Industry Notables Set to Testify at USITC Hearing

Adam Englehardt, Vice President of Orchard Operations at California Olive Ranch, will be among the first to testify at a Dec. 5 public hearing on olive oil competitiveness at the United States International Trade Commission.

The United States International Trade Commission will begin an investigation into the competitivesness of the olive oil industry with a public hearing Wednesday in Washington. The USITC will collect information on the 2008 – 2012 practices of major olive oil suppliers worldwide, emphasizing the U.S., Spain, Italy and North African producers.

Representatives from the largest American producer, California Olive Ranch, will begin the procession of witnesses from three continents scheduled to testify including scientists from the University of California at Davis, author Tom Mueller, olive oil importers, and producers from Georgia, Florida and Texas.

As of November 29, 2012 at 9:50 a.m.


Those listed below are scheduled to appear as witnesses at the United States International Trade Commission’s hearing:

Subject: Olive Oil: Conditions of Competition between U.S. and Major Foreign Supplier Industries

Inv. No.: 332 – 537

Date and Time: December 5, 2012 — 10:30 a.m.

Sessions will be held in connection with this investigation in the Main Hearing Room (room 101), 500 E Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.


PANEL 1 60 minutes total

California Olive Ranch
Oroville, CA

Adam Englehardt, Vice President of Orchard Operations

California Olive Oil Council
Berkeley, CA

Patricia Darragh, Executive Director

California Olive Ranch
Oroville, CA

Gregg Kelley, Chief Executive Officer

The Bari Olive Oil Company
Dinuba, CA

Kyle Sawatzky, Owner and Sales Manager

Enzo Olive Oil Company
Madera, CA

Pat Ricchuiti, President

Santa Cruz Olive Tree Nursery
Watsonville, CA

Bruce Golino, Founder

California State University Fresno
Center for Agricultural Business
Fresno, CA

Dr. Mickey Paggi, Director

University of California, Davis
Davis, CA

Dr. Selina Wang, Director of Research

Tom Mueller, Author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous
World of Olive Oil”



Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 24 minutes
Washington, D.C.
on behalf of

North American Olive Oil Association (“NAOOA”)

Eryn Balch, Executive Vice President, NAOOA

Frank Patton, Chief Executive Officer, Pompeian, Inc.

John Sessler, Chief Executive Officer, JCS Tradecom;
and Chairman of the NAOOA Executive Committee

Valeria A. Slater )
J. David Park )
Brian Pomper ) – OF COUNSEL
Bernd G. Janzen )
Sally S. Liang )

American Olive Oil Producers Association 8 minutes
Clovis, CA

Alex Ott, Executive Director

Boundary Bend Limited 8 minutes
Victoria, Australia

Leandro Ravetti, Executive Director

Charles Sturt University – Australia 8 minutes
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation
Bathurst, Australia

Dr. Rodney Mailer, Associate Graham Centre Member

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation 8 minutes
Brooks, CA

Marshall McKay, Chairman


PANEL 3 60 minutes total

Georgia Olive Farms
Lakeland, GA

Jason Shaw, President

The University of Georgia
Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development
Athens, GA

Kent Wolfe, Director

Georgia State Department of Agriculture
Atlanta, GA

Sydne Smith, Policy Director

Cowgirl Brands LLC
Dallas, TX

Karen Lee, President

Next Door Pantry LLC
New Braunfels, TX

Abigail Rutledge, President

Central Texas Olive Ranch, LLC
Granger, TX
Joshua Swafford, Executive Vice President

Farrell’s Olive Orchard & Nursery
Artesia Wells, TX

G. D. Jerry Farrell, Owner

Texas Olive Ranch
Dallas, TX

Jim Henry, President, Texas Olive Ranch; and
Founding Director, Texas Olive Oil Council

The Florida Olive Council, LAA
Gainesville, FL

Michael O’Hara Garcia, President


The hearing, and the USITC investigation, is the latest and most high-profile initiative of an expanding group of New World olive oil producers seeking a leveling of the field of competition with European and North African imports.

John Sessler, Chairman of the North American Olive Oil Association

Importers will be represented at the hearing by the North American Olive Oil Association and the Washington law firm, Akin Gump.

Olive Oil Times will be covering the hearing.