The California Olive Oil Council is an independent organization that promotes extra virgin olive oil made in California. Their COOC Seal on the bottle certifies that the olive oil inside has been professionally tasted, is fresh, California-grown, and meets true extra virgin standards. The COOC has also recently developed a website, “Why California EVOO” to inform the public of the real benefits of purchasing California olive oil. Only the five Mediterranean climate zones (shown below) can support olive production, and then only in agriculturally suitable areas. That means that of the 3% of the world’s land area that has a Mediterranean climate, only about half can support olive orchards. Fortunately, California has a huge area in which olive groves thrive, and that’s local to all of us in North America.
Most COOC certified olive farms are small and run by people dedicated to creating great artisan olive oil. By contrast, imported olive oil generally comes from large production facilities ruled by different considerations.
By the way, the COOC just added Apollo Olive Oil’s bio to their Meet the Makers section. Their main site, COOC.com also has a lot of good information on many topics from health and nutrition, recipes and kitchen tips, to orchard FAQs.