Decas Cranberry Products sold to Canadian cranberry supplier

Mar 16, 2021

Carver-based Decas Cranberry Products has been acquired by Canadian cranberry supplier Fruit d’Or, which describes itself as “the largest supplier of organic cranberries [...] in the world” and “the fastest growing company in Quebec, Canada.”

Decas Cranberry Products, originally headquartered in Wareham, sells a variety of fresh and dried cranberries under the Decas Farms brand. Their cranberries are sourced from hundreds of acres of local bogs and more than 150 employees.

Though it will become a part of Fruit d’Or, the Decas name will be retained — a bright spot for former Decas Cranberry Products president and owner, John Decas of Wareham. 

“While I was sad to see it end, I was pleased to see them decide to keep the Decas name on the brand because it’s a well-established brand,” Decas said. “The Decas Farms brand will live on as we go forward.”

He noted that some of the value of Decas Cranberry Products “came from that brand,” so he said Fruit d’Or thought it was important to retain the right to use the name.

The company began in 1934, and was a family-run business with deep Wareham roots. The cranberry company was originally headquartered in Wareham, and it remained in town until a move to Carver in the 1990s.

In the mid-90s, the company developed a new sweet-dried cranberry that took the industry by storm, Decas said. 

“We developed a better version of a sweet-dried cranberry where there was much more cranberry in the product than sugar, and also it retained its natural acid so we did not have to add artificial acid back to it,” he explained. 

Once research and development was finished for the new and improved sweet-dried cranberry product, Decas Cranberry Products set out to build a plant to manufacture it. 

“We built our plant in the town of Carver,” Decas said. “We tried to build it in Wareham, but we just couldn’t get together an industrial park with the town.”

The new sweet-dried cranberry “immediately took off,” according to Decas.

“The standard that we developed became the industry standard,” he said. “Because — based on our success — many companies, including Ocean Spray, replicated what we were doing. And then that particular cranberry product became huge for the industry.”

That product is still hugely important for the cranberry industry today, Decas noted. 

Decas said the sale to Fruit d’Or was a bit bittersweet because he’d hoped the family would continue with the business into the future.

“But I am pleased that the new company — which I began doing business with oh… Maybe 20, 25 years ago? — they’re a family business as well, and they're dedicated to the industry,” Decas said.

He said Fruit d’Or brings certain assets to the table that complement Decas Cranberry Products’ strengths. 

Decas also emphasized that the sale of the company was done with the employees and cranberry farmers in mind:

“We entered into the deal with the goal of doing so in a way that would not negatively impact our loyal growers — we had 150 growers under contract who were delivering berries to us — as well as our employees. [...] We just wanted to be sure they were protected, and they were,” Decas said. “And, again, they were part of what made us valuable. The new company recognizes that, and the same Decas team — under new management — will continue.”