About the COOC

The California Olive Oil Council (COOC) is a trade association dedicated to promoting certified California extra virgin olive oil through education, outreach, and communication. The COOC is committed to upholding the highest standards within the olive oil industry through its Seal Certification Program.

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.

Industry Facts

  • 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 2023-2024 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: Vincent Ricchiuti, Enzo Olive Oil
Vice President: Chris Calvert, Ciarlo Fruit & Nut
Treasurer: Audrey Burnam, Kiler Ridge Olive Farm
Secretary: David Garci-Aguirre, Corto
Christine Veio Klouvidakis, Stavros Olive Company
Kyle Sawatzky, Bari Olive Oil Co.
Ty Ohanneson, OH Olive Oil
Cynthia Jackson, Basque Away
Sara Dominguez, Rio Bravo Ranch
Natalia Ruiz, Modern Olives Laboratory
Marco Bussolotto, Sunrise Olive Company

COOC Staff

Executive Director: