Archive | December, 2011

ok, last post of the year!

31 Dec

There are lots of news articles about this latest study on nutrition labels, but just incase you didn’t see the story a few weeks back, here it is:

Apparently, the study may not be all that good, since it was a computer based survey, but hey it is info!  Next year I’m going to start looking at “our” labels and will put some of them up so we can chat about them.

Vincent Cranberries

31 Dec

Over the past year, we’ve travelled to Quebec, Oregon, Massachusetts and of course all around Wisconsin and met probably hundreds of growers.  We were impressed with Vincent Cranberries in Bandon Oregon.  These guys have created some new juices that are AWESOME! And tasty 🙂

Check them out here…

Is the “P” word just around the corner?

30 Dec

In talking with various people, it occurs to me that in about 2-3 years the handlers are going to put out the “plant!” word.   If we as an industry grow about 10,000,000 barrels, and the industry usage grows at 3-4%, we will increase usage 300,000-400,000 barrels each of the next two years.  That 600-800,000 barrels will use up all that new acreage that is coming online and voila!  we are inbalance, or have a shortage.  The word will be put out to plant, and what are we as independents going to do about that?  We will be coming off some terrible years….and our cash reserves will be low.  OS growers on the other hand will have lots of cash.  Is OS going to let their A pool in first with new acreage?  Are they going to move B acres to A acres?  Are they going to move acres off the waiting list?  Seems to me, that the amount of independent fruit is going to go down.  Is OS going to supply the independent handlers or will we?

Things to think about!!

about fractionalization

30 Dec

This came across my news feed today ;

It is basically a story about the future of “natural” dietary supplements.

Fractionalization is all the rage…the scientists take apart fruits and vegetables…fractionalize…and then add them to whatever.  The question I have, and what we are trying to answer through fingerprinting, is what is a cranberry and when can you call something cranberry.  If you take the skin off and blow out the inside pulp, is it a cranberry?  If you take the seeds out and use just the seeds, is it a cranberry?  If you extract the PACs, is that cranberry? If there is some new amino acid or something that is found in cranberry and you take it out and add it to something else, is it cranberry?

As cranberry growers, our only product is cranberry.  We don’t make all the pills, powders, juice, etc, etc….others do.  We have to protect the cranberry name, because no one else will.  If someone tells you that they will, and they make finished products, they aren’t telling the truth.  They are making money for their stock holders, not you, the cranberry grower.  Oh and if you are a cranberry grower who is a stockholder, you’re just kidding yourself, long-term.

Don’t get me wrong here…. the companies who process and handle our fruit and make good, tasty products that millions of people enjoy are good companies run by really fine people.  I applaud them for their ingenuity and effort.  But it is possible that future growth and profits can have a negative effect on us, if they fractionalize our fruit to the point that they don’t need very much of it OR that they call it cranberry and it doesn’t act like a cranberry.  If they are going to call something cranberry, it should have the properties of a cranberry.  Am I missing something here?

We are going to all that we can do to keep people honest!

A news piece about how they make orange juice

23 Dec

Ocean Spray wins lawsuit from POM

8 Dec

Looks like no one bought POM’s claims that OS mislead consumers regarding pomegrante content.  But actually how much cranberry is in the bottle? That is what cranberry growers want to know!  Not much!


Wowser! The industry has a little spat going on….

5 Dec

I haven’t been posting lately, because I have been following a little development in the industry surrounding remarks Ocean Spray said at a meeting in Paris.  Here is the link….you will want to watch it:

In this piece, Tom Jones of Ocean Spray reports that Ocean Spray has undertaken research with Complete Phytochemical Solutions to “fingerprint” a cranberry and develop a standard for cranberries.  Those of you that are members of United Cranberry know that a  year ago, we contracted with these exact same researchers (Amy Howell, Jess Reed and Christian Krueger) to fingerprint a cranberry and develop a standard.  You may remember Christian reporting to a meeting of growers we had in Stevens Point at cranberry school in January of this year.   The work we funded is complete and ready to go to peer review and then to print in food science journals after the first of the year.  After talking to our researchers, it seems that OS is going to take our work the next step, which is to commercialize the standard test…meaning they are going to figure out how to take our lab test and make it work for everyone.

You might think that we would be pretty upset that Ocean Spray looks like it is taking over the project…and calling it their own.  Actually, I embrace it….it is about time that Ocean Spray get on board and support what needs to be done.  There needs to be an agreed upon test that identifies cranberry content.  As a grower, we want to define what a cranberry is and then we want to be able to tell if there is actually cranberry in a product.   While I realize that not everyone wants these tests and standards for the reason,  I agree with what OS is doing…just not how they are going about it.

We have an industry organization that handles the research end of things for us, and that is the Cranberry Institute.  Ocean Spray and many handlers are members of the CI.  The CI is the correct place for the coordination of this research.  We (United Cranberry) started at the CI before we started our project and we would welcome their leadership in (finally) getting an enhanced test for PAC.

If you don’t think there is a little friction on this…check this out:

We are sending the CI a letter asking them to take on a leadership role in organizing and promoting this research.

As always, I’m not the scientist here….so if I haven’t said things in exactly the right way, consider the source.  The intent is honest!