Following a detailed process for contacting, meeting and signing up interested California ripe olive growers and their families, Musco Family Olive Co. announced today that it has reached its volume target and will not be offering any additional contracts for this crop year.
These new long-term contracts with growers are in addition to the existing Musco contracted growers, the company notes.
Following Musco Family Olive Co.’s announcement in March that it would offer new contracts to growers impacted by a competitor’s decision to cancel contracts, the company was quickly contacted by affected growers.
A questionnaire was sent to all interested growers. Next, company representatives traveled the state to personally meet with growers and their families throughout California’s growing regions. Those orchards that met the company’s criteria were offered long-term contracts. The company historically has had a ten-acre policy for new contracts, and it continues to target that approach.
“Those meetings with the affected farmers and their families were an excellent opportunity for us to discuss and share thoughts on the future of the table olive industry,” said Dennis Burreson, Musco Family Olive’s Vice President of Field Operations and Industry Affairs. “Last week we reached our volume target, and, at this time, we will not be offering additional contracts for this crop year.
"Although we cannot entirely cover all our competitor’s former growers, our approach provides the assurance of a lasting California industry and a home for our newly contracted growers and their families now and in the years ahead," he said. "With the new duties now in place from last year’s trade action regarding unfair pricing, we are working to advance the California ripe olive industry and believe the time is right to invest in its future.”
Mechanically harvested acres
To help prepare the California industry for a strong future, Musco will also be offering development contracts to growers interested in investing in mechanically harvestable acreage. The company has been encouraged by the response it has received to date and is excited about the industry’s potential.
Said Burreson, “The time has come to invest in modern acreage to produce both the highest quality ripe olives and the most economical source which will enable our industry to regain the food service market lost over time to unfair pricing. Already there is new modern acreage being planted and I am proud to say my family is again one of the first to have a newly planted orchard to watch grow in step with our industry.”
Since Musco announced it would offer new contracts, the company has been preparing its facilities to receive olives from as many acres as possible as well as investing in capital improvements and the marketplace to meet its planned growth.
2019 has been marked by several unique factors for the ripe olive industry. In addition to the competitor announcing they would be cancelling contracts with numerous California table olive growers, one of the olive industry’s largest blooms in the past forty years was observed this Spring, foreshadowing a possible record yielding crop.
“Musco has never been more committed to the California ripe olive industry. We are privileged to partner with so many multi-generational olive growers and their families to carry on the proud tradition of the California-invented ripe olive for years to come,” said Burreson.
He added, “As the only 100% California and family-owned ripe olive company, we are proud to collaborate with our new California grower partners to provide consumers with the highest quality 100% California Grown olives under our brands Pearls® and Early California® labels.”