New England Chronicle
Nov. 12, 1999
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Betty Brown, Ocean Spray grower/owner
|Anytime you read an article about farmers you get to
thinking we're just going to tighten our belts a little bit. I'm as fond as being skinny
as the next person; but the belt just can't be this (holds hands close together)
Every company makes mistakes, I know; but it seems to me
a company as good as this one should have been a little faster on its feet and should not
have lost market share the way that it did.
It was like a little give and take, a little see-saw, you know. One
year Ocean Spray's prices would be up and another year the independents. I didn't see
that, you know, the see-saw would bounce down and we'd be thrown off the bench.
Stuart Gallagher, Marketing Director, Ocean Spray
|Stu, the cranberry market has been a little flat.
Can Ocean Spray bounce back?
There's absolutely no reason
we cannot bounce back. These (points to product) are two new items within our
100% line. A couple of things here (shows product), the whole line is now called
Ocean Spray 100% juice, previously known as Wellfleet Farms.
People go by the shelf pretty quickly in the grocery store, and what
they look for is that blue logo.
Linda Rinta, split contract cranberry grower
|I think right now it just doesn't look as promising as
the last time we did the interview with Chronicle... (from 1992 Chronicle: Ocean
Spray a friend? We are Ocean Spray.) I think when we did the interview before, I
think I said 'we are Ocean Spray' and that's how we felt. I don't think we feel that way
Paul's grandfather was one of the original founding
members of Ocean Spray. I'm glad he's not here to see this.
On the second preferred stock: Paul and I invested in Ocean
Spray stock before we had a home, before we had anything.
Paul Rinta, split contract cranberry grower
|On whether he feels like he was treated like a
traitor when he left Ocean Spray: Being in it thirty years and being third generation
Ocean Spray and have them feel that way about you, it cuts you to the quick.
On the second preferred stock: That redemption is basically 30, 40,
even 50 years of sweat, and all of a sudden you come to your age of retirement and saying
we can't pay you or we don't have to pay you, ah, that was really without a doubt the
straw that broke the camel's back for a lot of growers.
Chris Phillips, Ocean Spray spokesperson
|What about keeping your growers happy, and how
could they be happy, I suppose, with the price going down? Are they still unhappy? I
think so, yes, it's a very emotional time for growers. Ocean Spray is more than just a
business, it's more than just a brand to them, it's a way of life and has been for
What are you preaching to them? Patience at
this point? And it's a lot to ask for. Patience is a lot to ask for; but essentially,
About the surplus: The surplus is, you know (due to*)
nature, to natural causes if you will, but is also (due to*) some planting, particularly
outside of Ocean Spray.
*difficult to understand
John Decas, Independent handler
|I do believe that they're hurting the entire industry
by taking in more fruit than is necessary. The growers in this industry were told that
those berries were needed, and they woke up one day to find out that wasn't true.
Hal Brown, Editor/Publisher, Cranberry Stressline
|Intro: "stress that's moved from the bogs into
I've been accused of being one of the
reasons that Ocean Spray's bond rating was lowered.
But Hal Brown insists he is not the enemy: No, I believe in
Ocean Spray. I think it's a great company that the grower/owners need to take control of
Why should it (the Web site) scare management? Because they
managed the company like it was their own personal fiefdom, and in many instances, like we
were the serfs.