Olive Oil Producers Want National Standards
California olive growers say that would set the bar higher and consumers will know more about the quality of the oil they buy.
Jaime Johansson is an olive grower and the President of the California Farm Bureau
Johansson: “In California we actually have standards in terms of what Extra Virgin, the highest grade of olive oil there is. And that is only applicable to California growers. It’s a self imposed quality standard which we’re happy to do. But it is difficult when you have competitors in that arena who don’t have to adhere to the same standards. Now we’ve grown to the point where California olive oil is sold all over the country. There is no national standard
The petition to the FDA is a joint effort between the American Olive Oil Producers Association and Deoleo, the largest seller of olive oil in the world. California is the largest producer of olive oil in the U.S.
Standards proposed in the petition mirror California standards for Extra Virgin olive oil that are enforced through California’s Department of Food and Agriculture and a mandatory sampling and testing program to verify the quality of olive oil produced in the state.
Olive oil is also produced in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Oregon and Hawaii.
The FDA would need to take public comments before a new rule about regulations could take effect.