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California Olive Oil Labeling Clash

California olive oil producers are clashing over proposed state legislation on olive oil labeling that supporters claim is essential to ensure consumers are not being misled.  Critics of the proposed legislation say it is a blatant attempt to restrict competition.  Existing state law requires that the term “California Olive Oil” can be used only on products in which 100% of the oil is sourced from olives grown in California.  AB 535 goes a step further by prohibiting any reference to California on olive oil containers that might lead consumers to think the oil was sourced in the state unless 100% of the olives used to produce the oil were grown in California.  Some feel this bill protects California olive oil growers and consumers, but others see it as an attempt to restrict competition.  The bill would create issues for olive oil manufacturers who blend California olive oil with oils grown in places such as Latin America and reference California in the naming or labeling of such products.  Many of these products currently include statements confirming that their products are global blends.

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Picture Credit Susanne Kuehne

Posted on 30 July 2021