While Ocean Spray farmer-owners begin the time honored tradition of harvesting their family farms this fall, the agricultural cooperative is celebrating its roots during National Co-op Month.
Throughout October, Ocean Spray—along with 40,000 other cooperative businesses serving more than 120 million people in the United States—will highlight the entrepreneurial spirit of cooperatives and educate consumers about the importance and advantages of buying “farmer-owned.”
“As a farmer-owned business established almost 90 years ago, Ocean Spray is proud to carry on the cooperative model that allows us to focus on the unique heritage, taste and health benefits of the cranberry,” said Randy Papadellis, President and CEO of Ocean Spray and Chairman of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC).
“When consumers buy Ocean Spray® products, they are in essence buying directly from the more than 700 farmers who pour their hearts into growing the fruit every day,” Papadellis added.
To help raise awareness and support for this unique business model, Ocean Spray will update its labels to call out 100% of profits going to its farmer-owners. The new callout is an update on the long running “heritage campaign” the cooperative began in 2009 to highlight its agricultural roots and celebrate the family farm.
Ocean Spray also harvested excitement at the first-ever Co-op Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., from September 30 – October 1, 2017. As NCBA CLUSA’s premier partner for the event, Ocean Spray built a cranberry bog with a half-ton of fresh cranberries on site and immersed visitors in the taste, health and heritage of the cranberry. Ocean Spray farmers were also be on hand to share the histories of their farms, families and one-of-a-kind cooperative culture.
The Co-op Festival was a stop on Ocean Spray’s 2017 Bogs Across America™ tour, which teaches people how cranberries are grown and harvested. The traveling display brings the rich story of the cranberry to hubs across the country. This year marks Ocean Spray’s 13th anniversary of the tour. You can also follow the stops on the Bogs Across America™ tour and enjoy scenes from our Grower-Owners’ farms during the harvest season on Instagram @oceansprayinc or Twitter @oceanspraycoop using #eatmorecranberries.