Dear Colavita Customers,
We have been bombarded with questions from our loyal consumers about a blog report that they read on the internet called “Fake Olive Oils.” The Colavita brand is named in this report along with other brands. This is not the first time that these false rumors have been circulated, and as long as there are competitors that want to besmirch our brand to achieve a competitive advantage, it likely won’t be the last. Let me take this opportunity then to respond to those who have spread such false accusations and to assure our consumers and customers around the world that what you are reading has no merit whatsoever.
First, it is important that you know that the basis for these accusations is a report that was issued five years ago in 2010 by the University of California Davis Olive Center. This report was funded by the California olive oil industry-therefore, the blog’s assertion that the report was “independent” was incorrect and misleading.
Second, the blog falsely quotes the California report. The study did NOT conclude that the oils it tested were fake or adulterated. Although the study alleges that certain oils that they tested did not meet requirements for “Extra Virgin”—that alone does not mean the oils were fake or adulterated. Extra virgin olive oil is a natural product that deteriorates over time or with exposure to light and heat. It would be very easy to achieve the test results desired by the report’s financial backers by the manner in which the samples were selected and handled.
Third, the blog fails to point out that the 2010 report has been completely discredited. The testing methods employed in the report had been rejected as unreliable by the International Olive Council, which is operated under the auspices of the United Nations. Furthermore, for the subjective taste component of the tests, samples of all brands were sent to be tasted in Australia, where olive oil has uniquely different characteristics from European oils, rather than to Europe where most of the tested brands were produced. Finally, a California law firm dropped their lawsuit based on the 2010 report when independent testing could not reproduce the report’s findings.
You should also know that the olive oil industry trade association, the North American Olive Oil Association, contacted the author of this false blog to raise the above concerns, yet the author stated she had “no interest” in issuing a correction.
It is a truism that you cannot believe everything you read on the Internet. But what you can believe in is the quality and authenticity of the Colavita brand. Every bottle is produced under the supervision of my family as it has been for generations. Every production lot is tested, re-tested and released only when final approval is provided by the Colavita family.
We thank you for the trust and confidence that you have shown us through the years. We assure you that this trust has not been misplaced. Your loyal business has meant so much to my family that we consider all of you a part of ours.