California Olive Ranch Announces Expansion

A $35-million (AU$47.72) equity infusion is being used to add more than 2,000 acres of farm fields, additional infrastructure, staffing and research and development, the company revealed.

California Olive Ranch has announced that it will plant 2,200 acres of olive trees by the end of the year.

The company has already invested some of the $35 million (AU$47.72) equity investment it received at the end of last year in the project. According to CEO Gregg Kelley, this will be the largest single olive tree planting project in California and the United States.

“These new plantings come at a crucial time for the industry as a whole,” Kelley said. “As the years progress, we are seeing an upward trend in consumer demand. By increasing our level of production, we are more easily able to meet that need.”

Kelley told Olive Oil Times that these new trees were grown in domestic nurseries and, “will provide enough oil to serve the annual demand of our five largest customers.”

The new trees will be planted in Butte, Fresno, Kings, Merced and Yolo counties. Among the varieties that will be planted are Arbequina, Arbosana and Koroneiki.

“We will also dedicate a significant amount of new acreage to testing and experimenting with different varietals,” Kelley said.

Patricia Darragh, the executive director of the California Olive Oil Council, welcomed the news of more olive trees and said that any sort of expansion that allows for increased olive oil production will benefit California. More