Ocean Spray Celebrates Farmer-Owned Businesses During National Cooperative Month

Ocean Spray, a cooperative of more than 700 farmer-owners including Lisl Detlefsen (left) and Alison Gilmore Carr (right), brings its iconic cranberry bog display to the National Co-Op Festival in Washington, D.C. Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1 to celebrate the cooperative’s roots and the importance and advantages of supporting farmer-owned businesses. (PRNewsfoto/Ocean Spray)

While Ocean Spray Farmer-Owners begin the time honored tradition of harvesting their family farms, the agricultural cooperative prepares to celebrate its roots during National Cooperative Month. In October, Ocean Spray – along with 40,000 other cooperative businesses serving more than 120 million people in the United States alone – 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,” shared Randy Papadellis, President and Chief Executive Officer 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.”

To help raise awareness and support for this unique business model, Ocean Spray will be updating 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 will also harvest excitement at the first ever National Co-op Festival, which will take place on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The festival is hosted by The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA). As the premier partner of the event, Ocean Spray plans to create a cranberry bog with a half-ton of fresh cranberries, which is guaranteed to immerse visitors in the taste, health, and heritage of the cranberry.  Ocean Spray farmers will also be on hand to share the histories of their farms, families and one-of-a-kind cooperative culture.

The Co-op Festival will be 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 throughout the country. This year marks Ocean Spray’s 13th anniversary of the tour.

For more information about Ocean Spray, visit www.oceanspray.com or www.oceanspray.coop. 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 #eatmorecranberries.  For more information about the Co-op Festival, visit www.coopfestival.coop

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