Organic Valley, the nation’s oldest organic farmer-owned cooperative founded in 1988, today announced it will welcome up to 53 organic farmers from Lancaster County Organic Farmers Cooperative (LOFCO) to join its cooperative and produce milk for the Northeast region.
LOFCO recently approached Organic Valley when they found their own cooperative in search of a more stable market and at risk of losing members. Organic Valley entered into conversations with LOFCO, and the two cooperatives quickly came to a working relationship. Organic Valley will offer full membership to LOFCO organic dairy members, pending a period of due diligence—standard procedure for Organic Valley—during which they will conduct individual farm visits to review the farm conditions and milk quality of each farm, as well as inspect their pasture plan according to Organic Valley’s pasture policy.
“We have a shared mission with LOFCO of keeping farmers on farms,” said George Siemon, founding farmer and C-E-I-E-I-O for Organic Valley. “Our regional model supports local farmers and economies, and our ties in the farmer communities of Pennsylvania run deep. It is an honor to have these farmers ask to join us.”
“I am very pleased the LOFCO Board of Directors has chosen Organic Valley to provide both a stable and sustainable market for their milk,” said Kurt Williams, General Manager for LOFCO. “I have confidence the relationship will be mutually beneficial.”
In 2010, Organic Valley increased its Pennsylvania membership by 27 new members for a total of 106 farmer-owners in the Keystone State. With the addition of potentially 53 farmers from LOFCO, this number would increase to 159 organic farmers in Pennsylvania.
Today, Organic Valley has 222 total farmer-owners in the Northeast and another 174 in New England. By producing, processing, bottling and distributing within the region, Organic Valley is able to reduce the miles between farm and table, supporting local farmers and the local economy along the way.
As a result of strategic supply management in prior years, Organic Valley enjoyed growth to $621 million in 2010, exceeding expectations.
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 1,617 farmers in 35 states and three Canadian provinces, and achieved $619 million in 2010 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, yogurt, 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 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.