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Global supply has outgrown demand

Trade war blocked growing Chinese market for US cranberries

These days, cranberry producers in Massachusetts - and others around the country - are slowly drowning in surplus fruit. For years, harvests in the three major cranberry-producing countries - the United States, Canada and Chile - have grown their volumes, while many consumers have turned away from sugary beverages like cranberry juice. This means the global supply of cranberries has outgrown demand, and many Bay State growers have been pushed to the brink of failure.

Dom Fernandes, is a third-generation cranberry grower in Carver. His company, Fresh Meadows Farm, is struggling to break even. If things don't turn around soon, Fernandes expects his family won't be the only one looking to leave the industry.

In 2008, a Massachusetts grower could expect to fetch around $58.60 per barrel of fruit, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). By 2018, the price fell to $22.30: a 62% drop.

To make matters worse, the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing has put a tight squeeze on international cranberry sales. As the Trump administration prepares for a new round of trade talks, Chinese tariffs on American cranberries remain in place, adding to the economic pain growers are feeling.


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