Archive | January, 2014

Massachusetts Independent CMC members get the ball rolling

31 Jan

2014 Volume Regilation postion (SH-JR-PM) 1.20.14

MarketingPolicy Est 2014 1.30.14

Yup, good old Parker Mauck, Scott Hannula and Jim Rezendes put out a proposal for a producer allotment. Yup. Ahead of time, and they sent it to all the CMC members for their condsideration. I’ve always hated that the CMC members are expected to show up, get the information and vote on something in a 4 hour meeting. So this is a good thing. Not sure I follow all the numbers, but essentially if we want to manage the crop so we have as much as we have currently, we need to deliver 71% of our sales history plus ramp up. Confused? Read on people. This will all get interesting, and if we are to do our part, we need to understand.

New/old studies continue to reveal cranberries as a crazy good fruit

27 Jan

Ok, so maybe “crazy good fruit” sounds, well, crazy. We growers know that cranberries are good for you! The most important thing for consumers if they want the healthful goodness in cranberries is to make sure there are some cranberries IN the products they are drinking/eating. All products with cranberries are not created equal! See for more info.

History lesson. Ouch!

21 Jan


In Wisconsin, around 1860 Edwards Sackett of Sackett Harbor, New York came to Berlin, Wisconsin to inspect some land. He found 700 acres of wild cranberry vines and decided to cultivate his bogs. He sold his cranberries in Chicago for about $15 a barrel. The cranberry is now Wisconsin’s state fruit.

Okay – cranberries were sold for $15/bbl in 1860 – we are below that for an estimate in 2014 (yes, 154 years later) for the bulk of independents and the CMC / USDA doesn’t think we ABSOLUTELY MUST address the problem? Interesting.

Independent view of 2014 Volume Regulation

21 Jan

Since ocean spray has announced its’ consideration of Volume regulation for the 2014 crop, we review an independent view:

2014 Volume Regilation postion (SH-JR-PM) 1.20.14

Kuddos to the CMC members from Massachusetts for sitting down and talking things over. Hopefully this is the beginning of a dialog, not the end! Remember, a marketing order is a means for cranberry growers to help themselves through over supply situations. It isn’t the government telling us to do something, it is us helping ourselves using a government tool that WE voted in ourselves. Let’s figure out how to use it!

Lots of news from the Ocean Spray grower meetings

18 Jan

Lots happening in the cranberryworld. While I did not attend the OS grower meeting, I’ve heard from at least 3 or 4 people who DID attend that while there was bad news, ie dropping A and B pool returns, there was some good news. Spray is innovating with a couple of new products coming out. Good! Even better, in my opinion is that Spray is reformulating their juices back up to 2007 levels. Excellent. This should take some concentrate out of the market. The sooner the better!

Would a handler withholding really have the ability to cap the crop?

15 Jan

The devil is in the details. Ocean Spray’s support for a handler withholding has sent me to the internet and a re reading of the marketing order. Never thought that would happen!

As I understand the regulations, there are two ways to implement a volume regulation; a producer allotment and a handler with hold.

We as growers are probably most familiar with a Producer allotment, since that is the method we utilized the last two times. In that case, each grower receives a sales history and additional ramp up for newer acres, as calculated by the CMC. The CMC agrees what percentage of the US crop should be restricted from delivery. So if the set aside is say 15%, growers can deliver 85% of their sales history plus their ramp up. ( Remember, a growers sales history is sort of a “super average” since it represents their 4 best out of the past 6 years) In this case, the handlers would receive then their contracted growers allotment. Handlers are able to re-spread allotment, so virtually all the allocation is delivered. Not all handlers did this in 2000, which led to some angst. A producer allotment allows the CMC to identify how much fruit supply they want to bring in and cap the crop at that level. Excess production is disposed of by the grower. It is not binned, stored, transported.

A handler set aside is a bit different and I don’t see how it can cap a crop. In this case, prior to the harvest the CMC estimates the size of the crop, same as above. The CMC identifies the amount that is to be restricted. Growers deliver the fruit and handlers receive, clean, bin store and freeze the fruit. Then the restricted amount of fruit is destroyed. The grower sales history and ramp up don’t come into play…it is a straight across the board disposal. If there was say, a 10% set aside, all growers, big or small, would have 10% of “their fruit” destroyed. Each handler would dispose of the fruit they paid to receive, clean, bin and store. That cost would get passed along to the grower who would get paid for the crop he delivered, minus the destroyed %. While it seems fair, is it? Is it fair to growers who grow average crops and in the set aside year has a poor year? He still has 10% of his crop destroyed. Is if fair to the grower who has a record crop, up 30% to have only 10% of his crop destroyed? Furthermore, a handler set aside won’t cap the crop at a certain amount. It will however dispose of a certain percentage. A producer allotment allows a grower to bring in a certain amount and avoids extra costs.

As usual, I might have this wrong since I am not a CMC member. I am thankful that Ocean Spray has put out some of their thoughts prior to the CMC meeting and I am hopeful that this is the start of a dialog, not the end.

US Supreme Court agrees to hear POM vs Coca Cola case….and I have to believe that this outcome will affect all of us in one way or another

13 Jan

This case has been going on since 2008 and at it’s core it is about labeling, and if something is mis leading, is it legal? Way interesting.