North Bay sends annual dividend to grower owners
North Bay Produce, Inc. this year returned $8,354,883 in dividends to its member growers. This made a total return of $70,245,730 since annual dividend reinvestments from the cooperative to shareholders began in 1993.
North Bay is an international cooperative with members throughout the world; primarily in North, Central, and South America.
According to a July 18 press release, “North Bay’s cooperative model is somewhat unique in the produce industry, and we believe in reinvesting in our growers to help them grow and advance in all different aspects of their farms. We know that our customers demand commitments to quality, assurance of supply, food safety, sustainability, and social accountability and North Bay’s alignment with our growers assures that” states Nick Osmulski, North Bay’s president.
North Bay has also seen steady gains year after year, and this has resulted in greater investments in the business. Recently highlighted programs include varietal development, sustainability, a commitment for greater technology on the farms and in the company itself as well as the continued search for new growers to help support the growth.
“At North Bay, we regularly speak about the membership and the employees as being a family. We mean that, as it is essential that we work with growers that share our values and have outstanding farming practices. Partnering with new growers is not just about finding growers that can handle our demands but identifying growers that do things the right way and that are good people” states Osmulski.
Looking ahead into their new fiscal year, North Bay is predicting another record year. New varieties of blueberries and blackberries, SEKOYA and Erandy respectively, will be offered with substantial increases in supply, and more raspberries and strawberries will be available as well. The company’s apple and vegetable programs will also see gains this year with additional acres offering more and better varieties. “The future looks bright but that means that there is a lot of work to do. The good news is we are confident that we have the right group of growers and team to do the job” adds Osmulski.
About North Bay Produce
Founded in 1984, North Bay Produce is a cooperative of more than 32 grower-owners from North, Central, and South America, producing fresh fruits and vegetables year-round – from apples and asparagus to berries and snow peas. Headquartered in Traverse City, the northwest corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula, North Bay Produce is a market leader and their products are distributed and enjoyed worldwide.