Ocean Spray Launches Farmers for Chefs Alliance

Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families, is launching the Ocean Spray Farmers for Chefs Alliance with the goal of helping as many qualifying independent restaurants as possible cover rent, utilities, and payroll costs. Ocean Spray is joining forces with Massachusetts Restaurant United and the COREcares Foundation for this hospitality stimulus, in addition to offering discounts on the brand’s cranberry products to support restaurants on the road to recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

The Ocean Spray Farmers for Chefs Alliance is open to public donations and 100% of proceeds will go directly to restaurant operators in need. The grant will kickstart with $75,000, and Ocean Spray will match up to an additional $25,000 of donations, as part of the cooperative’s mission to connect its farms to families for a better life. As part of the partnership, Ocean Spray will also offer discounts on key products such as Craisin® dried cranberries and Cranberry Juice Cocktail.

Ocean Spray farmers have always understood the importance of their relationships with the chefs who operate small restaurants. The partnership with Massachusetts Restaurant United (MRU) and its powerhouse house roster of chefs will help drive awareness of not only the program, but the importance of partnership during unprecedented times. Since the start of the pandemic, the MRU has focused on giving a voice to the restaurant community and advocating for small businesses during these difficult times.  These uncertain days have underscored the necessary connection of farmers and chefs to combine efforts and support each other.

“As a cooperative, Ocean Spray farmers know the importance of building and feeding communities, and share these values with local independent restaurants,” says Chris O’Connor, Vice President of Marketing at Ocean Spray. “Restaurants are of paramount cultural importance in neighborhoods across our commonwealth and right now they need us. We know that by coming together, we can create real and lasting impact in our community.”

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at Ocean Spray on this important initiative to provide relief to independent restaurants that are in serious distress due to the global pandemic,” adds Chef Jody Adams, founding member of Massachusetts Restaurants United and chef / owner of Porto, Saloniki and Trade in Greater Boston. “Over the last six months, restaurants across Massachusetts have been forced to reinvent themselves many times just to keep the doors open. Ocean Spray’s generous commitment to establishing long-term assistance funds will alleviate some of the overwhelming stress that so many local restaurants are currently faced with and will help strengthen restaurants in need now and beyond Covid-19. Massachusetts restaurants won’t survive unless they have relief, and we are grateful to Ocean Spray for being a champion of our industry."

MRU works in cooperation with the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which advocates at the national level on behalf of restaurants affected by Covid-19Looking forward, Ocean Spray hopes to expand the program into other regions across the country, continuing its commitment to making a positive impact on communities worldwide.

The program opens today and applications are being accepted through December 31, 2020.

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