BALTIMORE, May 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Pompeian, Inc., a 100% farmer owned organization and America's best-selling olive oil brand, and SCS Global Services, an international leader in third-party sustainability and food safety certification, are pleased to announce that Pompeian is the first olive oil brand in North America, and currently the only in the world, to have a Sustainably Grown® Certified olive farm and olive oil. Pompeian's first operation to earn this distinctive certification is its Sunrise Olive Ranch, based in Maricopa, California. Astonishingly, until now, no olive oil brand in North America has received this comprehensive third-party certification to ensure their olive trees, or its fruit were planted, grown or harvested in a sustainable manner.
The highly regarded Sustainably Grown certification program has been in place since the early 2000s and is utilized as the gold standard of sustainability for many other agricultural crops, but surprisingly the North American olive oil industry was not one of them. Pompeian's female-led sustainability team, who had a vision of elevating the standards for olive oil, knew that it was time to hold themselves and the industry to a higher standard, setting out to become the first in North America to receive this rigorous, one-of-a-kind certification. The Sustainably Grown certification provides a comprehensive framework and common set of requirements for agricultural production in terms of environmental stewardship, social and ethical responsibility, economic sustainability and business integrity. Pompeian didn't stop there. Their desire to push the industry to even higher standards motivated them to contribute comments during the process of updating the standard that resulted in SCS' publication of Version 3.0 of the Certification Standard for Sustainably Grown Agricultural Crops, which incorporates the latest best practices in responsible agricultural production, a further win for the olive oil industry and sustainable agriculture.
"As a 100% farmer owned company, the integrity and authenticity of our farms and farming practices are at the heart of all we do," said Mouna Aissaoui, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Pompeian. "As the category leader with roots dating back to 1906, we've always been committed to challenging ourselves and the larger industry to hold ourselves to a higher sustainable standard, which is why it was so important to us to bring this new level of accountability to the category with the help of SCS."
As one of the largest olive tree farmers in California, Pompeian decided to use its own California farm, Sunrise Olive Ranch, as its testing ground, putting its reputation and leadership position to the test. The farm earned the certification on its first attempt, including surpassing business integrity and social standards. As a result, Pompeian can now say they are the first Sustainably Grown Certified olive oil producer in North America, and currently the only in the world, helping the company fulfill its commitments to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. A win for olive oil lovers everywhere, Pompeian is offering this benefit to its consumers with no price increase or impact on its already value price.
To celebrate this milestone achievement, Pompeian is planning to produce a run of the first SCS Sustainably Grown Certified olive oil in North America, available in limited quantities only. Interested consumers can visit www.Pompeian.com/sustainablygrowngiveaway for their chance at getting their hands on this coveted bottle at no cost, straight from Sunrise Olive Ranch.
"It's been an honor to work closely with SCS and officially become the first olive farm in North America to earn this prestigious certification achievement," says Lorena Antoun, Quality and Sustainability Manager at Sunrise Olive Ranch. "Sustainability has been at the forefront of our farming and production efforts since our opening in 2015, and we are eager to help in setting the standard for olive farms worldwide."
Committed to worldwide sustainability practices, Pompeian plans to actively scale sustainability certifications to all of its olive farms. The company's multi-year plan, which begins with all California product, paves the way for 50% of Pompeian farms worldwide to be Sustainably Grown Certified by 2026, aiming for 100% by 2030 across the United States, Spain, Argentina, Tunisia and Morocco.
"Even given our standard's high bar for sustainability, Pompeian exceeded our expectations by swiftly meeting the SCS certification requirements at Sunrise Olive Ranch," said Kevin Warner, Director of ESG Certifications and Strategies at SCS Global Services, including oversight of the Sustainably Grown certification program. "It's exciting to expand our certification into the olive oil category in North America. We look forward to working with Pompeian in the years to come to make a powerful global impact on olive oil production."
Pompeian is no stranger to setting standards. In fact, the organization has a long history of working with the highest authorities to set benchmarks and hold itself accountable in the production of all oils sold in grocery, club and mass merchandise outlets. In 2012, Pompeian urged the USDA to create a standard of quality for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) produced and sold in the US, which the regulator did and thus elevated the standards for EVOO which Pompeian still holds itself to today.
Pompeian's ambitious plans continue. The organization is committed to paving the way for its competitors to follow its lead and is directly communicating with leading global olive oil producers to embrace sustainable practices and earn certification. Pompeian also has plans to collaborate with the UC Davis Olive Center to validate this certification for the previously non-certified olive tree farming industry in California, analyzing the standard to guarantee it will align with the olive tree agricultural process. The Olive Center at UC Davis is the most prestigious center in the country for validating standards of quality and sustainability, and tracks olive farming and production processes in the United States and globally. Pompeian is also exploring a collaboration with Pollinator Partnership to implement a certification program, knowing an important resource in the development of sustainable olive groves includes the development of a robust pollinator community (bees, birds, insects) on all farms. Like the Sustainably Grown Certification, Pompeian will share its roadmap with competitors with the goal of setting and raising the bar for what it means to be a sustainable and responsible olive oil brand.
Pompeian, Inc. – The Olive Oil People – is America's largest national brand of olive oil, bestselling vinegars and a variety of cooking sprays. Farmer owned and Baltimore based since 1906, Pompeian is a family of olive farmers and olive oil craftsmen whose passion, expertise and dedication bring the best-tasting, highest-quality olive oils to kitchens everywhere. Upholding the highest quality standards, Pompeian conducts daily testing through their in-house quality assurance team in the state-of-the-art Pompeian Quality Control and Research & Development Center ensuring each bottle is always at peak freshness. Inspired by heritage and tradition, Pompeian products are rooted in authenticity and crafted for quality and great taste. Learn more at www.pompeian.com.
SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability veriﬁcation, certiﬁcation, auditing, testing, and standards development. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in climate mitigation, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, consumer products, and more. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Africa. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to companies, agencies and advocacy organizations due to its dedication to quality and professionalism. SCS is a chartered Beneﬁt Corporation, reﬂecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. For more information, visit www.scsglobalservices.com. The Certification Standard for Sustainably Grown Agricultural Crops, Version 3.0, was developed under the auspices of SCS Standards, the non-profit standard setting affiliate of SCS Global Services.
SOURCE Pompeian, Inc.