Organic Valley, America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands, today announced plans for a $6.1 million addition to its headquarters in La Farge, Wis. The announcement comes just six years after opening the doors to its current headquarters, symbolizing the co-op’s steady growth and success, as well as its commitment to the vitality of rural communities and Southwest Wisconsin.
Approved and made final by a co-op board decision last week, the new expansion project is scheduled to break ground this November and be complete in June 2011, adding 100 new jobs to the community over the next three years.
“We founded Organic Valley with a mission to save family farms and bring vitality back to America’s rural communities,” said George Siemon, Organic Valley’s CEO and one of its founding farmers. “This new expansion shows we’ve not only accomplished our goals, but it proves that people nationwide, and more specifically those in Southwest Wisconsin, support local businesses and the organic movement.”
Support is in the numbers. Despite a down economy, Organic Valley predicts 19 percent sales growth in 2010, with revenue reaching $622 million compared to $523 million in 2009. As sales increase, so do Organic Valley’s dairy product offerings, which in the past two years have expanded to include pourable yogurt and omega-3 milk produced by the co-op’s 1,630 farmer member-owners, more than 500 of whom are located in Wisconsin.
The expansion plan calls for a 33,000 square foot building attached to Organic Valley’s existing 50,000 square foot headquarters. The new building will include a research and development lab, a large multi-purpose room for wellness activities and additional office and meeting space.
The expansion also will feature sustainable design elements including increased energy and water efficiency, improved indoor environment quality and reduced CO2 emissions. To achieve this, Organic Valley is considering concepts such as daylighting, recycled content in building materials, low VOC finishes, energy efficient HVAC, water efficient bathroom fixtures and waterless urinals.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new headquarters expansion is planned for November.
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,630 farmers in 33 states and four Canadian provinces, and achieved $523 million in 2009 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meats under the Organic Prairie label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative's farmer website, www.farmers.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter @Organic_Valley and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley .