Farmer-Owned Organic Valley adds products, Wisconsin jobs in 2012

Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers, announced their 2011 year-end results, which include bringing on 212 new farmers in regions such as Pennsylvania, Vermont and California for 12% member growth across the country, increasing sales from $620 million to $715 million for 15.3% growth. The company also donated more than $2.2 million to nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing organic food and farming—from community food banks to farmer initiatives to advocacy for mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms in food.

In terms of other tangible metrics for success, Organic Valley achieved sustainability and job creation goals in 2011, such as beginning installation of wind turbines to offset 100% of its distribution center’s current electricity use, on-farm renewable energy projects and other sustainability initiatives, and undergoing a state-of-the-art green-designed headquarters expansion in La Farge, Wis., that is expected to add 84 new jobs this year. In 2011 alone, the farmer-owned cooperative brought 79 new jobs to Vernon County, Wis., bringing total employees up to 620.

The past year also saw the launch of the latest of Organic Valley’s regional milks, New York Fresh. Like its regional counterparts, New York Fresh milk ensures fewer miles from farm to table and supports local economies, including the 115 New York farm families that produce it, according to the company. Organic Valley also launched the first organic flavored half-and-half and soy creamers, providing an organic, fair-trade alternative to complement beverages and recipes.

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