Many customers have come into our store, and one of the first questions they ask is “what is the difference between your olive oil and the olive oil the grocery store sells? That’s a good question, because the first thing people notice is the difference in price of our UP Extra Virgin olive oil. If you have visited our Brantford location, you may have noticed this symbol on all our EVOO stainless steel tanks.
The UP (Ultra Premium) standard was created in response to the growing need to separate high-quality extra virgin olive oils from what dominates the so called “gourmet” and “premium” olive oil markets, as well as the broader category sold in mass markets the world over under thousands of brands and private labels. The absurdly low standards created and fostered by numerous trade associations and government agencies responsible for policing them has only contributed to the confusion and misinformation. EU producers are given a perverse incentive in the form of government subsidies to keep their oils in storage until market conditions improve. This practice clearly demonstrates the governmental complicity with retailers and bottlers to sacrifice quality for price. Lack of enforcement and testing by these trade associations and governmental agencies has led to a marketplace dominated by inferior oils and rife with adulteration. These practices by some of the world’s largest olive oil producers and bottlers have led to a steep decline in prices of extra virgin olive oil and are driving quality oil producers out of business.
The UP standard is reserved for the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world, as such, the UP grade exceeds all existing European, Italian, Spanish, Greek, North American, Californian, or any other standard for the grade known as extra virgin olive oil. In order to qualify for the UP grade, the extra virgin olive oil must meet or exceed a comprehensive set of Production, Storage, Transportation, Testing, Chemistry, and Organoleptic requirements. Instead of placing an overemphasis on where the olive oil comes from to the detriment of the most critical factors (Chemistry and Freshness), the UP program is intended to reward farmers for producing high quality oil. The UP program is intended to promote Fair Trade practices and help create a demand for a higher quality product thereby increasing the value.
The Olive Oil Co. is very proud to carry the UP standard of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Stop by our store to learn more.
We look forward to seeing you,
Mark, Noreen, and Derek