Since 1993, North Bay Produce has invested back to the grower owners of the cooperative in annual dividends. This year, it returned $8,354,883 in dividends to its member growers which made the total return $70,245,730 since reinvestments to shareholders began in the cooperative.
One of North Bay's blueberry growers in Michigan.
North Bay is an international cooperative with members located throughout the world and primarily in North, Central and South America. “Our cooperative model is somewhat unique in the produce industry and we believe in reinvesting in our growers to help them grow and advance in all different aspects of their farms. We know our customers demand commitments to quality, assurance of supply, food safety, sustainability and social accountability and North Bay’s alignment with our growers assures that,” said Nick Osmulski, president.
The cooperative has also seen steady gains in the company year after year and this has resulted in greater investments in the business. Recently highlighted programs include varietal development, sustainability, a commitment to greater technology on the farms and in the company itself as well as the continued search for new growers to help support the growth. “We regularly speak about the membership and the employees as being a family. We mean that, as it is essential that we work with growers that share our values and have outstanding farming practices. Partnering with new growers is not just about finding growers that can handle our demands but identifying growers that do things the right way and that are good people” said Osmulski.
Right: Nick Osmulski
Looking ahead into its new fiscal year, North Bay is predicting another record year. New varieties of blueberries and blackberries, SEKOYA and Erandy respectively, will be offered with substantial increases in supply and more raspberries and strawberries will be available as well. The company’s apple and vegetable programs will also see gains this year with additional acres and hectares offering more and better varieties. “The future looks bright but that means that there is a lot of work to do. The good news is we are confident we have the right group of growers and team to do the job,” added Osmulski.