Below is a press release announcing that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proclaimed February California Olive Oil Month. This underscores the growing realization of how important olive oil is for our health and how important these local businesses are for supporting their communities statewide. We hope this recognition will help more Americans experience the beauty of this California made artisan product. The vast majority of California olive oil producers are small locally owned businesses that focus on very high quality. Through buying certified extra virgin olive you help support this emerging vibrant industry that focuses on high quality and small production rather than mass produced homogeneity.
February 12, 2010, Berkeley, CA Oil Month this February, Governor Schwarzenegger urges everyone to make
California olive oil a staple in their kitchens and cuisines. He emphasizes
the rich history and important role of olive oil in California agriculture,
noting California produces 99 percent of U.S. olive oil, and has set
standards to align its grades and quality with producers around the world.
As the state¹s olive oil production continues its rapid growth, California
competes with the finest oils from around the world in both taste and cost.
With hundreds of olive oils from around the world from which to choose,
California Olive Oil Council Executive Director Patty Darragh urges shoppers
and chefs to look for the COOC seal, as the guarantee for extra virgin olive
oil produced in California. Darragh adds, ³The COOC Taste Panel, founded in
1998, has certified nearly 200 extra virgin olive oils from our recent 2009
harvest, and these oils are already available on store shelves, farmers
markets, online merchants, and foodservice channels.²
About the California Olive Oil Council and its Seal Certification
Founded in 1992, the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) is a non-profit
trade and marketing association whose purpose is to promote the growing of
olives and the production of fresh, high-quality extra virgin olive oil in
California. The COOC represents 90% of olive oil production in the state
with a membership of 350 growers, producers, and supporting members from the
retail and service industries. The organization supports certified olive oil
standards and provides grower, producer and consumer education. Through its
Seal Certification program, the COOC helps everyone from home chefs to
restaurants find guaranteed extra virgin olive oils for their kitchens. For
more information, visit http://www.cooc.com.
The proclamation in its entirety follows.
February 2010, as ³California Olive Oil Month²
PROCLAMATION by the
Governor of the State of California
Our Golden State¹s agricultural diversity is unrivaled in the world, and
oil is one of our fastest growing industries. Olive trees were first brought
over by Spanish missionaries, and their acreage in our state is expected to
grow annually by 10,000 acres in the next ten years. Moreover, our state
produces 99% of all olive oil from the United States.
California olive oil is made from a great variety of olives and production
methods and offers a range of flavors to choose from. In 2007, I signed SB
634, which aligns our state¹s olive oil grades to international standards.
This law requires bottles of olive oil to meet certain guidelines and
ensures that there is consistency in quality.
Additionally, extra virgin olive oil has many health benefits. It is high in
monounsaturated fats, a healthy type of fat, which reduces both overall and
bad cholesterol levels. Extra virgin olive oil also contains a great amount
of polyphenols, important antioxidants that promote heart health and
Olive oil is an important part of our economy and heritage, and this month,
I encourage the people of our Golden State to make California olive oil a
staple in their kitchen and cuisine.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of
California, do hereby proclaim February 2010, as ³California Olive Oil
Month.² IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great
Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 21st day of January 2010.
Governor of California