Lower production of European olive oil an opportunity for California brands

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Olive oil prices are predicted to rise next year due to poor harvests in Italy and Spain that are expected to drop production levels by 34 and 54 percent respectively, and many companies in the U.S. state of California see a chance to increase their market share. CCTV’s Mark Niu reported this story from Artois, California.

The European industry is also reeling from negative publicity from the 2013 book “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous world of Olive Oil” by Tom Mueller.

Unlike most places overseas, olives in Artois are being grown on trellises similar to grapes in a vineyard. At California Olive Ranch, representatives say their crop has weathered the West Coast drought.

“As far as the general weather that we’ve gotten after harvest and leading into this winter, it’s been fairly ideal,” a man in the field, who did not give his name, said.

After going through the milling process, the olive oil enters a stainless steel tank that holds more than 100,000 gallons. The company sells about 20 times this amount in a single year.

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