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Region Tapped By International Olive Oil Company
Sovena will open its second-ever plant in the United States in Stanislaus County, due in part to the county’s long history in helping manufacturers thrive. Photo Contributed

Sovena, one of the largest olive oil companies in the world and the USA, just announced its decision to build its second United States plant in neighboring Modesto. The family-owned company specializes in olive oils, seed oils, table olives, biodiesel, and soaps in its native Portugal while the US division focuses solely on the bottling and distribution of olive oils and seed oils.

The company expects to begin operations in early 2020, starting with a team of a few dozen plant operators charged with bottling, warehousing and distribution of the edible oils. The selection of Modesto was strategic, with management citing the central location and vast transportation channels for distribution as assets along with a base of qualified workers, thanks to the area’s thriving manufacturing industry.

David White, Chief Executive Officer of Opportunity Stanislaus, which stepped up to offer assistance to the company, sees limitless potential for Sovena.

“Stanislaus County is an area with a long history of food processing, and we have the tools necessary for companies to succeed from a strong workforce to the support of local leadership,” said White. “We want companies to know that if they make Stanislaus County home, we will be in their corner pushing for success and removing any potential roadblocks. Sovena will be in good company here with processors such as ConAgra, Del Monte, Foster Farms, and Frito Lay and we are happy to help them get off to a strong start.”

One area Opportunity Stanislaus will help Sovena is with the hiring of staff. Sharon Pohl, Program Manager for Employer Assistance, is coordinating an interviewing event to be held at Opportunity Stanislaus on Wednesday, Dec. 4 for positions that include a maintenance mechanic, production supervisor, and general production staff. Those interested in applying are encouraged to submit resumes to Pohl as soon as possible. Pohl can be reached at or (209) 209-488.4525.

With a global presence and servicing those in more than 70 countries, Sovena is one of the largest olive oil companies in the world, constantly inspiring people to eat healthier and tastier by using olive oil. Based in Lisbon, Sovena is involved in every step of the supply chain – from the olive tree to the store shelf – and owns the largest olive grove in Portugal, as well as one of the largest in the world with more than 37,000 acres in Portugal, Spain and Morocco. With sales of over 200,000 tons of olive oil and $1.5 billion in 2018, Sovena employs over 1,200, and has a physical presence in seven countries: Portugal, Spain, United States, Brazil, Tunisia, Morocco, and China. Owning olive oil brands Oliveira da Serra in Portugal, Andorinha in Brazil, Fontoliva in Spain and Olivari in the United States and other European and Asian countries, the company also operates in the markets of table olives, vegetable oils, and biodiesel.

Rome, NY based Sovena USA is one of the largest private label suppliers in the U.S., packing more than 50 percent of all store brand olive oil. Its state-of-the-art bottling facility is complemented by the on-site quality control lab, the only lab of its kind on U.S. soil, which helped make it the first olive oil plant in the world to obtain Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 certification.