Olive Crazy: All About Olives and Olive Oil
Apr 112011

I just arrived back at Olive Crazy HQ after a wonderful and productive trip to south Georgia for the Georgia Olive Growers Association’s Spring Seminar. My article today is a bit of a teaser for what’s to come, and I will be reporting more in depth all week on the lessons learned, opportunities not to be missed, and the monsters in the cupboard.

The GOGA Spring Seminar, which was only the second ever, was very well attended. About 145 folks from both Georgia and Florida were in attendance. The Floridians made up at least half of the room. The speakers, Alan Greene, past President of the California Olive Oil Council, spoke on “the market for domestic olive oil”, and Adam Englehardt, VP of Orchard Operations for the California Olive Ranch, spoke on “changes in super high density cultural practices and where we are headed”. Adam also provided a wonderful hands-on demonstration at Shaw Orchards, a super high density orchard in Lakeland, Georgia which is run by cousins, Kevin and Sam Shaw.

There was a lot of excitement and energy in Lakeland’s Threatte Center but the seminar left me wondering why so many Californians have been “graciously” helping Georgians and Floridans develop as potential competitors for the still small U.S. olive oil market. I couldn’t let that thought go unanswered without some in depth exploration and I now know the answer. It is a huge black cloud looming on the horizon of the nascent but growing U.S. olive oil industry. California knows what the problem is and they need help to disperse the cloud, but more on that later this week. First I will need to introduce to you some of the players in a growing international drama.

I’ll talk to you soon.

May the sun shine through your branches.


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