|Headquarters||La Farge, Wisconsin, United States|
|United States, 25 countries|
|George Siemon, founding farmer, "C-E-I-E-I-O"|
|Products||Butter, cheese, eggs, milk, produce, soy, yogurt|
Number of employees
Organic Valley (OV) is an 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. With 2,000 farmer-owners across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Organic Valley markets its products in all 50 states and exports to 25 countries. In 2016, growing annual sales reached $1.1 billion, a record for the cooperative.
Organic Valley was founded in 1988 under the name CROPP (Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool) Cooperative. 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.
Today Organic Valley comprises 1,800 farmer-owners located in 32 states and three Canadian provinces 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. It also markets its line of beef, pork, turkey, and chicken products under the Organic Prairie brand.
Products are marketed in all 50 states, Canada, China, Japan, and 22 other countries. 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. Total sales in 2003 were $156 million and reached $972 million in 2014.
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.
As of 2016, the Cooperative employed over 800 people; 400 at its La Farge headquarters and several hundred more at its Cashton, Wisconsin distribution center and offices. In March 2016, construction was complete on a second 200,000 square foot office building on the Cashton campus in order to accommodate continued growth of the Cooperative.
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. 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.
George Siemon, one of the founding farmers of CROPP, is the CEO of Organic Valley. Once a member of the National Organic Standards Board, Siemon helps to 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.
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." With a low profit margin, the company's income returns to the farmers, employees and farming communities in which the crops are grown.
In 2015, Organic Valley announced that 81% of the cooperative's combined on-site power consumption was generated by renewable energy. On-farm sustainability efforts and sustainable operations at the coop's offices and warehouses include solar, wind, biodiesel, and more. These efforts have placed the organization in the Top 30 On-site Generation list by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
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