Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving cranberries (brought to you by the Ocean Spray cranberry cooperative)

 The WSJ has the story:

These People Are Responsible for the Cranberry Sauce You Love to Hate  By Ben Cohen

"Ocean Spray['s...] farmers are responsible for 65% of the world’s cranberries. It’s not a publicly traded company. It’s not a traditional private company, either. It’s a cooperative founded nearly a century ago and owned by roughly 700 families. 


“The mindset and attitude that we need to come up with something is the spirit of what farmers do,” Hayes said. 

"It’s not exactly Apple, but that kind of innovation is baked into the world’s most valuable cranberry business. Ocean Spray wouldn’t have $2 billion in annual sales if it hadn’t adapted and produced new ideas at several critical junctures in the past century.


"The cooperative was started in 1930 by “three maverick farmers,” as Ocean Spray calls its founders. One of those entrepreneurs was Marcus Urann, a lawyer who purchased a bog in Massachusetts and went looking for ways to preserve cranberries and sell them year-round. His experiments led him to come up with something: He invented cranberry sauce in a can. The market for canned products soon became so large, and the competition in the cranberry industry so fierce, that Urann came up with something else, banding together with two farmers to establish Ocean Spray. 


"The model for Ocean Spray, Dairy Farmers of America and Land O’Lakes became popular because of a 1922 federal law that exempts cooperatives from antitrust regulations, allowing farmers to pool their resources for scale and collective power."

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