Essay on National Cranberry

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REV: MARCH 17, 2006

National Cranberry Cooperative (Abridged)
On February 14, 1981, Hugo Schaeffer, vice president of operations at the National Cranberry
Cooperative (NCC), called his assistant, Mel O’Brien, into his office and said:
Mel, I spent all day yesterday reviewing last fall’s process fruit operations at receiving plant #1 [RP1] with Will Walliston, the superintendent, and talking with the co-op members
[growers] in that area. It’s obvious to me that we haven’t solved our problems at that plant, yet. Even though we spent $100,000 last winter for a fifth Kiwanee dumper at RP1, our overtime costs were still out of control this fall, and the growers are still upset that their trucks and drivers had to spend so
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Note:

Data gathered on five states—Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

a Differences between production and utilization (fresh sales and process) represent economic abandonment. b Beginning in 1949 the series represents equivalent returns at first receiving station, fresh and processing combined. Years prior to 1949 represent season average prices received by growers for all methods of sale, fresh and processing combined. c Preliminary figures for 1980.

Some significant trends are observable in Table A. Probably the most important trend was the growing surplus of cranberries produced over those utilized. This surplus was serious enough by
1978 for the growers to resort to the Agriculture Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. Under this act, growers can regulate and control the size of an agricultural crop if the federal government and more than two-thirds of the growers agree to a plan for crop restriction. In 1978 this act was used to create the Cranberry Marketing Order of 1978,
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