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Organic Valley (OV) is an organic food brand and independent cooperative of organic farmers based in La Farge, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1988, Organic Valley is the nation’s largest farmer-owned organic cooperative and one of the world's largest organic consumer brands.[3] In 2018, annual sales reached $1.157 billion, a year-to-year growth of $12 million and record for the cooperative.[4][2]

Organic Valley
Agricultural cooperative
IndustryOrganic food
Founded1988 (1988)
Headquarters,
Area served
United States, 25 countries
Key people
Robert Kirchoff, CEO[1]
ProductsButter, cheese, eggs, milk, produce, soy, yogurt
RevenueIncrease $1.157 billion (2018)[2]
Decrease $9.661 million (2018)[2]
Total assetsIncrease $358.871 million (2018)[2]
MembersIncrease 1,961 farmer-owners
Number of employees
948
DivisionsOrganic Prairie
Organic Valley Fresh
Organic Logistics
Websiteorganicvalley.coop

Organic Valley markets products such as milk, cheese, eggs, soy, protein shakes, butter, yogurt, organic snack items, and more.[5] Under the Organic Prairie brand, the cooperative markets organic beef, pork, chicken, and turkey products.[6] With 2,000 farmer-owners across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom,[7] Organic Valley markets its products in all 50 states and exports to 25 countries.

Contents

Cooperative historyEdit

 
Organic Valley's global headquarters, also known as "the modern barn" in Wisconsin with solar trackers in La Farge, WI.

Organic Valley was founded in 1988 under the name 'CROPP (Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool) Cooperative.[8] What began as a group of Wisconsin family farms selling their produce soon expanded into the production and local distribution of vegetables, and dairy products. The brand name "Organic Valley" was soon adopted, and the abbreviation "CROPP" was adjusted to Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools. The original CROPP farms were located throughout southwest Wisconsin, primarily in the Kickapoo River Basin area near the cooperative's headquarters which was built in 2004.

Organic Valley comprises nearly 2,000 farmer-owners located in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom that specialize in sustainable, organic agriculture practices. Organic Valley has become the world's largest independent Cooperative of organic family farmers and one of the nation's largest producers and distributors of organic produce, dairy, soy, and eggs.[9] It also markets its line of beef, pork, turkey, and chicken products under the Organic Prairie brand.[10]

Products are marketed in all 50 states, Canada, China, Japan, and 22 other countries.[11] The United States is divided into three selling markets: the Western, Central, and Eastern Divisions. Each division is managed by sales staff, producers, and distributors directly associated with the Cooperative. Organic Valley produces six regional milks that are produced, processed and distributed in New England, Northeast, Heartland, Rocky Mountain, California and the Pacific Northwest.

In 2009, Organic Valley launched a partnership with Stonyfield Farm and HP Hood agreeing to license the Stonyfield fluid milk brand, and manage sales and distribution. The deal also invited the farmers supplying that milk into the Cooperative starting January 1, 2010.[12]

In March 2016, construction was completed on a second 200,000 square foot office building on the Cashton campus in order to accommodate continued growth of the organization.[13] The building is large enough to accommodate roughly half of the cooperative's total employees.[14] Organic Valley's original headquarter building remains in La Farge, approximately twenty minutes east.

Ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Organic Valley announced its sponsorship of Team USA cyclist Kristin Armstrong, one of the most decorated women cyclists in the world.[15] The Cooperative also created new packaging for its white milk half-gallons and Good to Go single-serves featuring the Milk Life Team USA logo.

Organic Valley purchased Farmers Cooperative Creamery in McMinnville, Oregon 2016. It merges 72 co-op members in Oregon and Washington.[16]

In March 2017, Organic Valley announced the creation of Organic Valley Fresh, a 50:50 joint venture with Dean Foods to expand the brand's presence by leveraging Dean Foods' extensive distribution network.[17] Later that year, the organization opened a new 23,000 square foot CALF (Conversion & Labeling Facility) building on the Cashton campus to accommodate growth of producing, cutting, packing and labeling products.[18]

In 2019, total annual sales for Organic Valley reached a record $1.1 billion.[2]

ManagementEdit

George Siemon, one of the founding farmers of CROPP, was the CEO of Organic Valley for over 30 years.[19] Once a member of the National Organic Standards Board,[20] Siemon helped set the standards not only for Organic Valley, but is best known for his leadership in organizing farmers and building market support for organic agriculture across the country.

In March 2019, Siemon stepped down as CEO and the board of directors selected Robert Kirchoff, former chief business officer, as interim CEO.[21]

As a cooperative, Organic Valley is primarily run and owned by the farmers that sustain it with a central mission of, "supporting rural communities by protecting the health of the family farm and working toward both economic and environmental sustainability."[22] With a low profit margin, the company's income returns to the farmers, employees and farming communities in which the crops are grown.

SustainabilityEdit

In 2015, Organic Valley announced that 81% of the cooperative's combined on-site power consumption was generated by renewable energy.[23] On-farm sustainability efforts and sustainable operations at the coop's offices and warehouses include solar, wind, biodiesel, and more.[24] These efforts have placed the organization in the Top 30 On-site Generation list by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[25]

In 2017, Organic Valley announced it will be 100% powered by renewable energy in 2019 and will become the largest food company in the world to source all of its electricity from renewable sources.[26]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Co-founder of Organic Valley leaves the company". Star Tribune. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "CROPP Cooperative (Organic Valley) Annual Report 2018". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Our Humble History - Organic Valley". www.organicvalley.coop. Organic Valley. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  4. ^ White, Greg (11 April 2019). "Organic Valley hosts annual meeting at La Crosse Center". WKBT. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Our Products - Organic Valley". www.organicvalley.coop. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Organic Prairie - Organic Beef, Pork, Chicken & Turkey | Organic Prairie". www.organicprairie.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  7. ^ Tighe, Mike (2014-04-04). "Organic Valley nears $1 billion in sales". Wisconsin State journal. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  8. ^ "Organic Valley – The Truest Meaning of Organic". United Natural Foods, Inc. June 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  9. ^ "Organic Valley - History". Organicvalley.coop. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  10. ^ "Why Organic Prairie". Organicprairie.com. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  11. ^ "Organic Valley posts record sales, 193 percent profit leap". Lacrossetribune.com. 2015-04-10. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  12. ^ http://www.organicvalley.coop/newsroom/about-organic-valley/
  13. ^ "Organic Valley celebrates surge to billion-dollar year, with even greener pastures on horizon". LaCrosseTribune. 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  14. ^ Cahalan, Steve. "Grand opening this week for Organic Valley's new Cashton office building". La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  15. ^ http://www.groceryheadquarters.com/Whats-New/MilkPEP-Sponsors-Team-USA-and-Taps-Organic-Valley-to-Create-Special-Packaging/
  16. ^ "Organic Valley will buy the Farmers Creamery Cooperative facility in Oregon". Capital Press. September 7, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  17. ^ "Organic Valley and Dean Foods Joint Venture "Open for Business"". BevNET.com. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  18. ^ Robson, Dorothy. "Organic Valley's CALF building allows space to multitask". La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  19. ^ http://www.organicvalley.coop/about-us/our-cooperative/our-leaders/c-e-i-e-i-o/
  20. ^ Martin, Andrew. "How to Add Oomph to ‘Organic’". New York Times, 19 August 2007.
  21. ^ Brazil, Deb (15 March 2019). "Organic Valley CEO steps down". WKBT. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  22. ^ http://www.organicvalley.coop/about-us/our-cooperative/our-co-op/
  23. ^ http://issuu.com/organicvalley/docs/cropp-2014-sustainabilityreport-fin?e=7846503/12192823
  24. ^ http://www.organicvalley.coop/newsroom/press-releases/details/article/organic-valley-and-gundersen-health-system-break-ground-on-cashton-greens-wind-farm-wisconsins-fi/
  25. ^ http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top30onsite.htm
  26. ^ "Organic Valley will be "100 percent renewable" by 2019". www.organicvalley.coop. Retrieved 19 April 2019.

External linksEdit