By Jim Downing,
Oroville-based California Olive Ranch Inc. plans to break ground today near Artois, Glenn County, on what it says will be the largest olive oil mill in North America.
The plant, which the company hopes to begin operating in October, will be able to process 76,000 gallons of olive oil a day, according to California Olive Ranch vice president Alan Greene. He would not disclose the cost but said the company has invested more than $30 million in its Glenn County operations, which also include a 1,500-acre olive orchard.
In 2004, roughly 6,500 acres of trees were farmed for olive oil production in California. By the end of 2008, that figure is projected to grow to 21,000.
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