Organic Valley announced plans for a $6.1 million addition to its La Farge, Wis., headquarters, symbolizing the co-op’s steady growth and success, as well as its commitment to the vitality of rural communities and Southwest Wisconsin.
The new expansion project is scheduled to break ground this November and be complete in June 2011, adding 100 new jobs to the community over the next three years.
“We founded Organic Valley with a mission to save family farms and bring vitality back to America’s rural communities,” said George Siemon, chief executive officer and one of its founding farmers. “This new expansion shows we’ve not only accomplished our goals, but it proves that people nationwide, and more specifically those in Southwest Wisconsin, support local businesses and the organic movement.”
Despite a down economy, Organic Valley predicts 19% sales growth in 2010, with revenue reaching $622 million compared to $523 million in 2009. As sales increase, so do Organic Valley’s dairy product offerings, which in the past two years have expanded to include pourable yogurt and Omega-3 milk produced by the co-op’s 1,630 farmer member-owners, more than 500 of whom are located in Wisconsin.
The expansion plan calls for a 33,000-square-foot building attached to Organic Valley’s existing 50,000-square-foot headquarters. The new building will include a research and development lab, a large multi-purpose room for wellness activities and additional office and meeting space.
The expansion also will feature sustainable design elements, including increased energy and water efficiency, improved indoor environment quality and reduced CO2 emissions. To achieve this, Organic Valley is considering concepts such as daylighting, recycled content in building materials, low VOC finishes, energy efficient HVAC, water efficient bathroom fixtures and waterless urinals.