USA: Record increases for Organic Valley
Organic Valley, the largest cooperative of organic farmers in the USA and a leading organic brand, held its annual meeting, which drew nearly 400 farmer-owners to La Crosse, Wisconsin on 6 – 9 April 2015. With the theme Resilience Through Cooperation, key topics addressed throughout the meeting centered around 2014 as a year of resiliency and growth in the rapidly expanding organic marketplace.
There was much to celebrate at the meeting. In 2014, the co-op had record sales of US$972 million (about €917 million) and a profit of US$14.5 million, proving that its business model can withstand market fluctuations. The co-op implemented a record increase in farmer pay price, which went up in most regions by 10 percent, on average. Organic Valley also added 65 jobs, ending 2014 with 802 staff. The co-op continued to invest in programs that encourage young farmer retention—a critical part of Organic Valley’s member base. This year, the co-op presented its Generation Organic (Gen-O) Award again as well as more than 600 quality awards to farmer-owners and this year’s new Organic Heroes Award.
Other noteworthy annual meeting highlights and recognitions included that Organic Valley farmers produced nearly one million kilowatts of clean, renewable energy in 2014, nearly double 2011 figures. Organic Valley Pasture Butter won first place in the 2015 United States Championship Cheese Contest, among other Organic Valley 2014 awards. The first-ever organic milk protein shakes released in the market, available in two award-winning varieties. Also, the first organic snacking cheese for adults, available in award-winning medium cheddar and pepper jack varieties were launched. More information is available here.
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