About the Cooperative

Who Owns Ocean Spray?

Many people ask, “Who owns Ocean Spray?” The answer: Our 700 farmer-families! Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative, which means our farmer-owners all collectively share ownership and 100% of the profits from the sale of their fruit.

What Is a Farmer Cooperative?

The farmer cooperative structure is different from a typical FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) corporation (which typically has a board of directors focused on returning profits to unknown or unconnected investors and shareholders that own the corporation).

In an agricultural cooperative like Ocean Spray, our farmers are the shareholders!

That means:

  • 100 percent of profits from products made from their fruit go back to them.
  • The farmers are the primary decision-makers with regard to the cooperative’s future.
  • The farmers elect the board of directors to oversee and work with the cooperative’s management team that they employ on production, marketing and innovation of new and delicious cranberry products.
  • The farmers also reinvest their equity back into the cooperative to keep it operating and help it grow stronger for future generations of farmer-owners!

The cooperative allows everyone to focus on their strengths. With a management team solely focusing on bringing our nutritious and delicious products to consumers, farmer-owners can focus on growing the absolute best cranberries. This adds more value to their crops and creates more demand.

Since our farmer-owners receive all the profits from their crops, they can reinvest those dollars in improvements to their farms, land and the quality of their crop. This cycle of reinvestment not only encourages long-lasting farming practices and ensures high quality cranberries each season, but also provides a viable business model that enables the farmers to keep their farms running for generations. In fact, many of our Ocean Spray farming families have been growing cranberries for 4 generations or more – keeping decades of knowledge about how to best nurture the land and the fruit, as well as farming as a way of life, alive and well!

With farmer-owners heavily vested in their farming tradition—and in the cranberry itself— the cooperative continually generates healthy, wholesome products that improve the future for both farmers and consumers.

Did You Know...

  • Ocean Spray's 700 farms average 18 acres in size
  • Ocean Spray cranberry farms have been passed down an average of 2.5 generations
  • 1 in 4 of our farmer owners are fourth generation or greater cranberry growers
  • Over ½ Ocean Spray farms today are women-led.
  • Ocean Spray has been a farmer cooperative for over 90 years (not all of those years have been easy)

How Ocean Spray Became a Farmer Cooperative

Ocean Spray farmer-owners produce 65% of the world's cranberry harvest.

In 1930, three cranberry farmers, Marcus Urann, John Makepeace and Elizabeth Lee, turned their passion for the cranberry and their farming way of life into something truly special: Ocean Spray.

They understood that together, their three small, independent cranberry farms were stronger. Their farms were also better able to bring all the benefits of their beloved superfruit, the cranberry, to more people. Over the past 90 years, Ocean Spray has grown to include more than 700 family farms in North and South America (cranberries need a very, very cold climate to grow) as more and more small cranberry farmers saw the benefits of a farmer cooperative structure:

  • Earning 100% of the profits from their hard work.
  • Knowing and guiding which products their cranberries were used.
  • Sharing in the joy of producing products people love—ones that make a positive impact on their health while building a sustainable future for the planet and their families.

Now more than 90 years later, this remains the heart of Ocean Spray’s commitment with our farmer-owners, working the same land as generations before them, connecting farms to families for a better life.

"I’m just one of 700 family farmers involved in the Ocean Spray cooperative. Each one of us has a different story to tell about how he or she found their calling in this agricultural way of life, however we all share a deep love of farming and sense of stewardship for the land we call home."

Alison Gilmore-Carr


Our Farmer Cooperative is More than Just a Better Way—It’s a Better Way of Life 

For our farmer owners, cranberry farming is not just a job but a way of life. Many of their farms have been passed down for generations and many grew up on the farms they run today. 

Their families work alongside them—and their families love enjoying the juices and products made from crops they harvested. Every day they farm together, they are carrying their ancestors' ways with them. This connection to a way of life has sustained their family for decades, so it naturally leads to higher quality products and better practices.

That’s why our farmers are so conscious about doing things today to improve their farms, the quality of their cranberries and products for tomorrow.

Connecting farms to families builds a more sustainable way of life for our farmers and for our consumers. Ocean Spray is proud to be a farmer-owned cooperative, and all the benefits that our cooperative brings to consumers worldwide.