Organic Valley: Our Co-op

 

We’re a Farmer-Owned Cooperative!

You probably know Organic Valley Family of Farms as a trusted source of delicious and healthful organic foods, but did you know that the key to our success is our cooperative business model? The 1834 farm families who produce our premium quality food products share a voice in the future of our business—because they own it!

The Un-Corporation

In an era where corporations dominate all facets of business including government, global energy, agriculture and global food supply, Organic Valley serves small farmers and rural community health by combining two alternative business models—the family farm and the cooperative. Our cooperative was founded to nurture local communities by keeping farmers on the land, farming. We understood from the beginning that we would need to pool our product in a cooperative fashion to accomplish that goal.

Farmers with a Mission

Just as we believe in the interdependency of all living things in nature, we believe that our cooperative structure delivers what's good for everyone, including the consumer-partners who buy our products. To those citizens, we promise the quality of food production and environmental stewardship that they demand. The support and resources of our extended family give us a voice in the agricultural world, where large corporations have taken over 600,000 family farms since 1960. Together, the cooperative voice of our 1834 farms represents a large percentage of the organic farming community in America.

Why does it matter?

The central mission of our cooperative is to support rural communities by protecting the health of the family farm—working toward both economic and environmental sustainability. Our stable, self-determined farmer pay prices and our love of the land are the best assurance that our co-op members will be able to continue the tradition of organic farming into the next generation.

By keeping family farmers on the land, you are protecting your right to choose foods produced the way you want them produced—a way that ensures quality, health, humane animal treatment, and the stewardship of our environment. Because we are a cooperative, we are under no obligation to answer to stockholders demanding higher profits year after year. On the contrary, we listen to nature and the wisdom of generations of organic family farming.

How it Works

Farmer members establish equity when they join the cooperative. From the membership, a national Board of Directors is elected. Members' opinions are carried to the Board through regional executive committees. They also have the opportunity to serve on regional committees and participate in cooperative governance and marketing. In addition to a member-determined pay-price and equity ownership in a leading national food brand, members receive numerous benefits including support in production, certification, farm planning, feed sourcing, veterinary consultation and more.

Democracy in Action

We credit our success to the partnership society we've created between farmers, employees and citizens. Each plays a vital role in the balance of our health and stability. As more farmers join our cooperative, we continually work to balance supply with consumer demand and the labor needed to support our marketing operations. To recognize the contributions of all, Organic Valley launched a program that shares a portion of the profits with the farmer-owners, employees and community.

Building our base of loyal customers allows us to bring more farm families into the cooperative, along with the land, water, and animals that they protect. Together with you, we are crafting a new vision for family farming and healthy food in America!

"Organic Valley was founded by farmers, is owned by its farmers, and is driven by a mission to save family farms, as well as to give future generations an opportunity to farm."

Travis Forgues,
Organic Valley Vermont

Farmer-Owner

"We plow our profits back into the earth."

George Siemon
Organic Valley CEO

Co-op: We Own It!
How co-ops work for community Learn more

More than Delicious

The cooperative behind the Organic Valley brand has grown to be a family of 1834 like-minded farm families across America, offering simply good organic foods - milk, cheese, butter, eggs, juices, meats, produce, and soy beverages - for your family to enjoy.

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