Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., the world's largest cranberry cooperative, celebrated the first harvest of Pleasant Ridge Cranberry Farm in Rogersville, NB, Ocean Spray's first and only company-owned farm in North America. The 125-acre farm will yield nearly 1 million pounds of cranberries this year, with expectations of an increased yield of 3 million pounds over the next few years.
Ocean Spray Chief Executive Officer Randy Papadellis was joined Oct. 4 by local dignitaries and company representatives to celebrate the generosity of the land. Additional attendees included Ocean Spray Vice President Mike Stamatakos and board members Lawrence Harju and Richard Poznysz, as well as Michael Olscamp, the Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture & Fisheries, and Pierrette Robichaud, mayor of Rogersville.
"We are thankful to Minister Olscamp, Her Worship Robichaud, the Indian Island First Nations, the Rogersville community and the citizens of Pleasant Ridge for their support of this project," Mr. Papadellis said in a press release. "This farm is an important part of the company's overall supply strategy to make sure the Ocean Spray brand has the right amount of fruit to meet consumer demand for its products."
Ocean Spray has secured a 90-year lease on 8,500 acres of provincial land located 11 miles west of the community of Rogersville. Ocean Spray will continue the expansion of the cranberry bogs in the area through strategic partnerships.
"The cooperative model that has helped define Ocean Spray's success will be carried through to the next phase of this project here in Rogersville," Mr. Papadellis added in the press release. "We are currently in talks with members of the Mi'gmag First Nations and another private cranberry group to bring between 200 and 400 new cranberry acres onto this site as early as next year that will forever be part of the Ocean Spray cooperative."
Ocean Spray has invested nearly $10 million to date in New Brunswick to develop the cranberry farm and prepare the site for future development. Over 45 provincial residents were employed to create the farm, which will continue to be managed locally.