Iroquois Cranberry Growers will grow no more
After nearly 50 years in business, Iroquois Cranberry Growers will grow no more.
The 68 acre cranberry marsh is run by Wata Mohawks First Nation and was once one of the most successful aboriginal community-owned businesses in Canada. Unfortunately, the cranberry business isn't what it used to be.
“The price of cranberries is at historical lows,” says Lance Decaire, economic development officer. “There's an oversupply in the worldwide market.”
Back in the early 90s the little berries were money makers. They cost a lot and people weren't growing them. But wanting to make a piece of the cranberry pie, the supply went through the roof.
"There's a year's supply in freezers in North America. In the mid-1990s we were getting about a 1.45 per pound of frozen cranberries. Now we get 26, 27 cents a pound.”
The market has never recovered since.
Johnston's Cranberry Marsh in Bala is successful, not because of cranberries but because of elements they've added to their marsh.
“We opened Muskoka Lakes winery in 2001. We do a lot of tourism here. We opened the farm to visitors and we added an ice trail,” says co-owner Wendy Hogarth.