We actually had a comment posted down below and I had it set up to approve each post prior to posting….I turned THAT off, so now everone’s comment should post straight away. Now I’m trying to figure out how to show postings right under the comment, instead of clicking to see the posts….this stuff is hard for techno phobs like me!
You can follow the blog by clicking on “follow” at the top of the screen and WordPress will alert you when there is a new post. I think.
By the way, yesterday we had 49 visits to the blog and so far today, 26! I think that is pretty good. Now if someone would just comment on something…..
Here in Wisconsin, a couple of growers have started harvest, and everyone is gearing up. What does it look like? I’m hearing the berries are there, but maybe on the small side. What say you? Other growing areas? Let’s get some reporting from the bog/marsh.
In a letter today to Cott growers, Richard Star announced that he will be leaving full time employment with Cott in Mid-October. Randy Bell will be taking over the senior role in Grower Relations and Processing. Randy will now be reporting to Chris Cronje, the Chief Operating Officer of Cott USA. Chris was the President of Cliffstar prior to the Cott transaction.
The CMC committee met in Boston August 31 and September 1, 2010. You may remember that the meeting was originally scheduled for earlier in the week, but a pesky BIG hurricane named Irene rearranged things and set the meeting back a couple of days. Due to some fancy rescheduling, the main portion of the meeting was held, but the strategic planning portion was pushed back to the February 2012 meeting. That will be important as that meeting will set the framework for the future of the CMC.
On to the important (in my mind) stuff…..talking about the size of the 2011 crop. The crop was estimated by the USDA back in August to be up 10% over last year, at around 7.5 million barrels (US crop only). The committee members revised that total only slightly to approximately 7.4mm barrels. The interesting part of the meeting was the general agreement (sensed by me and others, because this was never actually voted on) that there was agreement to “cap” the size of the US crop by using a new tool available to the members…a Handler sliding scale. This tool was decided on back in February and the members of the committee thought that they could use it at this meeting. unfortunately, “due to circumstances beyond our control” the tool was not approved by the USDA in time for us to use it on this crop. What it would/could have done is set a cap (the number being thrown around was 8 million barrels) for the US crop. Under this scenario, growers still grow their crop and deliver all of it to their handler. Then if the cap is surpassed, the surplus fruit is restricted and under the control of the CMC. At some point, I suppose, it gets destroyed, if not used. **Remember everyone, I am not a member of the CMC, I am just telling you the best I remember** The good news, I think, is that first of all, both independents and Ocean Spray members had some agreement on this concept and secondly, if it actually is put into place, we could have prevented the big crop. Based on crop estimates (7.4 vs 8 cap) it doesn’t look like it would have come into use anyway, but this could have been a start. Everyone was saying that if we had had this sliding scale tool back in 2008, we would have prevented the super crop which is STILL affecting our prices.
The second day of the meeting was about the marketing efforts of the CMC and an executive session, which I did not attend. We will have to wait for the official CMC report to get the details on that day.
So, in summary, I think the CMC might be actually heading towards a place where we can collectively manage the supply of cranberries to stabilize the price of cranberries and give us growers a fair return. These meetings are important and open to the public, so plan on attending the meeting in Washington, DC in February 2012.
To all of us independent and ocean Spray B pool growers, it seems that the prices will NEVER come up!
I’ve heard from Cott/Cliffstar growers that they have received a letter from Cott indicating that their 2011 base price will be $25/barrel, a 67% increase from Cott’s 2010 price. I’ve also heard from Clemment Pappas that they are projecting an estimated base price in the mid $20′s. I must say that I am glad that these two firms are out there trying to project a price and I’m liking big increases! Is this high enough to cover grower costs? Most growers say not, that they really need a base price of $30. But, the way I see it, at $25 we lose less than we did at $10-$15. Isn’t that a depressing reality? I don’t have anything in writing from Decas or Marianni. Ocean Spray is waiting until they know the size of the 2011 crop and the results of the next two concentrate auctions before they project their B pool price. They are hopeful that the commodity price will increase. Ocean Spray buys independent fruit from Cranberries Limited, and maybe others.
Certainly our efforts to organize independent growers in United Cranberry is helping our cause. We need to remain united and keep pushing for prices that at least cover our cost of production. If I hear any thing for certain about Clemment Pappas and Decas I will pass that along.