With the hope of making California olives and olive oil as famous as California grapes and wine, the University of California, Davis, this year established the first university-based olive research and education center in North America.
Dan Flynn, executive director of the new center, explains, “The university had the privilege of helping move California wines into the world’s highest rankings. Now we look forward to harnessing UC Davis’ research expertise to help vault California olives and olive oil into that same league.”
The school’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and office of research helped lay the foundation for the center with $75,000 in seed funding. Corto Olive Oil, the Musco Family Olive Oil Co., Bell-Carter Foods, the California Olive Oil Council and the California Olive Ranch also provided the center with a combined $25,000 in startup funds.
Dr. Neal Van Alfen, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis, notes, “This is the beginning of a historic new partnership with one of the state’s most promising industries. We are confident that it will lead to advances in olive growing and processing and a better understanding of the link between olive products and consumer health.”
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