Ocean Spray has once again held its annual meeting over Super Bowl weekend, albeit with a much more boring game this time.
Every year the AGM is an opportunity to sit down and catch up with growers from other regions to exchange stories and ideas and hear how the industry as a whole is faring. This year the growers also had opportunities to taste new products that have yet to be introduced to the public as well as a visit to the plant in Henderson, Nevada, with Pine Island manager Mike Haines coming away particularly impressed with the plant and their team.
Pine Island CEO Bill Haines came away with a good feeling about Ocean Spray’s direction.
“While there’s a lot of work to do, the atmosphere among the growers attending the meeting was positive,” Bill says. “We’re happy to see the energy and talent of Bobby’s new team: the reinvesting in renovation, reaching out to younger consumers, and positioning Ocean Spray for solid growth in the future.”
This week, CEO Bill Haines and manager Mike Haines attended the Ocean Spray Annual Growers Meeting (AGM) and a good time was had by all!
…At least, by all of the Eagles fans in attendance!
In all seriousness, the Ocean Spray AGM is always fun, and a great chance to catch up with fellow growers in a lovely, relaxing setting. “It’s always awesome to have the chance to check out new products,” Mike says, “and being able to catch up with growers from other regions is invaluable. I was able to sit with with Cass [Gilmore] and Ben [Richards] and had a good talk with them about fertilizer, for instance. I told them what Jeremy [Fenstermaker] and I learned in Wisconsin, and what they’re doing up in Massachusetts sounded similar; they said they’re getting good results. Cass even sent slides from a grower meeting they had about fertilizing hybrids more heavily and more often; I’ve been thinking about that, so it’s good to see those results.”
There were some good opportunities for leisure time at the beach and dinner with other New Jersey growers, as well as some good-natured football rivalry! “I wore Eagles gear every single day and never took my hat off,” Mike says. “And Peter Dhillon [Chairman of the Board of Directors] lost a bet, so he conducted the meeting while wearing Dad’s hat!” (Bill and neighbor Steve Lee broke out the Eagles polo shirts. Subtle, but effective.)
“It was good to see growers from around the country, and think that despite the pressures facing the industry that it was a positive meeting,” Bill says. “It was great being at Marco Island, it was a great Super Bowl party, it was great to be with the growers. All in all, I think everyone came away feeling positive about Ocean Spray and positive about the future of the industry.”
*Some photos provided by John Parke and Nadine Haines.