Olives grown for olive oil are the fastest growing specialty crop in California. The challenge was to build and develop markets for California olive oil and sustain production for California farmers in order to keep up with the growing production rate. COOC needed funding to retain an organization with the marketing expertise to form a plan that leveraged their talents and marketing capabilities.
To boost domestic sales of California olive oil, Morrison strategized with COOC on their objectives to identify competitive grant opportunities. We comprised competitive grant proposals for USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG). The SCBG program funds projects to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops (defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops including floriculture). The SCBG program is funded by the USDA and administered by the agriculture departments of participating states for the benefit of specialty crop producers in those states.
COOC has been awarded over $730,000 in grant funding to support marketing and promotional efforts over a three year period. The grant funds were used for promotional tasting events, a website redesign (including an interactive map portal that locates where California olive oil is sold), and regional marketing campaigns in the mid-Atlantic and the Pacific Northwest. As a result of these and other efforts, sales of California olive oil has kept in line with the rapid increase in production.
About the client
The California Olive Oil Council (COOC) is a nonprofit trade association, representing over 90% of the California olive oil industry. Their primary goal is to create awareness of California's olive oil through education, outreach, and communications. Based in Berkeley, COOC represents over 400 members, including growers and producers, service providers, retailers, and other supporters of the California olive oil industry.