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COOC Rejects Importer-Led Initiative.

The membership of the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) voted unanimously to reject the amended version of the Olive Oil Research and Promotion Order at its annual meeting earlier this year. The COOC, which represents those involved in high-quality oil production from olives grown in California, had been approached by the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), a group that represents olive oil importers, with a request for the COOC's endorsement of the amended version. The Research and Promotion Order is a Congressional act that was originally formed to help American farmers by levying fees from the farmers and using the funds, as the name implies, for research and promotion. However, the COOC opposes the proposed order for the following reasons, outlined in a letter from the council's president, Roberto Zeeca:

1. The California industry is committed to the complete and accurate labeling of its products, and feels that the NAOOA has not addressed labeling issues in the past, and has chosen not to address these issues as part of the Order despite repeated requests from the COOC to do so.

2. Olive oil importers already own 99% share of olive oil sales in the U.S. Therefore, an increase in olive oil sales through the activities outlined in the Order will primarily benefit importers.

3. An increase in imported olive oil sales will be gained at the expense of American farmers who produce other liquid fats such as corn, safflower, and seed oils. The legislation under which the Order was proposed clearly never intended for such an order to be of primary benefit to foreign farmers.

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Title Annotation:California Olive Oil Council rejects Olive Oil Research and Promotion Order
Publication:Gourmet Retailer
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2001
Words:267
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