California's burgeoning olive oil producers are counting on a newly enacted state labeling law to persuade more consumers that American brands are more virginal than their imported rivals.
The measure, signed into law on Friday by Governor Jerry Brown, tightens the definitions of various calibers of olive oil, such as "virgin" and "extra virgin," to conform with standards recently adopted by the Department of Agriculture.
Each year, more California growers enter the marketplace. The amount of California farmland devoted to olives raised for oil has increased from 6,000 acres in 2004 to 30,000 acres today.
The volume of olive oil consumed by Americans has jumped ten-fold during the past 30 years, from 8 million gallons to 80 million gallons annually.
For more, see: California tightens olive oil labeling rules