Domestic companies produce about 2 million gallons of olive oil annually, which amounts to about 2 percent of the U.S. market and the consumption of olive oil in U.S has increased approximately by 40 % in the past ten years, as per the survey made by U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).
In the last 10 years, there is a significant growth recorded in U.S commercial olive oil industry. Majority of U.S. consumption of olive oil is satisfied by imports, even though domestic production had increased. According to Eryn Balch, Executive Vice President of NAOOA (North American Olive Oil Association), 98% of the olive oil is being imported.
The USITC will submit its report to the Committee by August 12, 2013 and this report will contain details about information and analysis on major suppliers of olive oil of Spain, Italy, North African and United States, international market for olive oil, including U.S., foreign supplier imports and exports of olive oil in its various forms, a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the role of imports, standards and grading, prices, and other factors on olive oil consumption in the U.S. market.
On December 5, 2012, the global competitiveness of the U.S. commercial olive oil industry was investigated by USITC. According to the survey on olive oil quality, it says that two-thirds of olive oil currently sold as “extra virgin” in America is mislabelled and have failed to meet the major legal definitions of the extra-virgin grade.
As per the investigation made by UC Davis Olive Centre, quality and labelling are some of the common problems in U.S olive oil market. Out of 207 samples purchased from supermarkets and food service distributors, 65% of the Mediterranean olive oil samples did not meet the IOC’s minimal extra virgin standards.
Imports of olive oil account of the overwhelming majority about 98% of growing US consumption according to Eryn Balch, Executive Vice President of NAOOA (North American Olive Oil Association).
According to Alexander Ott, Executive Director of AOOPA (American Olive Oil Production Association), if Europe’s olive oil industry has benefited from an import quality regulation, then even US can go ahead and protect the US consumer from both fraud and poor quality olive oil. Hence the process of adopting a federal marketing order is beneficial for both domestic producers and importers.
Mediterranean climate, production expertise, and entrepreneurial spirit together will provide the foundation for California to benefit from the growing opportunities of the market, according to Mechel S. Paggi, of California State University.