Sourcing

At California Olive Ranch, we are committed to offering premium extra virgin olive oil that our customers can trust. Since planting our first trees in 1998, we have established ourselves as olive oil pioneers. Our passion for extra virgin olive oil was born in California and now extends to oils produced in growing regions throughout the world.

As leaders in the production of extra virgin olive oil in the United States, we have also applied our expertise to  identify premium producers worldwide with whom we can collaborate for certain products. We are proud to partner with extra virgin olive oil producers in Chile, Argentina and Peru. For our avocado oil, we work with producers in Mexico. For our foodservice customers, we also proudly offer Canola oil from Australia and Canada. We search the world for partners that are like-minded and focused on high standards of quality.

  

QUALITY

Quality extra virgin olive oil starts with the plants and trees, which are nurtured throughout the year in preparation for harvest. During olive harvest, fruit is gently removed from the trees and transported directly to mills for processing. All the steps we take from tree to bottle are practiced ensuring a level of quality that adheres to the International Olive Oil Council standards. Once the oil is milled it is carefully stored under optimal conditions that limit exposure to oxygen, heat and light. Quality assurance teams both in California and abroad conduct tests on our olive oil at multiple phases to ensure consistency and traceability.

When sourcing canola oils for restaurant cooking blends, we source expeller pressed oil from both Australia and Canada. All our canola oil is certified non-GMO and expeller pressed, which does not require using hexane. Most canola oils are extracted by using a petroleum product called hexane.  Large processors use hexane because it is very efficient, removing nearly 100% of the oil from the seed.  Our canola growing partners use a non-chemical, mechanical process to “press” the oil out of the seed, referred to as expeller pressing. Once we receive the canola oil in the California, we store it in our stainless steel, temperature-controlled tanks. All the canola is HACCP approved, Non-GMO, Halal and Kosher approved.

California Olive Ranch imports refined avocado oil from a single source in Michoacán state in Mexico. Our partners ensure that the avocado oil we receive meets all import requirements to the United States to ensure the oil has been produced according to strict safety and quality standards, even ensuring pesticide residues meet USDA and, FDA, and EPA regulations. All the avocado we use passes through a process of refining, bleaching, and deodorizing (RBD) to maintain a clean and stable taste profile. This process often involves hexane for extraction but our partners are hexane-free. Our avocado oil is certified Non-GMO and Kosher.

TRANSPARENCY

We recognize how critical transparency is when it comes to high quality foods. This is especially true in the culinary oil industry. Over the last decade, countless studies have been published regarding fraudulence in the olive oil industry, which have called into question the quality of olive oils being imported to the United States. This has caused consumers to be wary of imported oils.

We practice strict measures to ensure that when we import oil, the oil we hand select at the producer’s facility is the product that arrives to our California facility and lands in your local grocer. We are testing for quality and chemistry at each step, including sampling at time of harvest.  We hand select our oil based on quality and test all oil before we purchase, for chemistry, flavor and aroma. Once the oil arrives in California, we test again for quality and chemistry to ensure that have not been any changes to the quality of the oils. Finally, our team of in-house sensory tasters create custom blends, wherein we work to achieve a flavor profile for each product.

When importing product, we work with shipping companies to transport our partners’ oil by boat, which significantly reduces the carbon footprint. All the oils we import are transported in shipping containers which have been specially retrofitted to ship olive oil. The oil travels to arrive in California where it will be carefully stored throughout the year.

We believe in making our product labels easy to read and clearly identifying exactly what you’re getting from us, always following USDA & FDA standards for package label requirements. All of our extra virgin olive oils are certified and labeled with a seal of certification. Canola oil is only sold in foodservice and is clearly marked as such. Avocado oil is only available at select retailers and is clearly labeled as a blend of avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil.

FARMING PRACTICES

Being stewards of the land is a core value here at California Olive Ranch and among our growing partners. Water is the most critical element to sustainably producing any crop, and with our olives we work to reduce our water needs by drip irrigating our trees. Our partners abroad also either drip irrigate or do not irrigate at all. Our farming partners around the world respect the soil in which our olives, canola, and avocados are grown. Our partners practice sustainable farm management, including a natural hybridization breeding of seeds in the field by selection, not via genetic modification in a lab. All our oils are certified Non-GMO.

 

LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS

The relationships we have established with farmers, millers, food chemists, and ultimately our customers, have made us the company we are today. We believe in developing meaningful working relationships with partners throughout our supply chain. We focus on creating long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships. Through partnerships with extra virgin olive oil producers in Chile, Argentina, and Peru, we have attended each other’s harvests and learn from our decades of combined experience. We value the sharing of process and information amongst producers to increase the quality of extra virgin olive oil throughout the world.

We purchase oils from our partners on long term contracts. These contracts ensure that we will have consistently good quality oil for years to come, while ensuring steady income to our grower partners. These long-term relationships are key to our success and to our ability to offer quality and reliability to our customers.

For any additional questions on California Olive Ranch’s sourcing program, please email us with questions at custserv@cal-olive.com. Learn more about our 100% California extra virgin olive oil.