Lodestar Olive Oil Takes Home the Gold

Lodestar Wins TWO Gold Medals In Prestigious Los Angeles County Fair Competition

Oroville, Calif. - (June 23, 2002) Lodestar Olive Oil was recently awarded two gold medals in the Los Angeles County Fair Oils of the World competition, placing them among the elite olive oils of the world.

This is the first year Lodestar Farms has entered the competition under it's own label. The gold medals were awarded in the categories of Late Harvested Mission Olive Oil and Wine Packaging and Design, Best Traditional.

Johansson has been operating as a supplier of olives and olive oil to the California olive oil industry since 1993. His clients span the coast from Santa Barbara to Mendocino.

"We have been behind the scenes of the olive oil business for nine years, and we decided this year to expand our retail market with the Lodestar brand," said Jamie Johansson, owner of Lodestar Farms, "We can't think of a better way to head into a new marketplace than with two Gold Medals from the Los Angeles County Fair in hand."

Recognition from prestigious events like the Los Angeles County Fair have gone along way -- both domestically and internationally -- in touting the quality of olives the Oroville region produces for the California oil market. Seven companies who buy Lodestar Olives have received medals from the Los Angeles County Fair Olive Oils of the World Competition. In year's past, Lodestar has supplied the olives for 12 medalling olive oils, including 2001 and 2002 Best of Show winners.

Albert Katz, President of the California Olive Oil Council, declares the Olive Oils Of The World competition as the most prestigious event for olive oil in the United States.

When Johansson founded Lodestar Farms, it was one of a handful of California Olive Oil companies. At that time, the industry was still unexplored and there wasn't enough business or cash flow to open a full-scale operation. Today, there are more than 120 companies in the California olive oil industry, a number that is rapidly growing. Johansson estimates that a large number of California olive oil labels are getting their olives from Oroville, a region of Northern California that is as rich with olives as Napa is with grapes.

Johansson credits the climate in Oroville as a key factor in its abundance of olive farms. "Olives grow well in a climate that is dry and hot in the summer, rather than near the coast. This is one of the reasons why this north state region supplies olives to many of the companies based in the more well-known coastal cities."

In fact, Oroville is the birthplace of the California olive oil industry. It began with a dedicated woman named Freda Ehmann, who is considered by many as "Mother of the California Olive Oil Industry." She incorporated the Ehmann Olive Company with a mere 20 acres of olives in Oroville, her sole tangible asset after she was widowed in 1895. Johansson models Ehmann's strategy siting her most notable quote "...it's not how much nor how inexpensive, but how good a product we can produce."

The California Olive Oil Council (COOC) certifies Lodestar Olive Oil as "Extra Virgin." The Seal of the COOC ensures consumers that the quality and taste of this olive oil has met International "Extra Virgin" standards.

Lodestar Farms product line currently includes:

Lodestar Traditional Late Harvest: A provincial olive oil. Olives cultivated for Lodestar Traditional Late Harvest are harvested and pressed later in the season to create an oil with a sweeter, butterier flavor. Its taste is unique to California and signature to the region's Mission Olives.

Lodestar Lemon Infused Olive Oil: New for 2002!Lodestar Lemon Infused Olive Oil is a combination of late harvested Mission olives and citrus from Eureka lemons. The true lemon taste of this lemon infused olive oil is the perfect enhancement for seafood and poultry.

Suggested retail prices range from $9.99 – $25.99 for 250ml bottle of Traditional Late Harvest blend. Lodestar Olive Oil is available in local retail outlets throughout Northern California. For more information on Lodestar Farms Olive Oil, visit www.lodestarfarms.com or call 530-534-OLIV (6548).