D.W. Block Associates, LLC (DWB) recently completed study of current production costs for ripe/table olives in California. Table olives have been a traditional crop in California going back to the Spanish ranchos long before California was a state. However, acreages have been declining due, in part, to government subsidized imports from Europe and high hand labor harvesting costs.
This study looked at actual costs by interviewing several growers throughout the state both in person and on-line. The state has two main production regions, one North of Sacramento near Orland and Corning, and the other in the South near Visalia, Exeter and Lindsay. Yields vary somewhat between the two regions. DWB found that growers like producing table olives and California’s reputation for high quality is a differential advantage over olives from other parts of the world. Nevertheless, maintaining satisfactory levels of profitability for the producers can make growing these olives challenging for many farming operations. The California Olive Committee, who initiated this study, is continually exploring innovative ways to support the ripe olive industry in California and build on decades of high quality production success.