Organic Valley applauds the USDA National Organic Program’s new, tighter pasturing standards. The cooperative of 1,652 organic family farmers is also hoping the standards will usher in a more cooperative environment among those within the trade.
“For most of the last decade, the USDA’s lack of issuing new standards left a vacuum that was filled with rancor over what those new standards should say and over whether all producers were following current standards. The family farmers who risk their livelihoods through organic farming bore the brunt of this discourse as public trust in the organic label began to erode,” said George Siemon, chief executive officer for Organic Valley Family of Farms.
“Today, thanks to the leadership within the USDA, specifically Kathleen Merrigan and Miles McEvoy, as well as a cooperative spirit among organic producers, these new standards strengthen the integrity of the organic seal, and will instill greater confidence among our consumers,” Siemon added. “We are proud to say that we adopted our first pasture standard in 1995. Pasture is a critical component of healthy animals and healthy land.”
“We hope these new standards will foster a fresh era of cooperation among voices within the organic trade,” Siemon added. “The National Organic Program has continual improvement embedded in it and therefore there will always be much to work on and improve. Let’s not let every rule that needs more clarity take 10 years!”
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents more than 1,652 farmers in 33 states and 3 Canadian provinces, and achieved $520 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 meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms 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.