Tag Archives: cranberries

Things are looking up in cranberry country Wisconsin!

7 Jan

Due to the lovely warm weather I think I can safely say that EVERYONE made ice.  Nicest cold snap in 20 years.  (just working on my New Years Resolution to stay POSITIVE!)

Advertisements

WOW! We sure can grow cranberries!

10 Nov

As the harvest winds down in Wisconsin and all over North America, it is becoming abundantly clear that we can grow cranberries. Back in February and again in August, growers and handlers came together at the CMC meetings to contemplate a grower set aside. Even when faced with the prospect of a huge Wisconsin crop and fruit in the freezer the CMC members voted down any grower set aside. Well now I would like someone, anyone to review the wisdom of that decision and tell everyone if in hindsight, it was a good idea or not. I know for a fact that we filled up every inch of freezer space in Wisconsin and parts of freezers in neighboring states with a nice, clean crop that growers worked very hard to grow. The price projections are horrifying to the independent grower and this will indeed move on to OS as well. Why do I think that is true?

In fact, by my calculations and information, Ocean Spray is expecting to receive a patronage crop of 7.2mm barrels, yet according to the notes in their financial statements, they’ve only once (!) in 15 years sold 5mm barrels of patronage fruit in a calendar year and that was 2008. Patronage cranberry barrels sold from 2000 thru 2012 only once reached 5,060,000 barrels. Every other year during that span it was below 5mm barrels. So 7mm barrels will be hard to digest and that doesn’t include the 100,000s of barrels that OS takes in from non members. How do they deal with it? A company the size and complexity of OS needs crop in reserve, by their own estimation 4mm barrels. So, some overage is ok, but their supply has been growing and growing. Only they themselves know how much they have over and above what they need. But they handle the situation by extending the length of their pools and the cost of holding the fruit has to depress the return in the pool. A more efficient way might be to, hey, decrease the amount of fruit they grow. In coordination with the rest of the industry. And Canada. Oh, that’s right! We have such a mechanism, it is called the CMC.

Please CMC members. Get some facts. Correct me if I’m wrong. And this isn’t all about Ocean Spray. We will all do better if we manage the size of the crop.

We need to take a hard look at a marketing order at the February meeting. And while we are at it, lets look at that Webb Pomerene act again.

Cranberry wars continued

6 Mar

Ok, so in the ongoing lawsuit between Ocean Spray and independent growers, plaintiffs (independent growers) finally got their amended complaint in and filed. Phew! It was amended a few times.  Ocean Spray has responded “hogwash” and wants the judge to throw most of the complaint out.  I have to say, a lot of what Ocean Spray says makes some sense.   Now the judge has to rule whether to let the case go forward or not. ***remember*** I’m not a lawyer, nor do I even attempt it.  When my computer starts working and will let me post actually open an adobe file, I will post the link. Very interesting reading. The OS attachments include some interesting historical reading…re..the “severe” shortage of crop in the 2008 Annual report and the efforts they made to get planting going. They left out that they told all the indedepents to “keep on planting” and here we are in 2013 with a impending huge supply of cranberries.  Everyone.  Who wants to bet at their upcoming Annual Meeting that all blame for the supply situation will fall on the independent growers? Just saying.

Cranberry Cove dried cranberries

10 Feb

image

image

I have to say, I don’t know what to think of Cranberry Cove. It says on the label “made with Ocean Spray cranberries” with the OS logo. What it doesn’t say, is Ocean Spray trademarked and owns the Cranberry Cove name. This is an Ocean Spray product. I found them in my local Wal-Mart. $1.00 for 3.5oz. That equals $4.57/lb. Clearly someone is making $$ on cranberries.

When turning over the bag (which, by the way, I like: the graphics are excellent) I looked at the ingredients. Cranberries, Sugar, Citric acid, sunflower oil and ELDERBERRY JUICE(for color). Emphasis mine. Since when do we have to add acid and color back into cranberries? Seems like they take so much out they have to add stuff back in? This is the first time in my memory that we’ve added color to cranberries. Cranberry Cove seems to ME to be the Choice product that OS said they would never put on the retail market. Remember the whole scamberry thing?

wow.

Good news from the concentrate auction!

30 Jan

Ocean Spray held it’s concentrate auction this morning and the prices dropped a little, only about 3%. While every drop in price is painful, I’m hoping the industry can absorb this without lowering the price to growers. Fingers crossed.

Cranberry Wards update

2 Jan

So, did I ever post that according to the filings, Ocean Spray has until January 18th to repond to the original plaintiffs filing…the one that I said was compelling? So, on or about January 18th we will hear from Ocean Spray as to why they think that everything the lawsuit claims is a pack of lies and probably ask the judge to dismiss the case. 🙂 At that point I will probably say that THEIR version is compelling. In the meantime another auction is scheduled for Weds Jan 30, 2013.

I am assuming that the growers that brought the case think they will get past this first round and to discovery and trial, so we shall see. 2013 is going to be pretty darn interesting!

Cranberry wars update

6 Dec

oceanspraylawsuitdec52012

So here is the amended complaint which lists all the plaintiffs, all of whom appear to be from Oregon. At first read, the story is compelling.