Agreement Helps Organic Dairy Farmers in Northeast and Midwest
LA FARGE, WI – CROPP Cooperative and Stonyfield Farm today announced a new phase in their partnership, a creative measure designed to sustain organic family dairy farmers and preserve consumer choice.
Beginning January 1, 2010, CROPP will manage the organic milk supply for Stonyfield fluid milk products and invite the farmers producing that milk into CROPP Cooperative. It also will license the Stonyfield fluid milk brand and oversee its sales and retail distribution.
For more than 11 years, CROPP has supplied the organic milk for all other Stonyfield products. The addition of the fluid milk business builds on this partnership.
Stonyfield will continue to build and promote its fluid milk brand via its marketing and consumer-based initiatives. HP Hood, which had been managing the milk supply for the Stonyfield brand, will continue as the primary processor of that milk.
“Key to this strategy is the partnering of CROPP, Stonyfield and Hood to produce a quality product, while also focusing on helping family farmers preserve their livelihood,” said Stonyfield Farm President and CE-Yo Gary Hirshberg. “Our goal is to maximize each of the partner companies’ strengths while working to create a greater market for the organic milk produced by family farmers.”
“This broader partnership with Stonyfield keeps organic farmers organic, keeps organic land organic, helps keep toxins out of our bodies and our earth, and gives retailers and consumers a much needed alternative,” said George Siemon, CEO of CROPP Cooperative which produces a variety of products nationwide under the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie labels.
“In our more than 20 years in business, we have seen the overall dairy supply go up and down many times, but our confidence in the organic way has never changed,” added Siemon.
This arrangement does not impact the availability of the brands’ current product offerings and hopefully will help increase its availability in new markets. It also does not affect the pay price or hinder future growth opportunities for any of the 1,333 current members of CROPP cooperative.
The farmers currently producing milk for the Stonyfield brand will have several options moving forward. These include continuing to supply for the Stonyfield brand through the remainder of their current contract, applying for membership with CROPP Cooperative or seeking another market for their milk.
CROPP Cooperative: Independent and Farmer-Owned
CROPP Cooperative is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,333 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, CROPP produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide under the Organic Valley label. CROPP also produces for a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative’s farmer website, www.farmers.coop.
About Stonyfield Farm
Stonyfield Farm, celebrating its 26th year, is the world’s leading organic yogurt company. Its all natural and certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Its organic ingredient purchases keep over 100,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers that can contaminate soil, rivers and drinking water. To help reduce global warming, Stonyfield since 1997 has offset all of the C02 emissions generated from its facility energy use. The company also started a nonprofit called Climate Counts (climatecounts.org) which shows people how they can help fight climate change by the way they shop and invest. Stonyfield also donates 10% of its profits to efforts that help protect and restore the Earth. For more information about Stonyfield Farm, its products and initiatives, visit www.stonyfield.com.