The Organic Valley Farmer Cooperative

Organic Valley, a thriving farmer cooperative, is revolutionizing the food business.


| February/March 2006



Travis Forgues

Travis Forgues with two of his children, Gabe and Molly, on the family’s organic dairy farm in Alburg Springs, Vt.


PHOTO: ORGANIC VALLEY/CARRIE BRANOVAN

Organic Valley is North America’s second-largest producer of organic dairy products. The sales of this $259-million cooperative jumped 25 percent last year, surpassing the growth rate of both the conventional and organic food industries. The cooperative’s milk, butter, cottage cheese and soy milk are on the shelves of more than 10,000 stores from coast to coast. But its chief executive officer, George Siemon, doesn’t talk like a corporate chieftain:

“We wouldn’t mind if the growth slowed down,” he says. “The most important thing to us is to keep our mission. Organic Valley’s not looking to conquer the world. We do things our own way, because we care about things other than business success.”

Despite this unorthodox approach, Organic Valley has helped revolutionize the food business over the past 18 years, and has changed the way Americans eat — for the better. Organic Valley is owned by a cooperative of 723 family farmers from 22 states.





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