There are three categories of membership in the council.
Freedom to choose processor
As a member of the council, the farmer always has final authority to decide where his olive crop will be delivered and sold.
All new farmers who join the council are required to pay $2.00 per acre if their trees are over 5 years of age. There is no membership fee for trees five years or less in age.
Council Operating Assessment
To operate successfully, the council must have capital. Funding comes from an annual assessment that can never exceed one per cent (1%) of the annual base price average. For example, if the 1989 base price for olives averages $600 per ton, the maximum assessment would be $6 per ton. However, over the past 10 years, the assessment has averaged much less. The larger the membership, the smaller the assessment.
The assessment is insignificant when compared to the price increases enjoyed by farmers because of the Council's bargaining efforts. Without the Council olive prices would be much less. It is in the best interest of all farmers to keep the Council a strong, viable organization.
Board of Directors
Council policy and leadership comes from an elected nine-person board. The board can then appoint a certain number of directors at large. Each director is elected for a two-year term and can serve for a maximum of eight consecutive years. All directors are nominated and elected from the council's membership.
Council officers are elected by the directors with the exception of the president who is elected by and serves at the pleasure of the board.
The board of directors meets once each month to consider policy, review financial conditions, discuss industry markets and determine future direction of the council. In addition, once each year the council hosts an annual dinner meeting for its members.
All council members are welcome and encouraged to attend any of the scheduled meetings.
Olives are a very good source of oleic acid, a nutritious monounsaturated fat, also called omega-9 fatty acid. Seventy five percent of the olive fruit is oleic acid. Monounsaturated fat is actually required by the body. It is extremely important for proper cellular function, as it is a key component of cell membranes, as well as other parts within the cell, protecting the mitochondria and the cell's DNA. Also, with its oily consistency, oleic acid helps lower blood cholesterol levels. Oleic acid aids in keeping our arteries supple and helps prevent cancer.