Many consumers want organic products because they offer a certified assurance of freedom from pesticides and the adherence to farming practices that are good for the environment. These are honourable and good reasons to support organic producers, but olives are different. First of all, they are very easy to grow organically. Unlike most other tree fruits, olive crops have very few pest problems and need very little cultural input. Olives are a crude, wild critter. They are so easy to grow in fact that most olive producers are “de facto” organic because they don’t use conventional pesticides, fertilizers, or anything else that could get into the oil or harm the environment. Consequently, there is really very little difference, if any, between an organic olive oil and a conventional olive oil.
The shortest, and easiest, answer is that organic olive oil and non-organic olive oil should be almost the exact same oil. Because they’re both the olive oil grade Extra Virgin, they both are made from the first press (or extraction) of the olives. They both have the same requirements for acidity, chemical make up and sensory tests, (no defects), that allow them to be called Extra Virgin.
Every olive oil we sell, whether it’s an extra virgin or a naturally-flavoured oil, is Cold Press/Extraction and First Press/Extraction.
These terms speak to how the olive oil is made: olives are crushed into a paste and the oil is extracted from that paste. These days many facilities have modernized to use a centrifuge to remove the oil from the olive paste, instead of a traditional press, so we use the term EXTRACTION to apply to both traditional and modern processes.
Cold Press/Extraction – Mechanical separation of oil from the fruit/water solids takes place at 50-85 degrees F
First Press/Extraction – The olive paste was only pressed ONCE to remove the oil. (In some facilities hot water is added to the paste after the first press and then the paste is pressed again.)
The quality standards with our suppliers have always been to process pesticide-free green olive fruit with a clean multi-residual pesticide panel tested at an IOC certified third-party lab. This ensures food safety and further guarantees to our customers a clean, pesticide-free oil in every instance.
Labels can be misleading. Names can be misleading. But the chemistry and the flavour do not mislead. Once you have tasted real, fresh, extra virgin olive oil you will have a hard time accepting anything else as authentic.