At CROPP Cooperative, we believe the organic movement embodies a philosophy that seeks to integrate the parts into a whole. Through this philosophy, organic farming is the art of cooperating with nature and a constant process of seeking balance between the parts and the whole. Organic farming is based on a Farm Plan that addresses the actions being taken by the farmer to maximize the integration of organic principles. By using the Farm Plan as a road map, the organic farmer has a tool that assists in evaluating what creates balance and what throws off the balance. As new farmer-members join us, our Member Services team works with them, engaging them in the process of Continual Improvement.
“Continual improvement,” the effort of constant review, is a foundation principle for all of the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie products. As an organic farmers’ cooperative, we believe the commitment to continual improvement combined with the important concept of “transparency” are essentials of our business model. Transparency allows us to show where we are today and how we are improving.
In this spirit, we have developed this Transparency and Continual Improvement web page to provide information on topics such as our standards that go beyond the USDA organic standards, our policies and positions on organic issues, and our progress toward continual improvement on the farm and in the processing plants with which we partner.
Having been a pioneer force in the organic movement for more than twenty years, we are amazed by the progress in “raising the bar” for organic standards. Organic farmers continue to be pioneers of effective sustainable farming techniques. The increase in the number of certified organic ingredients for organic food processing is a testimony to improvement. We believe that the organic standards of our cooperative are among the strictest standards in agriculture. However, perfection is not possible, even in organic. There are always improvements that can be made.
We hope that this Transparency and Continual Improvement section allows you to see our genuine effort and helps you understand the compromises and lessons that are part of the continual improvement process. We pledge to embrace organic principles, not only in our farming and in our products, but also in our business practices. We believe that transparency and continual improvement are core organic principles.
If you have questions or comments, I welcome your input regarding these issues so that we may together further the organic mission. Please send your comments and questions to transparency(at)organicvalley.coop.
George L. Siemon, CEO