News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Oppy adds Ocean Spray blues

Group offers both conventional and organic Peruvian blueberries whose sales positively impact farm worker communities

Oppy adds Ocean Spray blues

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Oppy is looking to expand its Fair Trade Certified range by adding Peruvian blueberries packed under the Ocean Spray brand to its programme, which has generated US$4.4m in premiums in the last half dozen years.

The grower, marketer and distributor of global fresh produce has an extensive and growing lineup of Fair Trade Certified produce, including Mexican bell peppers and cucumbers, organic and conventional Peruvian grapes, as well as tomatoes, nectarines and mini peppers.

This marks the first time Oppy has brought to market organic, Fair Trade Certified blueberries from Peru, which will be available from September through to December.

“Oppy has always been an advocate of produce with purpose, and the addition of organic, Fair Trade Certified Ocean Spray blueberries to our programme exemplifies our commitment to communities all along our expansive supply chain,” Oppy’s senior vice-president, categories and marketing James Milne said. “Our work closely mirrors consumer sentiment which indicated that 95 per cent of consumers trust Fair Trade certification over unverified sustainability claims. Combined with the renowned and respected Ocean Spray brand, these blueberries have the makings of a truly spectacular offering.”

The familiarity of Ocean Spray is a strong draw for consumers, with 70 per cent of study participants being well-aware of the Ocean Spray berry brand, according to an independent third-party survey in 2019.

The study also indicated that the majority of purchasers hold an extremely high or favourable opinion of Ocean Spray, while recognising the brand as synonymous with top-quality.

Complementing Oppy’s established organic Fair Trade programme, its conventional and organic, Ocean Spray Peruvian blueberry lineup is expected to grow over previous seasons in the years ahead.

Oppy has also focused on increasing its Fair Trade footprint, with sales of Fair Trade Certified produce growing by 32 per cent in 2019, bringing US$1.1m back to farmworkers and their families for investments to improve their communities.

The premiums that Oppy generates with every Fair Trade Certified sale contribute to a worker-controlled Community Development Fund.

The fund is then used to support programmes that impact the lives of the workers who grow and care for our food, including funding home improvement projects, education, health care and a host of other initiatives.

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