The British Columbia cranberry harvest is now over 50 percent complete, and growers say the crop is looking great. "We are having another beautiful, successful harvest this season,” said Jack Brown, Chairman of the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission. “Yields are up around the province, and the farmers are happy.”
Approximately 500,000 barrels of cranberries have been harvested so far this year and the region is expecting to hit the 1 million barrel mark by season’s end. Most growers will be still harvesting cranberries by the start of November, before the season finishes up shortly after.
Growers require licensed agents
All BC cranberry growers must have contracts with a licensed agency to take their fruit and almost all of them are part of the Ocean Spray cooperative, the company that serves as their agent. Subsequently, BC Cranberry Marketing Commission is encouraging consumers to purchase Ocean Spray products if they want to support their local growers.
"Ocean Spray is a grower cooperative and 95 percent of BC’s growers are part of the Ocean Spray cooperative," notes Brown. "You can support BC farmers simply by purchasing Ocean Spray products. Other than fresh, BC cranberries can be found in many products from juice to the very popular sweetened dried cranberries – Craisins."
As Brown mentioned, cranberries are a little different to many fruits in that by far the majority of sales are not in the fresh product. While fresh cranberries are certainly available especially at this time of year, the majority of cranberries are frozen, dried or as an ingredient in processed products like juice. Suppliers also praise the fruit for its health properties.
"Cranberries are available year-round as fresh, frozen, dried or in juice," said Brown. "There is always a convenient way to ensure you are getting your daily dose of this tangy and healthy addition to your diet."
The company said that Ocean Spray has brought out a number of new cranberry-based products this year. One of these is the 'Pink' juice and it's reduced-sugar variant, 'Pink Lite' juices. This juice is made from pink, white and red Cranberries.