COOC Quick Facts
- The California Olive Oil Council (COOC) was established in 1992 by a group of olive oil growers and enthusiasts, led by founder and olive oil pioneer, Lila Jaeger. March 2022 will mark the COOC’s 30th year.
- The COOC has over 300 members including olive producers, industry service providers, retailers and e-commerce vendors, and other supporters of the California extra virgin olive oil industry. Growers and producers make up the greatest number of members.
- The COOC represents over 90% of all olive oil producers in California.
- The COOC Taste Panel, which certifies California olive oils for “extra virgin” grade status, awards the Seal of authenticity to approximately 400 oils every year.
- The COOC Taste Panel was the first sensory panel established for olive oil in the Western Hemisphere. Founded in 1998, the panel celebrated its 22nd year in 2020.
- There are more than 37,000 acres planted in California for the production of extra virgin olive oil.
- There are over 400 growers/producers of olive oil in California.
- Over 75 olive varieties are grown in California for olive oil production, resulting in blends that are unique to California.
- The California olive oil industry produces between 2 to 4 million gallons per harvest.
- There are over 45 olive oil mills in California and growing.
COOC 2022-2023 Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists of 11 COOC members who serve 2-year terms. Each board member is voted on by the membership at large.
President: Shaana Rahman, Boccabella Farms
Vice President: Chris Calvert, Ciarlo Fruit & Nut
Treasurer: Ciriaco Chavez, Boundary Bend Olives
Secretary: Rachelle Bross, Olivaia’s OLA
Julie Coldani, Coldani Olive Ranch
Michael Devico, Sunrise Olive Ranch
David Garci-Aguirre, Corto Olive Co.
Vincent Ricchiuti, Enzo Olive Oil Co.
Janell Pekkain, Olive This Olive That
Kyle Sawatzky, Bari Olive Oil Co.
Audrey Burnam, Kiler Ridge Olive Farm
Executive Director: Todd Sanders
Director of Trade and Technical Affairs: Elizabeth Carranza
Director of Operations and Research: Elise Oliver
Office Manager: Janette Ramos
Taste Panel Leader: Dean Wilkinson