Organic Valley Partners With Dean Foods to Spread Co-op's Reach

Burgeoning dairy producer Organic Valley is continuing its robust growth, solidifying ties with preeminent milk distributor Dean Foods. Coming off two consecutive billion-dollar years in which the co-op grew to over 2,000 members, the La Farge-area dairy is looking to expand its offerings and provide more milk than ever to retailers and consumers.

“Our cooperative success means we can provide a lifeline to more than 2,000 family farms and meaningful employment to over 900 staff members,” said George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley in a company release. “We are past and present leaders in the organic and cooperative movements and will continue to lead into the future, no matter what short-term challenges we face—because we face them together.”

In a November press release, the cooperative announced its joint venture with Dean Foods and the way in which the two companies aim to put the co-op’s dairy products on the shelves of up to 140,000 new stores nationwide. The two companies are set to implement their agreement in mid-to-late 2017.

In a statement from Organic Valley, Siemon said of the strategic partnership: “It will allow our independent, farmer-owned cooperative to save more family farms and to reach more shopping carts with Organic Valley dairy products. By partnering with Dean, we will use a competitive production and distribution method (direct-to-store distribution) for a portion of our milk business (HTST pasteurized milk).”

As part of the joint venture, Dean Foods will provide processing services and distribution through its extensive refrigerated distribution network while Organic Valley will expand Dean’s portfolio and provide recognized brands and products, marketing expertise, and access to an organic milk supply from America's largest cooperative of organic dairy farmers.

Dean Foods brings extensive experience in distributing to large format, dollar store, and C-store retailers to the partnership, while Organic Valley brings unique expertise in natural foods, emerging markets, and specialty distributors.

"Adding Organic Valley to the current lineup of Dean Food branded dairy products enables Dean Foods to offer retail customers the largest and most comprehensive dairy offering across multiple segments with national brands that consumers know and trust. It also allows us to further leverage our manufacturing and distribution network," said Gregg Tanner, CEO of Dean Foods. "We believe the dynamic and growing Organic Valley brand of organic milk is the perfect complement to our own category-leading DairyPure® and TruMoo® brands and gives Dean Foods a strong position in the organic dairy segment."

For more on strategic partnerships within the dairy and deli industry, check back with Deli Market News.  

Photos:

George Siemon, Co-Founder, Organic Valley

Gregg Tanner, CEO, Dean Foods

by  Robert Schaulis

LA FARGE, WI and DALLAS, TX – Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Deli Market News

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