News Releases

California Olive Oil Council Launches “Why California” Campaign
Consumers and retailers encouraged to ‘TRUST THE SEAL’ which reflects COOC Certification

Visit the COOC at booth 4808

June 23-25, 2019 at the Javits Center

BERKELEY, CA (June 23, 2019)The California Olive Oil Council (COOC), the national trade association dedicated to setting and upholding the uncompromising quality standards of California extra virgin olive oil, is launching a campaign to guide customers in navigating the sometimes confusing store shelves of extra virgin olive oil choices.

“Our research confirms that the consumer, as well the retailer, are being misled by some labels that make stated or implied claims to be 100% California extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Our members believe that their labels reflect a consumer promise and commitment to provide California quality. Our new campaign is designed to advise consumers to look for and trust the COOC Seal of Certification, as a guarantee that they’re getting the world’s highest standard of olive oil excellence,” said COOC member Greg Traynor from 43 Ranch.

Why California? California has over 400 growers, producing from more than 75 olive varieties, accounting for over 99 percent of US domestic olive oil production. California is the only region which certifies that all of its producers meet the world’s highest standards for extra virgin olive oil.

Through the “Why California” campaign, the COOC will spotlight the importance of the COOC Seal as a standard of excellence for retailers and consumers.

Since it was established in 1992, the COOC has built consumer trust and confidence in its Seal of Certification, which upholds the quality standards that the California Department of Food and Agriculture has put in place to maintain the integrity of the region’s reputation for the highest quality and most nutritious oils. The COOC Seal is only awarded to extra virgin olive oils that are certified and produced with 100% California grown olives to ensure the highest standards of quality. The Seal provides shoppers absolute assurance that the olive oil they are purchasing is extra virgin grade. It is mandatory for all COOC producer members to submit their oils every harvest year as a condition of membership.

“We believe consumers deserve the invariable right to transparency and encourage them to trust the COOC Seal. Look for the COOC Seal on the bottles in your local store because this guarantees the highest quality,” stated Patricia Darragh, executive director of the COOC. Darragh adds, “We hope to spotlight the countless brands that bear the COOC Seal, along with the growers and producers who work so hard to uphold high standards.”

Retailers’ shelves are becoming challenged by the question of which producers to trust in terms of ensuring that olive oil labeled extra virgin, is in fact, extra virgin. The “Why California” campaign will strive to educate consumers to trust the COOC Seal as a means of ensuring with absolute certainty that the product carrying the Seal is 100% California extra virgin olive oil.  Consumers should know that there is a risk that some producers are combining California EVOO with oils from other regions. The COOC Seal would not be on those bottles.

“The COOC Seal recognizes that our oils are among the very best,” says Jim Etters, director of Land Management, Yocha Dehe Farm and Ranch. “Our ongoing commitment to excellence includes informing our customers about the importance and benefits of the Seal and using oils from the most recent harvest. The Seal, along with COOC harvest date labeling requirements, differentiates CA EVOO and provides buyers, chefs and home cooks with a ready and necessary tool to inform their buying decisions.”

“We are proud to work with the COOC and our industry peers in helping to distinguish 100% California EVOO from other options in the marketplace,” commented Adam Englehardt, president of U.S. Operations, Cobram Estate. “We’re committed to transparency—doing what’s right for our customers—and delivering the highest quality 100% California EVOO that today’s most discerning consumers seek.”

About the California Olive Oil Council

The COOC is a trade association with the mission of encouraging the consumption of certified California extra virgin olive oil through education, outreach and communications. The COOC is committed to upholding the highest standards within the olive oil industry through its Seal Certification Program. The COOC has over 400 members including growers and producers, service providers, retailers and other supporters of the California olive oil industry. The COOC represents over 90% of all olive oil production in California.

For further information: Patricia Darragh, COOC Executive Director, 888-718-9830,