Organic Valley

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Organic Valley is a Wisconsin based organic cooperative founded in 1988 on the consensus that family owned farms were on the decline and that change should be made. The cooperation was founded on the belief that the industry of agriculture was moving away from the traditional roots and moving toward chemical based operations.[1] Over 1800 farmers across the United States help support and make this farmer owned cooperative one of the most accomplished farmer-owned cooperatives throughout the nation. Owned by farmers, the cooperative sells organic products throughout the nation that consist of eggs, diary products, meats such as poultry and beef as well as soy.[2]

History

Originally established as Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool (CROPP), the cooperative was based within La Farge, Wisconsin. One noble farmer by the name of George Siemon sought to bring the farmers of southern Wisconsin together to create CROPP.[3] Organic Valley cooperation now headquarters near the Kickapoo River were many local farmer originally came together to create the organization. Coming together under Siemon paved way for the traditional views and ideas of farming which grew into the farming of organic produce, eggs, milk, and meats. The ideas behind continuing to farm without chemicals and new enhancement has lead over 1800 farmers across the nation to join in and produce based of off quality rather than quantity. Today, Organic Valley has small farmers which accommodate all 50 states within the United States as well as 25 other countries across the world.

Production and Marketing Approaches

After a recording break year in 2016 with $1.1 billion accumulated CROPP also became the largest organic cooperative within the United States having added over 250 new farms. [4] The numbers from last year also help account for over 15% of the sales organic farmers throughout the nation making Organic Valley the most purchased and successful organic coorperative in the United States.[5] With the amount of produce sold throughout the nearly 30 years of activity, Organic Valley is a company worth well over a billion.

Unlike other competition within the livestock market Organic Valley allows their animals to roam outside with fresh grass and live within proper housing.[6] Companies within the market care about having as large production value in the shortest time frame as possible so they are usually fed with genetically engineered foods. Beyond genetically engineered foods Organic Valley also makes sure to remain away from GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and are one of the biggest factors in the fight of trying to force companies to label GMOs on products which currently don't have to.[7] They also have negative feedback regarding the use of pesticides on crops and produce. They believe that organic is the best route to take as pesticides invade produce and our water supply which cause problems for customers such as sickness and potential diseases down the road.[8]

Administration

Being a cooperation maintained by many small farm owners Organic Valley is primarily lead by the CEO George Siemon. As the original founder of CROPP in 1988, George Siemon has implemented his ideas on how the cooperative would feature many smaller farmers by taking a sustainable approach to agriculture. The profit that is received by the corporation is returned back to the small farmers and other employees who help make up the company.

Within the next five years Siemon plans on returning but is continuously working on a five-year plan to ensure a successful future for the cooperation. The five year plan he is currently working on hopes to retain the success the company has had for the next 50 years.[9]

Sustainable Agriculture

Unlike other methods of farming that western culture has introduced to the world of agriculture, Organic Valley strives to keep the core techniques that come with small farms and being sustainable. One of the strongest efforts the cooperation has made sure to maximize the appliance of is renewable energy production. Organic Valley is on a mission to minimize the amount of electricity used throughout there farms by an implemented zero-waste goal.[10] Other efforts to give back to nature included organized events to help eliminate pollution of the Kickapoo River which is near the Organic Valley headquarters and practices of recycling throughout their facilities.

References

  1. Organicvalley.coop. Accessed May 04, 2017. https://www.organicvalley.coop/why-organic-valley/our-humble-history/.
  2. The Cornucopia Institute. Accessed May 01, 2017. https://www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/FarmID_94.html.
  3. Organicvalley.coop. Accessed May 04, 2017. https://www.organicvalley.coop/why-organic-valley/our-humble-history/.
  4. "Organic Valley realizes $6.3 million profit on $1.1 billion in sales." La Crosse Tribune. March 24, 2017. http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/organic-valley-realizes-million-profit-on-billion-in-sales/article_9323a8ed-c92f-5e8c-b688-d8df133563ee.html.
  5. "Organic Valley realizes $6.3 million profit on $1.1 billion in sales." La Crosse Tribune. March 24, 2017. http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/organic-valley-realizes-million-profit-on-billion-in-sales/article_9323a8ed-c92f-5e8c-b688-d8df133563ee.html.
  6. Organicvalley.coop. Accessed May 05, 2017. https://www.organicvalley.coop/why-organic-valley/animal-care/.
  7. Organicvalley.coop. Accessed May 05, 2017. https://www.organicvalley.coop/why-organic-valley/organic-always-non-gmo/.
  8. Organicvalley.coop. Accessed May 05, 2017. https://www.organicvalley.coop/why-organic-valley/5-reasons-eat-organic/because-chemicals-are-bad-you/.
  9. "Meet The Reluctant CEO at the Helm of a Billion-Dollar Co-op." Conscious Company. January 10, 2017. https://consciouscompanymedia.com/sustainable-business/meet-the-reluctant-ceo-at-the-helm-of-a-billion-dollar-co-op/.
  10. Organicvalley.coop. Accessed May 05, 2017. https://www.organicvalley.coop/why-organic-valley/sustainable-operation/.

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