LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass., Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In time for the 2012 cranberry harvest, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the world's largest cranberry cooperative, has opened a new $26 million state-of-the-art cranberry receiving station facility in Richmond, British Columbia. BC is one of the largest cranberry-growing regions in the world, and the new high-tech receiving station will enable Ocean Spray to process its Richmond-area cranberry crop more efficiently.
Ocean Spray Chief Executive Officer Randy Papadellis was joined by Ocean Spray Board Vice-Chairman Peter Dhillon, Richmond East Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Linda Reid, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, several City Councilors and a number of Ocean Spray British Columbia-area growers in celebrating the opening of the new facility.
"We are thankful to MLA Reid, the City of Richmond Council and City staff for helping to make the new facility a reality," Papadellis said. "The strong relationships we've formed with them are crucial to our success as we continue to invest in projects that benefit both our growers and the Richmond community in general."
Located about four miles (six kilometers) away from the former Richmond receiving station, the site offers more convenient accessibility for local growers and more space and capacity for operations. Providing a 50 percent increase to Richmond's current receiving capacity, the total daily capacity of the new facility will be in excess of 3 million pounds, with annual capacity approaching 100 million pounds. Additionally, growers should see decreased wait times when delivering their crops to the receiving station.
The new facility also includes equipment to sort and screen cranberries, as well as the means to bin all outbound fruit. Further, the new station's expanded capacity and improved capability ensures that British Columbia remains positioned to meet all fruit receiving and cleaning requirements. Ocean Spray will utilize the cranberries processed at its Richmond facility for products such as Craisins® Dried Cranberries and juice concentrate. The facility is Ocean Spray's first new receiving station in 15 years.
"As Ocean Spray continues to expand business across the globe, the Richmond community has been an important partner," said Peter Dhillon, Ocean Spray's Vice Chairman of the Board and Richmond-area cranberry grower. "Almost 20 percent of Ocean Spray's total acreage in North America is in British Columbia, and so the new state-of-the-art receiving station will help us maximize the efficiency of handling our crop."
About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as 35 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed over 80 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America's leading producer of bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted fiscal 2011 gross sales of $2.1 billion and net proceeds of $321 million.
SOURCE Ocean Spray