The Good Food Guild oil category recognizes America’s tastiest fruit, nut and seed oils from pioneering producers who hold to the highest standards of quality and sustainability. Whether from olives, hazelnuts or squash seeds, Good oil is pressed and bottled without the use of added heat, chemical extractors, artificial additives or genetically modified ingredients.
The Good Food Guild relies on the expertise of the oil community to develop, revise and set standards for the category. As farming and oil pressing techniques evolve, so do our standards. Read on to learn what those standards are and meet the oil crafters of the Good Food Guild.
In order to join the Good Food Guild, oil companies must meet the following standards for at least 50% of their product line:
- Made in the USA or US territories.
- Made with olives, avocados, nuts or seeds.
- Pressed from ingredients from the most recent harvest and grown in the region of entry.
- Free of genetically modified ingredients.
- Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors or preservatives.
- Use ingredients grown using fair labor practices.
- Use ingredients grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.*
- Oil comes from a first crushing or milling and is not subjected to added heat or chemical extractors throughout the entire process.
- The entry is not a third party private label oil, where finished oil from another source has been purchased and rebranded.
- Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,** as exemplified through integrating these practices:
- Creating a safe and healthy work environment where employees receive a fair wage, are safe and respected at work and have access to the resources they need to keep themselves healthy.
- Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
- Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
- For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.**
Additional criteria for olive oil:
- Growers must demonstrate an effort to use sustainable practices in water conservation and waste management.
- Non-flavored olive oils are certified as extra virgin by a COOC- or IOC-recognized panel.***
Additional criteria for flavored oil:
- Base oil must meet all above criteria except the extra virgin certification requirement for olive oils.
- Added flavor ingredients, including but not limited to spices, herbs and fruit, must be domestically sourced and meet the above criteria related to sustainable growing techniques and fair labor practices. The flavoring agent can’t come from the infusion of an extract or essential oil.
- Flavor must come from co-milling the actual flavor ingredient with the olives or by steeping all the ingredients together with the oil.
*Oils made with avocados, nuts or seeds grown with minimal synthetic inputs using Integrated Pest management practices will be permitted.
**Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.
***California Olive Oil Council or International Olive Council