Case Study “Ocean Spray Cranberries”

In order to understand pesticide pollution (Hill, 2011), the analysis of the case study “Ocean Spray Cranberries” (1994) was conducted. Ocean Spray Cranberries (OSC) is a co-operative marketing group focused on processed fresh and citrus cranberries. Its annual sales comprise 85 % share of the US Cranberry harvest representing 2/3 of the US growers.

As cranberry cultivation is susceptible to insect and disease damage, fertilizers and pesticides were used to overcome problems of monoculture. Pesticides have been withdrawn from availability since the 80s as a result of increasing regulation and reluctance of manufacturers to incur licensing costs for small users such as cranberry industry. Consumers have shown high concerns over pesticides contamination. Despite the fact that only tiny proportion of harvest was affected, there was a cranberry aminotriazol scare and an apple alar scare. There was a belief that an environmental problem could ‘bring the co-operative to its knees.’

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There was a potential impact of cultivation in water and land use. Regulations that impacted cranberry farmers in 1993 include: Clean Water Act, sections 404, 402, 401, Wetland Protection Act, Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act, Mass Environmental Policy Act, Public Waterfront Act 6 (Chapter 91), and Water Withdrawal Permits.

In order to manage environmental risk, current OCS programs include water management research, pesticide screening, pesticide risk/benefit index, integrated pest management, grower environmental audits and ‘mitigation banking.’ OSC managers are willing to work with environmental groups to build cooperative links and generally position themselves as ‘good’ stewards of land and water although environmental groups opposed to wetland use. They organize tours for officials, sponsor ‘Race to Save Planet’ on PBS, initiate exhibitions and festivals, and develop elementary school teaching package ‘Wonderful Wetlands.’

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