BOSTON, April 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families, announces it is the first major fruit cooperative worldwide to achieve 100% sustainably grown verification for its Ocean Spray cranberries through the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform’s (SAI Platform) Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA). The cooperative has received a verification that 100% of the cranberries it utilizes from its farmer-owners qualify as sustainably grown using SAI’s FSA. To continue these efforts, Ocean Spray is also working with National Geographic to support fieldwork in regenerative agriculture.
The SAI Platform defines sustainable agriculture as the efficient production of safe, high-quality agricultural products in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers and their communities, and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species. Third-party certifier SCS Global Services evaluated Ocean Spray’s sustainable agriculture program and on-farm practices at representative number of its farmer-owners’ farms, validating performance against the FSA’s 112-question checklist. These performance requirements measure farm sustainability holistically, from soil health, to water conservation practices, to health and safety of farm workers and local communities. Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.’s achievement also marks the first FSA verification in Chile across all agriculture.
“By using FSA, 100% of Ocean Spray’s cranberries have been verified as sustainably grown and we are thrilled to recognize their achievement,” said Nick Betts, Americas Director at SAI Platform. “It is meaningful to have companies like Ocean Spray create sustainable agriculture systems to help fight climate change and lead as an example for other companies.”
“We were able to confirm Ocean Spray’s efforts to move the needle on sustainable agriculture in their global supply chain, verifying their achievement of Silver and Gold performance levels in implementing the FSA with their cranberry growers,” said Bonnie Holman, Director of Sustainability Certifications at SCS Global Services. “We commend Ocean Spray’s dedication to leadership in sustainable cranberry production!” SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party sustainability and food safety certification, auditing, testing, and standards development.
Ocean Spray’s farmers take great care of the water, soil, ecosystems, and communities on and around their farms. On average, every 1 acre of cranberry bog conserves 5.5 acres of natural lands, such as wetland, forests, and grasslands, conserving natural land for native plants and wildlife. To further conserve resources, many farmers use water efficiency technologies such as soil moisture probes, and monitor their soil health and nutrient management to ensure vines receive nutrients at the right time and in the right amount for berry growth and protection of water resources. As a long-lived perennial vine, farmers also work to ensure the farm is sustainable for generations. Some farmers are growing cranberries on vines that have been passed down over decades and are over 100 years old. Many farmers are leaders in their community, providing agritourism on their farms, serving on local school or municipality boards, and volunteering time and farming equipment to help their community infrastructure.
“As Ocean Spray moves into our 90th year as a cooperative and as the world faces unprecedented challenges, we are committed now more than ever to the future of our farms and the communities we serve. We are so proud that our cranberries have been verified as sustainably grown through SAI Platform,” said Christina Ferzli, Head of Global Corporate Affairs and Communications at Ocean Spray. “We are now able to apply the learnings from our farms by supporting National Geographic’s work, shaping the importance of regenerative farming to combat climate change in the context of an agricultural system under pressure to feed 8.3 billion people by 2030.”
By supporting the National Geographic Society through grants, Ocean Spray will focus on the critical importance of regenerative farming practices to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges of our time including food security, preserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. Ocean Spray will support National Geographic fieldwork across the globe to aid in agriculture practices that help preserve the health of the planet. The field work includes projects such as bee-friendly agriculture, automated land-use, insect collection and biodiversity discovery, and global mapping of center pivot agriculture.
“The issue of improving agricultural practices that help preserve the health of our planet has not received the attention it deserves, and we are proud to work with Ocean Spray to support regenerative agriculture around the world,” said Alex Moen, Vice President of Explorer Programs at the National Geographic Society. “National Geographic has been investing in science, exploration and education for more than 130 years, and we look forward to working together with Ocean Spray to support these impactful projects.”
Additional initiatives will be rolled out this year to help curb climate change, as well as to support food security and the health and wellbeing of all.
About Ocean Spray:
Founded in 1930, Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers in the United States, Canada and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. The Cooperative’s cranberries are currently featured in more than a thousand great-tasting, nutritious products in over 100 countries worldwide. Leading by purpose, Ocean Spray is committed to the power of good—creating good, nutritious food that has a direct and powerful impact for the health of people and planet. All for good. Good for all. For more information visit: www.oceanspray.com