has allowed the determination        merce due to its major consumption by the
of the geographical origin of any European      inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries
virgin olive oil with an acceptable certainty   who have not changed their dietary habits.       same benefits are being supported by med-
factor, but it requires analyzing up to 55      However, the sharp increase in its produc-       ical and epidemiologic researches. Thus,
chemical compounds — fatty acids, sterols,      tion due to intensive cultivation of hun-        the consumption of olive oil in conjunction
alcohols, hydrocarbons and volatiles — that     dreds of thousands of acres, the gradual         with vegetables can convey a substantial
are matched against the expert system           change in the intake of other lipids, and        degree of protection against a wide range
database. It is a lengthy procedure that        a foreseeable great reduction in subsidies       of chronic diseases. Greater appreciation,
requires the implementation of several          threaten farmers’ benefits, those of small       however, is needed of the cellular and mo-
chemical protocols. The challenge is to         producers in particular. The solution is         lecular mechanisms involved in the inter-
unify the numerous chemical protocols           obvious: new markets must be found.              action between postprandial lipoproteins
and to reduce the time of analysis.                To this end greater dissemination of          (rich in triglycerides) and cells.
   The solution may come from rapid             relevant information among producers,               The resulting conclusions would allow a
techniques based on multi-element analy-        consumers and their intermediates is             better understanding of the role of olive oil
ses. Natural abundance isotope ratios, for      needed. For some time, marketers have            in preventing cardiovascular diseases, de-
example, are strongly latitude dependent        been convinced that the most suitable ap-        signing new dietary strategies for patients
but the current results based on oxygen         proach to presenting olive oil to potential      of major surgery or infectious diseases, and
and hydrogen do not provide a secure clas-      consumers was to stress the evidence             improving the studies on the effect of olive
sification when working with neighboring        about the health and nutritional benefits        oil consumption on mental performance,
PDOs, as the expert system does. Thus,          of its consumption. This approach today          such as cognitive decline. The role of minor
the great challenge is to build an Olive Oil    is being threatened by modified seed oils        compounds is getting more attention as
Map where the most representative olive         with similar fatty acid composition. Thus,       some of them have antimicrobial activ-
oils produced in each producing region are      the emphasis on these benefits needs to          ity (i.e., phenols) and protect against cell
characterized by chromatographic, spec-         be supplemented with the information             degeneration because of their antioxidant
troscopic, and isotopic techniques. The         that olive oil is more than oleic acid, but      properties.
resulting database not only would dem-          contains minor compounds responsible                Although olive oil has been one of the
onstrate the usefulness of each analytical      for its distinctive flavor.                      most studied edible oils, it still has many
technique in olive oil geographical trace-         A strategy based on the health and nutri-     hidden aspects that need to be explored,
ability but also would help to characterize     tional benefits naturally leads to prepara-      using the whole range of technological and
olive oil production and relate chemical        tions for particular consumers such as the       analytical tools — which will not be easy.
composition to olive oil sensory quality.       elderly, obese people, or surgery patients          In some areas, research is starting up
                                                as well as to promote the “mass” culinary        and will probably need interdisciplinary
SENSORy EVAlUATION                              use of olive oil in restaurants with recipes     approaches to meet the challenges, but it is
Virgin olive oil sensory assessment by          that nurture consumer curiosity.                 perhaps the only way to keep enjoying this
test panel is a source of problems due to          Furthermore, promotion of olive oil as        food of the gods for another 6,000 years.
its high maintenance cost, the effect of as-    an everyday cooking oil, supported with
sessors’ subjectivity on the qualification,     the evidence that all olive oils have the
and the reduced number of attributes            same health and nutritional benefits, is         Diego L. García-González and Ramón
with optimal relative standard deviation        also a challenge.                                Aparicio can be reached at the Instituto
                                                                                                 de la Grasa (CSIC), Padre García Tejero,
in reproducibility. A sensory descriptor is        The benefits of eating olive oil were         4 E-41012 Sevilla Spain (phone: +34 954
the consequence of the presence of one or       known empirically by the early Mediter-          611550; fax: +34 954 616790; e-mail:
several chemical compounds responsible          ranean inhabitants. In recent years, these or

                                                                   OrCharD manaGEmEnT
Programming of Irrigations in Olive Orchards
    Xavier Rius, agriculturist, expert in                             The objective of irrigation programming is to optimize the
                                                                   water’s use, using adequate amounts of water at the precise mo-
 programming and managing irrigation                               ment in the ridiculer zone; thus, maintaining the soil’s humidity
                                                                   content at the optimal level according to the vegetative state of
     systems. Director de Agromillora                              the olive grove.
                          Australia, Pty.                             Values of the water’s accumulation ability in the soil are used
                                                                   as a first approximation in the calculation of the irrigation’s pro-
                                                                   gramming. These values must be adjusted with the installation of
                                                                   sensors in order to establish the humidity of the soil.
                                                                      It is necessary to establish an independent program to monitor
                                                                   the humidity of the soil in a variety of different areas, to consider
Taking soil humidity readings for the programming of irrigations   how many years the trees have been planted, and the value of the
                                                                   amount of water stored, types of oil, etc.
                                                                      An efficient programming of irrigation allows the optimization
                                                                   of production in different types of soils, reduces the height of the
                                                                   phreatic layers, improves the conditions of salty soils and reduces
                                                                   the amounts of water in the main drain.
                                                                      It is a usual practice in Australia for specialized consultant firms
                                                                   to offer advice to viticulturist in their irrigation programming. The
                                                                   service includes, measurement of soil’s humidity twice a week in
                                                                   the spring and summer months. They also offer readings for the
                                                                   rest of the year with 80 visits every season.
                                                                      In order to do this monitoring they install sensors at different
                                                                   distances from the emission point and from the plants to achieve
                                                                   a uniform system of irrigation.

                                                                   IRRIGATION PROGRAMMING
                                                                     Irrigation programming with humidity sensors requires first the
                                                                   previously determined points of the capacity of the land and then
                                                                   the “recharge” (the precise moment in which a new irrigation time
                                                                   begins) of the soil.
                                                                     Once we determine those values, the periodic measurement of
                                                                   soil’s humidity through the vegetative growing of the olive grove
                                                                   will predict the date and time of the next irrigation. With this
                                                                   method of irrigation programming, the following are expected:

                                                                     A Avoid irrigations that exceed the capacity of the land. This
                                                                       would provoke a loss of water in the main drain (unless we
                                                                       are applying washing irrigation).

                                                                     B Avoid levels of humidity in the soil that could originate a
                                                                       hydric stress in the plant. That could diminish the production
                                                                       if we do not apply the techniques of irrigation as the RDI.

                                                                     C We have to know at every moment the humidity levels
                                                                       of the soil in order to adjust the irrigation to the desired

   Since it is clear that there is an increasing demand for qual-                                               2. Taking Samples of the Soil We take samples of soil and
ity olive oil nowadays, it is essential to use both the concept of                                                 examine the contents for humidity by touching it by hand
irrigation programming and cultivation management together.                                                        at the same time we are taking the readings of the sensors.
The irrigation programming is not based solely on maintaining                                                      For even better accuracy, we can determine the content of
the level of humidity of the soil between the capacity of the land                                                 water in a laboratory.
and the point of recharge, but rather modifying desired levels of
humidity depending on the functional vegetative state of the olive                                              3. The Continuous Readings of the Soil’s Humidity (for
grove. This allows us to control the vigor, production and quality                                                 instance every 6 hours) This establishes the amount of
parameters.                                                                                                        water needed for the specific conditions of humidity. The
   The “point of recharge” varies for every type of parcel we study                                                decrease in consumption is an indicator that the plant is
through the growing season and depends on the type of soil, salin-                                                 starting to be under hydric stress. This data can be confirmed
ity, variety and the desired objective.                                                                            by a visual inspection of the plant.
   To determine this “point of recharge” the following can be
done:                                                                                                           4. The knowledge of the Texture of the Soil and the
                                                                                                                   Radicular Depth This is an estimate of the water that can
  1. Observation of the Plant We take readings with the                                                            be stored between the points of capacity and the point of
     sensors to determine the levels of humidity that will show                                                    recharge.
     the different symptoms of hydric stress. We can do this by
     checking a few plants out of the entire parcel.                                                            The daily readings determine the daily consumption of water

                                            Periodic measurements of ground humidity for correct irrigation program
     Inches of Water

          8.3                                                                                                                                            0.09
                                   Root Depth 0-35 in.
                                                                                   0.051                              0.106
          7.9             Saturation Point
                                                   0.035                               0.102
                                                      0.055                                                                                                               Water consumption
          7.5                                                                              0.047
                                                                                                                                                                            for cultivation
                                                           0.074                                                               0.051                             0.157          in./day
                                                                                               0.082                            0.086                                           0.137
                                                              0.051                                                                              0.078
                                                                                                   0.082                          0.086
                                                                      0.047                            0.066                                                        0.125          0.161
          6.7                                                                                                                           0.094
                                    0.047 0.047 0.023                                                          0.07
                                                   0.023                       0.043                                                           0.074
          6.3                 0.031 0.066

          5.9                  Recharge Point
                                                                                                                                                                                   PPI     EPI

                        7/10                7/30                   8/19                   9/8                         9/28                 10/18                          11/7

                                                                              from 7/10/1995 to 11/22/1995

                  Root Depth     Saturation Recharge Pt.       Previous            Current             Days            PDWU             Date           EDWU              Date        Accumulation
                   0-35 in.       7.6 in.       6 in.              7 in.           6.4 in.                 4           0.16 in.     11/15              0.1 in.           11/17             1.7 in.

                 Root depth 0-35 in.
                 Amount of water in root area at field capacity: 7.6 in.
                 Amount of water in root area at recharge point: 6 in.
                 Water content in previous measurement: 7 in.
                 Water content in current measurement: 6.4 in.
                 Days between measurements: 4
                 PDWU: Daily consumption of water detected by sensor: 0.16 in
                 Date when ground humidity will reach recharge point according to consumption detected by
                  sensor: 11/15
                 EDWU: Daily consumption of water estimated according to historic climate data: 0.1 in
                 Date when ground humidity will reach recharge point according to historic climate data: 11/17
                 Water accumulation in root area between field capacity and recharge point: 1.7 in.

by the plants. If the climate is constant, we observe that the soil         • The next date of irrigation (the day the humidity of the soil
content of water diminishes, as well as the daily absorption of             would determine the point of recharge.)
water by the plant, to very low levels of consumption (ex: 0.0148
inches/day to 0.012 inches/day, 15 days later). This indicates that         • The water quantity if we want to irrigate that very day (that is
the existing water is not easily absorbed by the plants and this            the volume of water to apply to bring the necessary humidity of
causes hydric stress.                                                       the soil and every other variable we want to accomplish).
   To determine the “point of recharge” is a task that takes time.
The accumulated experience through years and the observation               The study of variations of contained humidity in the soil’s profile
of the plants growing gives us information related to the humidity       will allow us to calculate:
of the soil and the vegetative state of the plant. This allows us to
determine the point with more precision. As we mentioned before,            1. The water’s extraction model with a radicular system for
the point of recharge will vary from every step of the plant’s growth          different varieties.
depending on the desired objectives of production and vegetation
(productions, quality levels, etc).                                         2. The quantity of drainage water.
   The capacity point of the land can be determined after the land
has been irrigated or abundant rain has saturated the soil. We take         3. The quantity of infiltrated water in the soil.
a reading every day (in sandy terrains this should be done several
times a day) just to detect the movement of the water through the           4. The appearance of compacted soil.
soil’s profile. This will allow us to determine the final depth of the
different drain systems. It would be a good idea to do this process         5. The possibility of determining the specific ratio of cultivation
during winter, when the loss of water in the soil and the evapora-             for every block in the olive grove.
tion and consumption of water by the plant is almost non-existent.
Thus, the differences in the amounts of water among the different           The software programs can incorporate any data that the grower
readings will be due to the drainage.                                    would consider important like plant vigor, size of olives, levels
   The interpretation of data through software programs helps to         of color, percentage of olive oil, meteorological data, and level of
determine the amount of water in the soil and also the quantity of       fertilizing, in order to relate the water consumption in the olive
water that the plant uses. This allows us to calculate:                  grove from one year to the next.

The use of sensors permits is to increase the use of water at the
right moment with the right amount. This means a reduction in
                                                                                  “Since it is clear that there
the cost of pumping, consumption of water, as well as a reduction
in the volume of drainage.
                                                                               is an increasing demand for
   The increase in the efficient use of water helps with better pro-              quality olive oil nowadays,
ductions. This is the result of a well-maintained level of humidity
in the soil during all the vegetative states of the plant.                    it is essential to use both the
   The following examples will pay attention to the economics
and environmental advantages obtained with the use of irrigation                         concept of irrigation
                                                                                            programming and
  Example #1                                                                         cultivation management
  Area of the olive grove: 60 Ha                                                                      together.
  System of irrigation: Microaspertion and rain water
  Number of irrigations a year: 20

  With sensors in the olive grove as well as an adequate
  program of irrigation and a precise adjustment of these              Example #2
  irrigation periods, we can save a substantial amount of
  water. Especially, if compared with those results of the             It is possible that a system of irrigation by turns and
  olive-culturist who does not use any kind of measure-                a fixed number of hours will result in the same use of
  ments, irrigates by his own estimation and/or by a fixed             water annually as if you were using humidity sensors
  number of hours.                                                     in the olive grove.

  As an example, we can assume that each time that we                  With a fixed number of turns of irrigation, we need ten
  irrigate we save an hour of irrigation (with humidity sen-           hours every 14 days; on the other hand, using sensors
  sors 4 hours, without them 5 hours). Annually we save                we need to irrigate 5 hours for every 7 days.
  the equivalent of 20 hours of irrigation or 100 mm.
                                                                       At the end of the season in both cases we used the
  A savings of 100mm, in the total area of the olive grove             same amount of water:
  (60 Ha) represents a volume of 60 mega liters of saved
  water.                                                               12 irrigations * 10 hours * 5mm/h = 600mm
                                                                       24 irrigations * 5 hours * 5mm/h = 600 mm
  Besides the savings in water, we achieve some asso-
  ciated savings in the cost of pumping and electricity.               The difference is that in the case of irrigation by turn,
  Furthermore, the reduction in the applied water reduces              in each turn, we have a loss of water in the drainage
  the negative environmental effects like the elevation of             of 5 hours (the accumulation capacity of the soil is
  phreatic layers of the soil, salinity or the washing of the          only 25mm)
  soil’s nutrients.
                                                                       12 irrigations * 5 Hours * 5mm = 300 mm (3Ml/Ha)
  If those values were extrapolated to an olive grove as
  big as 10,000 Ha, the quantity of saved water would                  Considering that the olive grove has an area of 60 ha,
  be 10,000 mega liters. Considering that in the warm                  the quantity of drainage produced is 180 Ml. For an olive
  regions of Australia with a dripping system of irrigation            area of 10,000 Ha, the equivalent is 30,000 Ml.
  they need 6 Ml for hectare, this saving will allow us to
  plant 1666 new hectares. In mild-cold regions where                  This volume of drainage produces a recharge in the
  only a support irrigation system during summer season                aquifers (in many cases very salty ones) that provokes
  is needed, this savings will result in an area for new               an increase in the water dumped in the rivers. This
  plants of 3332 hectares.                                             factor increases the salinity of the rivers, elevates the
                                                                       phreatic layers, and contaminates the aquifers because
  If, in addition, we apply irrigation management tech-                of the washing out of nutrients, etc.
  niques such as controlled deficit or partial root zone
  drying, that can represent water savings up to 30% (in               It also happens that during the seven days after we ap-
  same cases even 50%) the number of possible new                      ply the irrigation, the plant is under hydric stress during
  hectares due to the software programs of irrigation                  those same 7 days, which provokes a reduction in the
  goes up to 2,381 and 4,762 respectably.                              quality and quantity of the production.


                                                                                                                      OLIVE OIL
Olint recently sat down separately with Patricia Darragh, and Alan Greene of the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) to discuss the
achievements, challenges and direction of both the COOC and the olive and olive oil industry in California. Alan Greene’s interview is
first, followed by our interview with Patricia Darragh.

Interview With alan Greene
President of the California Olive
Oil Council

OLINT: Alan, please describe your back-            Alan: To make California olive oil a known         acidity level down almost 40% — we took
ground and your training and experience.           product in the U.S. market place first and         it down from less than 0.8%, down to less
Alan: OK. I spent over 18 years with Blue          the global market secondly. Behind that are        than 0.5% — which is a fairly dramatic shift
Diamond Growers, running their specialty           the standards of quality that we have set,         and excludes a lot of oils that might have
foods and was involved with their food             that currently don’t exist within the United       a lot of transit time, might not be handled
service and then their industrial market,          States. The United States is one of the few        well, or might not be handled as quickly
sales and marketing. So I had a foot in all        (if not the only) industrialized countries         as can be. So we have set a tougher quality
the various channels for the food business         that hasn’t adopted the international stan-        standard to receive the COOC Seal.
end. More importantly — for olives and olive       dards for quality olive oil. So the COOC
oil — this is a commodities based business,        was formed to create those standards and a         OLINT: Does the acidity level pertain to
not just a specialty crop for California, it’s a   code of ethics that producers could adhere         shelf life, or …
commodity in a global sense. When I joined         to, to produce to those standards — that’s a       Alan: It can. Higher acidity levels are typi-
California Olive Ranch, in August of 2003,         first step. The second step we are working         cally associated with oils where the fruit
I didn’t really know that much about olive         on, with various legislative branches of the       has not been harvested very quickly, or
oil. It was my other experience that I was         federal and state governments, is to try to        harvested and sat around before it was pro-
recruited for, and then it’s been our training     put standards in play for all producers to         cessed. It will also achieve it in storage. The
and getting advice from people in the area.        work with leveling the playing field.              oil is not allowed to have much temperature
                                                                                                      increase or oxygen, or have been sitting
OLINT: So, then how did you become in-             OLINT: Great. What kind of standards               around for a long time. All those things will
volved with the California Olive Oil Council       and methods does the COOC apply for                have a bearing on the shelf life. If you start
(COOC)?                                            measuring the quality of California extra          with a low acidity oil, you typically get much
Alan: That was a natural outgrowth of be-          virgin olive oil?                                  better flavor and you should have much
ing involved here at California Olive Ranch.       Alan: We start with the standards that were        longer shelf life.
We still are the largest producer, the largest     set by the International Olive Oil Council
potential production. When I first got here        (IOOC). Those are, in a most basic sense,          OLINT: The COOC has been working with
in 2003, the shareholders of California Olive      there is an acidity level that must be less        the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Ranch looked at the COOC and saw it as             than, there’s a peroxide level that must be        — there was a petition for revision of
a valuable industry resource. Involvement          less than, and other measurements that             standards in 2004 — where are you in the
with the COOC was critical in order for the        must be less than. And then it must adhere         process with them now?
industry in California to grow and maintain        to qualities of olive oil — it must not have any   Alan: Well, recently we had some very posi-
high quality standards and become com-             flaws for extra virgin. In a sense, it must be a   tive interaction with the USDA. We think
petitive as a global commodity. So the time        perfect oil. And to achieve that right now, it     that we’re moving towards a conclusion
spent with the COOC is seen as a benefit,          must go through a certified or trained taste       on this. The new standards that we have
not just for the industry but to our own           panel. In California, we decided to take it        proposed have apparently cleared most of
well-being as well.                                one step further. We looked at those IOOC          the major internal hurdles. In fact, this is
                                                   standards and said: Yes, this is very good,        such an important element, that the North
OLINT: What then are the goals and objec-          but if you are a local producer, these should      American Olive Oil Council (NAOOC),
tives of the COOC?                                 be fairly easily met standards. We took the        which represents the importers of oil who

might be considered our competitors, feel            at the Federal Government, we don’t know           better educated. We did a training seminar
just as strongly that these standards need           quite when that will come about.                   up in Seattle for food professionals so that
to be adopted at the Federal or the State                                                               they become aware of the differences in olive
level. So, they’re on board, they have sup-          OLINT: Last week, or the week before, an           oil. A lot of people think that olive oil has
ported our petition — we have had several            article came out in the New Yorker, called         just one flavor, just one event. In fact it has
discussions with them — to make sure we              “Slippery Business” about olive oil adul-          as much diversity to it as wines or, as some
are all in agreement on these points. They           teration in the EU. Then National Public           people relate to it, as coffees. Once, that 25
are promoting this as long as we are. It’s           Radio picked it up. Do you think this will         cent cup of coffee we got at the corner coffee
gone through the USDA’s legal council. It            play well for California producers?                shop was what it was all about. And in the
has been there before and sent back and              OLINT: I think it already has and we’re            last fifteen to twenty years, we’ve all become
we’ve gotten that cleared up. It now goes            hoping that will flag more attention to the        educated to the range of flavors that are
to the next step. There is a chance I will be        Federal Government. There are a lot of good        available in coffee. And we shouldn’t have
back in Washington D.C. in September to              quality producers that are not in California,      to settle for this generic one taste. The same
meet with the USDA directly and help push            that are exporting their oils to the United        thing exists for olive oil. Quality standards
this along. If that all comes to pass, we could      States. Those producers are being harmed           help drive that. And that is a key message
have it posted for public comment before the         by this same adulteration or mislabeling of        from the COOC.
end of the year, and could have a standard,          oil that takes place, primarily of oils coming
recommended by the USDA, by the end of               from the Mediterranean region. And this            OLINT: What have been the COOC’s
the year.                                            article raises awareness to the point that we      greatest hurdles in promoting California
                                                     here at the California Olive Ranch received        Olive Oil?
OLINT: Do you think adopting the Inter-              several emails from people asking us to            Alan: Small industry. Right now the United
national Olive Oil Council’s standards …             verify that either it was California Olive oil     States consumes over 70 million gallons
Alan: Actually, the standards adopted by             or that is was certified. We have other people     of olive oil per year. 99% of the olive oil
the COOC are slightly different. There are           calling that article to our attention because      produced in the United States comes from
some small chemistry issues that are impor-          they want to make sure we know about it.           California, and California, of that total con-
tant which tighten things up for the United          So some consumers are very actively com-           sumption, produces less than 1%. Maybe
States market. But again, the NAOOC has              menting on it, and some industrial users are       sometime in the next year we might reach
looked at those and feels they’re acceptable         commenting on it. We’ve had chefs com-             400,000 gallons — that’s next to nothing. So
for imports as well.                                 ment on it. So, it raises the story up. It was     as agencies look around for people to help,
                                                     very detailed and precise in what it laid out      we are not a real big target on the screen.
OLINT: In addition to standards, how does            — it showed how the adulteration took place,       And because it is such a small volume of
that help producers level the playing field          and it gives a person a very clear picture of      olive oil, I’ve been back East in some places
— is there policing as well?                         what’s going on, or what’s gone on for years       where they don’t even know olive oil is
Alan: On the USDA standards, what the                in the olive oil industry. And it’s very easy      produced in California. So, that’s one of the
USDA will do is recommend a standard.                — the first step to correct this is the adoption   things that the COOC does is attend trade
The enforcement arm is typically the Food            and enforcement of standards. That benefits        shows in Chicago, New York, Miami, Dallas
and Drug Administration (FDA). And the               all growers across the planet, not just Cali-      — we go all over the country so that people
FDA has to adopt and make a commitment               fornia but everyone, every place.                  become aware that there is this industry.
to enforce that standard. The real leveling of                                                          So awareness is probably the number one
the playing field will be that once we have          OLINT: What is the COOC doing to increase          hurdle for California olive oil. And then
the U.S. standard, then a consumer can file          the awareness of the benefits of olive oil         secondly, this idea that oils taste differently
an action against a company when they feel           in general and specifically, California pro-       — that there is a better taste. Most people
they’ve been wronged by marketing it as              duced olive oil?                                   that have olive oil in their kitchen, when
extra virgin and they show evidence to the           Alan: We have a number of issues on the            they taste, don’t realize that very often, in
effect it isn’t. Or a retailer, say Safeway, might   way. We certainly have a lot of information        fact I’m willing to say, 80% of the time, their
buy a large batch of oil from an importer or         contained on our Web site. Both Patty Dar-         oil is rancid. They don’t know the sweetness
someone in California. They run it against           ragh, myself and the Board Members make            and the full richness of flavors that can exist
the standards and find out it wasn’t extra           a fair number of speaking engagements,             in a good olive oil. It’s important they look
virgin, they will have legal recourse, whereas       we attend public functions, we attend fairs.       for that certification — I don’t care if it says
right now, they don’t.                               There will be a big event in Paso Robles           IOOC certified or COOC certified — it’s
                                                     at the end of August. There will be other          important to get a certified olive oil. And I’ll
OLINT: There’s no definition.                        events — San Diego has an olive oil tasting        tell you that locally produced oil, something
Alan: There’s no definition. There’s no              contest. Whenever we can get an audience,          that is made in California, is going to have a
accepted definition. Having an accepted              like this article, we talk about the benefit,      better, fresher taste than something that was
definition will then give them a legal refer-        health benefits of olive oil, and the impor-       brought from half way around the world.
ence point. We (the COOC) think this is the          tance of standards and why the California
first step. Now the next step — getting the          (COOC) standards are important to the              OLINT: What about the COOC’s greatest
FDA involved — we are optimistic that we             U.S. industry. We do a fair amount of public       achievements?
can get that done at some point as well, but         PR work, press releases — making sure the          Alan: Certainly, one of our crowning achieve-
that enforcement mechanism will require a            media is informed and we do outreach to            ments was the development of the trained
funding mechanism. And the way money is              food service avenues so that chefs become          tasting panel that we use for our own certifi-

cation program. We spent many years, and           pruning techniques, and anything else we          would encompass oils produced in Texas,
we have many volunteers, that have gone            can do to minimize the labor input. And we        because they will have access to fresh prod-
through many, many hours of training to get        also utilize the land better. We now have all     uct there as well.
their palates dialed in to be able to detect       these trees on an acre … the water that we ap-
the flaws that can exist in oils — and detect      ply, the chemicals that need to be applied to     OLINT: I think you touched on this earlier,
at what strength they are. So they can give        promote the harvest and the production of         but where do you see the industry in five
feed back. They determine whether the oil          these olives, all can be much more efficiently    to 10 years?
meets grade, and they can also give feed-          applied under the SHD system. So it creates       Alan: In five years, easily, we will be over one
back to the grower/producer as to some of          both a better economic unit and I suspect         million gallons. I think in 10 years we will
their strengths in their milling process or        if someone looked at the study, and I don’t       be approaching five million gallons or more.
growing techniques. So the establishment           know if this study has been done yet, if they     I think the possibility exists that within my
of taste panel has to be one of the major          compared SHD growing with traditional             life time we will see olive oil production in
accomplishments.                                   olive growing, I would say that SHD might         California rivaling that of Spain. Because as
   In 2004 — I think, I would have to check        even be more sustainable.                         you look at the economics, I think as grow-
my notes — we reached a settlement with a                                                            ers consider the land use issues, the water
provider in California who was mislabeling         OLINT: What kind of market factors in the         use issues and, very importantly, the labor
oil. They were calling oil, using a region of      U.S. could affect California competing            issue, then turn that around and look at
California, when in fact the oil was com-          against imported extra virgin olive oil?          an existing market in the United States, a
ing from Tunisia, and other places in the          Alan: This is where I get back into the global    broad market, I think all those factors come
Mediterranean. So, we were able to get             commodity — our projections at COR and            together to create an opportunity for Califor-
that settlement. And that put a lot of these       by extension, the COOC, is that California        nia to race ahead and become a dominant
disreputable producers on notice that they         will be a million gallon producer by 2011.        producer for this crop. Much like we did in
must label their oil, at least on a regional ba-   All of a sudden, that changes the dynam-          almonds. Back in the 1960’s, people look
sis, accurately. We were able to take that ac-     ics — California becomes a serious player.        back at that industry and how it grew, and
tion, because there is a law in California that    People become more exposed to the oil. So         how we were second tier to Spain for many,
governs that if you make a statement where         all these things make an awareness — very         many years. As we adopted newer standards,
food comes from — for example a wine — if          few people remember the first Starbuck’s          and we had the acreage to plant, we quickly
you say the wine is from Napa Valley, the          Coffee shop. But now they are ubiquitous          took over almond production.
majority has to be from Napa Valley.               — they are everywhere. Now everyone has
                                                   an expectation for a cup of coffee. As the        OLINT: What do you enjoy most about
OLINT: I think 75%.                                California olive industry grows, people will      what you are doing as it pertains to the
Alan: 75% or 85% — I don’t have the exact          have an expectation. The actual consump-          COOC?
numbers at my fingertips. The producers            tion of coffee has not changed that much,         Alan: When I was recruited to join COR, I
have to make that statement and we were            but the amount of money people are willing        enjoyed my professional activities, I really
able to bring that enforcement because of          to spend because there is a higher quality        did. My wife and I ran a consulting business.
this law. The same thing will happen with          and taste factor — their expectations have        But I stepped back and saw the potential of
these USDA standards. If someone calls             gone up dramatically. So I see the same           the California olive oil industry — the op-
something “extra virgin,” after the standards      things being applied to the olive oil industry.   portunity. How many times in your life do
are in place, and we can show that it isn’t,       Once people realize that the olive oil they       you get the opportunity to be involved in
either because it doesn’t meet the chemistry       are taking into their homes and feeding           something that literally will change Califor-
or it doesn’t meet the flavor profile, then        to their families and guests is rancid or         nia agriculture? Agriculture is the number
we can take action and get it off the shelf.       certainly doesn’t taste very good. Certainly      one business in California. And to think that
Growers benefit, but at the end of the day,        given the alternative of having a fresh locally   I could be involved in the development of
the consumer is the primary benefactor,            produced olive oil from California will raise     a crop and an industry at the early stages,
because of these actions.                          the value of the product and raise demand         that was going to change the way people ate,
                                                   and market penetration.                           what oils they ate, what level they ate, for a
OLINT: As you have already mentioned,                                                                hundred years in the future, that’s what gets
the U.S. imports the vast majority of its          OLINT: Is Californian the only place to grow      me excited, what gets me involved in what
olive oil. So how can California produc-           olive trees?                                      is essentially a “start-up.” I’ve told friends
ers make in roads into dominance of this           Alan: There are some orchards in Texas            that jumping into the olive oil industry is
foreign demand?                                    that I am aware of. And I believe there is        like first discovering the Web — you know,
Alan: California needs to plant more acreage,      an orchard that is going to try and produce       nobody had any idea where the internet was
my experience at California Olive Ranch            olive oil out of Arizona. And there is a small    going, and then…. Now we have this huge
indicates that the most economic way to            planting in New Mexico. To my knowledge,          opportunity to change the way people eat
do that is using super high-density (SHD)          the only successful orchards producing olive      in the United States.
plantings. We concentrate, as most readers         oil exist in California today. With changing
of this article will be aware of, a large num-     climate conditions I am not sure where it
ber of trees on a small piece of land and save     may end up. At the COOC when we put
very expensive labor dollars in California         the standards together to propose to the
by using mechanical techniques as much             USDA, it was with the thought of a broader
as possible, including the harvesting, the         production area beyond California. That it

                                                                                                                     OLIVE OIL
Interview With Patricia Darragh
Executive Director of the California Olive Oil Council
OLINT: Patricia, to start with, would you tell   centered in the Napa Valley area. Maybe a           to have as many California extra virgin olive
me a bit about your background and how           couple in Mendocino and the Central Valley.         oils as possible, if not exclusively, that carry
you became interested in the COOC?               Since then, olive oil production has spread         the Seal. Our Seal is dated with the year that
Patricia: Well the COOC was founded in           dramatically — we are producing extra virgin        the Seal is awarded, and that gives buyers
1992. It was a grass-roots organization,         olive oil in all but 10 counties in the State.      and retailers the actual date. We have DVDs.
so there was not money for staff. The first      We have a terrific growth area in the Central       We have two versions of an educational DVD
two years, the board of directors was 100%       Coast, as well as the Sacramento Valley.            — one is 10 minute long and gives the full
volunteer. I came along in 1997. Originally, I   Mendocino County now has several growers            scope and importance of knowing what to
just worked about eight hours a week. It was     so it’s really been quite explosive.                look for in an olive oil. We have the three
mostly returning phone calls, and sending                                                            minute condensed version which is on our
out press information and being available        OLINT: Can you tell me how a California             COOC Web site, The 10
for inquiries. Fairly rapidly, we started be-    extra virgin olive oil receives its certification   minute version is an excellent version for re-
ing noticed and people started calling us        from the COOC?                                      tailers. They can use it to educate both their
and asking us to partner with them on            Patricia: Early on we set standards and a           staff and their consumers. If they are having
events, or participate in events with them.      taste panel. The founders felt that they            active or passive product demonstrations,
It was mostly wineries at first — local winery   had to provide guidelines and, ultimately,          they can have the educational DVD playing
events in the Bay Area. We became more and       standards that would protect consumers              on a loop. Consumers have a chance to listen
more known, the media started contacting         and retailers and give authentic growers/           to the DVD and learn about what it takes to
us more, we put up a Web site in 1998.           producers a show case where they really             be a certified California extra virgin olive oil
Within two to three months, we started           could proudly present their authentic extra         producer. We have brochures, posters, and
getting 1000-1500 individual visits a month.     virgin olive oils. It was pretty impressive, they   shelf-talkers for our retail friends, we do a
We now have about 6000. The industry has         had this vision and quickly formed ways of          number of events that focus, not just on our
grown but we still have a very small staff who   setting standards and starting a program.           members, but also the media/press.
do a myriad of marketing and promotional         The Seal Certification Program is based
activities, and who keep really busy.            loosely on the IOC program in Madrid. We            OLINT: OK. If I am a consumer, staring at a
                                                 do have higher standards for acidity — the          shelf of extra virgin olive oil in a store, why
OLINT: What attracted you to the COOC            international standards are less than 0.8%,         should I buy California extra virgin olive oil
— anything in particular?                        we require less than 0.5%. Additionally, we         versus an imported oil?
Patricia: Well, I’ve been interested in food     require a UVA absorbance chemical test for          Patricia: Well, right now there are no stan-
and food sources my whole life. My mother        any producer/member who produces over               dards for the importation of olive oil into
and grandmothers were great cooks, so I          50 gallons. The UVA absorbance test can             the United States, and that has a troubling
had an interest early on in food, took lots      detect potential adulteration — so we think         affect on not only our growers/producers
of cooking lessons and got some diplomas         that’s important. Along with the chemical           but retailers and consumers throughout the
from some well established cooking schools.      analysis that are required from a certified         United States. We did file a petition with the
I was never a professional chef, but I really    lab, the producer has to sign a affidavit that      USDA in August of 2004, to set standards
enjoyed it. And when I heard about the           it’s 100% California fruit and will follow our      for grading olive oil. We feel this will make
COOC, I was attracted. They said can you         guidelines with regards to marketing and            a tremendous difference on importing, and
work part-time in a fun industry that’s just     labeling. The third step is the blind tasting       how labels are prepared, and we also think
starting off; I couldn’t resist. I found the     panel. And the panel will look to see if there      it will also help our growers/producers by
industry standards to be really high, our        are any defects, but they will also look for        creating a level playing field. We do hope
grower/producers work very hard and have         positive attributes — bitter, pungent, fruity.      that the petition, which is in the legal depart-
established themselves as providers of this                                                          ment, will be adopted by the end of 2007. So
fantastic product.                               OLINT: How can you best educate the                 when in the store looking at the shelf, look
                                                 public on the benefits of the Certification         for the seal of certification from the COOC.
OLINT: How has the industry changed              Program for certifying California extra             Just by looking at the seal you will see the
since your involvement?                          virgin olive oil?                                   actual date of the harvest and pressing.
Patricia: When I started a few years ago,        Patricia: Well, there are several ways we can
we probably had about 80 members. And            educate them. One is through our Web site,          OLINT: So freshness is another advantage.
right now we have over 350 members. Origi-       we have a lot of information there. Secondly,       Patricia: Consumers, especially American
nally we had a handful of grower/producers       we work with retailers to encourage them            consumers, need to know that California

extra virgin olive oil is fresh, not shipped         production and slightly less than half of that     health benefits, set by the highest standards
over on a freighter two or three weeks earlier.      is in active production now. At this point we      in the world, and it’s healthy for you.
It hasn’t been stored somewhere, and that            estimate that by the autumn of 2008, we
when they buy a California product, it’s             will surpass France’s production of olive oil.     OLINT: You touched on this earlier, but who
American, it’s authentic, and it’s fresh. The        That’s a pretty conservative estimate. Baring      makes up the membership of the COOC
Seal is really important.                            a crop shortage or something like that we          and how is it growing?
                                                     will probably meet that goal. By 2010, we          Patricia: The industry has grown dramati-
OLINT: What should be done to stop the               will probably be producing one million gal-        cally over the last few years. About 350
mislabeling of some imported olive oils?             lons of extra virgin olive oil a year.             members — probably about 250 are growers
Patricia: The petition will certainly help. In                                                          and producers — the rest of the members
the New Yorker Magazine, there’s an article          OLINT: What do you think demand will be?           are people affiliated with the various farm
by Tom Mueller. He does an incredible job            Patricia: Extra virgin olive oil is produced in    bureaus, students, chefs, culinary profes-
documenting many years of fraudulent ac-             California with an abundance of taste pro-         sionals, and people who love olive oil and
tivity and alledged criminal activities. This        files, over a hundred varietals: we just have      like to follow what’s going on in the industry
has a tremendous impact on American con-             anything to match any country that has his-        and be aware of what our events are.
sumers, retailers and I think it exposes the         torically produced extra virgin olive oil. Once
potential fraud that there is in mislabeling.        consumers taste extra virgin olive oil, see        OLINT: If I was thinking of joining the
                                                     the difference and know they are getting an        COOC, why do I want to join? What are
OLINT: National Public Radio (NPR) picked            authentic healthy product, they will become        the benefits?
up on that story, too.                               supporters of what we are doing as well.           Patricia: There are lots of benefits depend-
Patricia: Yes, exactly. NPR and many press                                                              ing on if you are a grower/producer, or just
people have called me this week; it’s in food        OLINT: How do you want to get your mes-            a supporter of the industry. We have an
blogs everywhere.                                    sage across?                                       excellent newsletter, published quarterly,
                                                     Patricia: I encourage all consumers and            it includes a lot of information about our
OLINT: Looking into your crystal ball, what          retailers to support the California olive oil      growers as well as the industry, upcoming
do you see happening to olive oil produc-            industry specifically those growers and pro-       events — you’ll be advised of all the events,
tion in California?                                  ducers who have their oils certified, I think      we have an annual members dinner. We
Patricia: Well, I see production continuing          the certification seal is extremely important,     have lots of seminars, and various events
its growth pattern. We now have 10,000               it’s a guarantee that the olive oil that you are   through the course of the year that are of
acres planted, strictly for extra virgin olive oil   buying and consuming is extra virgin, full of      interest to many people.

The next Texas Oil Boom?
   The experts said it couldn’t be done. South Texas scrub brush country
wouldn’t produce enough quality olive trees for commercial olive oil enter-
prises, no matter how great the demand for olive oil in the United States.
Several growers are proving the experts wrong.
   This past week, the Texas Olive Ranch, in Carrizo Springs, became the
first grower and olive oil producer to mechanically harvest their 40,000
three-year-old high density orchard of Arbequina, Arbosana, Koroneiki
olive trees in Texas. On the morning of September 8, the New Holland
mechanical harvester trundled off its carrier and began the task of collect-
ing olives. By midmorning, the first barrel of Arbequina extra virgin olive
oil was collected from their new Alfa Laval mill. Jim Henry, one of the
partners at T.O.R., estimates they harvested a total of 100 tons for 2007.               Off-loading the first crop at Texas Olive Ranch
A great beginning!
   In Dilley, Texas, David and Beverly Anderson have planted a 10 acre high
density orchard of the same three clone varietals and should be ready for
mechanical harvest next year. Closer to San Antonio, Texas, Sandy Win-
okur, owner of the Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, has planted a high density
orchard of 10,000 trees.

    People crowded the town square of Paso
 Robles for the 4th Annual Olive Oil Festival on
 August 24, 2007. While many people came to taste
 and try olive oil from the many excellent produc-
 ers present, the California Olive Oil Council was
 on hand to help spread awareness about benefits                                         The crew and orchard at Texas Olive Ranch
 of membership and Seal of Certification program,
 and Sierra Gold Nursery handed out information

                                                                                            Slippery Business
 about the super high-density orchard system.

new Plantings in California                                                                 The Trade in Adulterated Olive Oil
                                                                                            By Tom Mueller New yorker Magazine

                                                                                               In August, The New Yorker Magazine published
                                                                                            an article which documents the international trade
                                                                                            in adulterated olive oil. Quoting from a laundry
                                                                                            list of alleged criminal activities, the author notes
                                                                                            that “in February, 2006, federal marshals seized
                                                                                            about sixty-one thousand liters of what was sup-
                                                                                            posedly extra virgin olive oil and twenty-six thou-
                                                                                            sand liters of a lower-grade olive oil from a New
                                                                                            Jersey warehouse. Some of the oil … consisted
                                                 Top left: Herluf Hansen. 34 acres of
                                                 Arbequina and Koroneiki                    almost entirely of soybean oil…” Consumers
                                                 (pollinators), planted Winter, 2007        pay premium prices for olive oils marked “extra
                                                 Spacing 5 ft. X 12 ft. Caruthers, CA       virgin.” The article claims that by 1998, olive oil
                                                                                            was the most adulterated agricultural product in
                                                 Top right: Matt Hammond. 27 acres
                                                 of Arbequina and Korneiki (pollina-        the European Union, prompting the EU’s anti-
                                                 tors). Planted June, 2006. 5 ft. X 12      fraud office to establish an olive oil task force.
                                                 ft. spacing. Caruthers, CA                 You can go to and look up
                                                 Bottom: Joe Mathewson, Solana
                                                                                            this well documented, very detailed article in their
                                                 Ranch. 5.1 acres of Arbequina.             archives. A good read.
                                                 Spacing 5 ft. X 12 ft. San Miguel, CA

                                                          Our quality
                                                          THE ORIGIN OF YOUR SUCCESS

Arbosana Olive Oil

Silver Medal L.A County Fair 2006

Gold Medal Olive Oils of the World, France 2006

Gold Medal L.A. County Fair, 2005

Best of Class, mono-variety olive oil, L.A. County 2005

Gold Medal, L.A. County Fair, 2004

                                                              “Nurstech has supplied California
                                                               Olive Ranch with consistent high
                                                               quality trees and met our tight
                                                               planting deadlines at each stage
                                                               of our development.”

      26                                                                  Olint is a trademark of Agromillora Catalana

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