LA FARGE, Wis. and SOMERSET, United Kingdom, Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The leading organic farmer-owned cooperative in North America, CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley, and Europe's leading organic dairy cooperative, the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo), have today announced an international partnership with benefits for both cooperatives, their farmer-owners, and consumers around the globe.
The historic agreement, in which the two cooperatives will take a membership in each other's organization while retaining each cooperative's independence, will provide international opportunities and domestic flexibility, offering access to new markets, products, technical expertise, and sharing of best practices in organic dairy farming.
"This is an important development for cooperation in organic agriculture on a global scale," says Eric Newman, Organic Valley's vice president, sales. "Both cooperatives recognize that our shared values and similar missions are paramount in this agreement. In meeting the ever-increasing consumer demand for organic dairy products all over the world, our two cooperatives are doing what we know best: we're cooperating. This partnership will offer farmers in both cooperatives a stable and sustainable price, greater efficiencies in distribution, greater access to a wider range of markets and opportunities to improve the balancing of our milk supplies."
"OMSCo and CROPP are the two largest dedicated organic dairy pools in the world, with a combined organic milk supply of almost 1 billion liters," says Richard Hampton, managing director of OMSCo. "Over recent years, we have developed a close working relationship with CROPP, who is responsible for the marketing and distribution of OMSCo's Kingdom Cheddar brand—the only European organic cheese available in the U.S. market.
"Our relationship has naturally evolved, and this alliance is the next step. This agreement will allow both cooperatives to market each other's bulk and branded products, and by working together, OMSCo will be better prepared to satisfy the growing global appetite for organic dairy products," explains Hampton.
CROPP owns and operates the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie brands and is headquartered in La Farge, Wis. The cooperative has 1,800 farmer-owners in 32 states, producing organic milk, meat, eggs and produce. OMSCo, based in Somerset, United Kingdom, is the largest exclusively organic dairy cooperative in Europeand is a fast growing specialist milk pools business. OMSCo already has around 20 percent of sales allocated to export, including the only European organic dairy product certified by the USDA's National Organic Program.
About Organic Valley (CROPP Cooperative)
• Organic Valley is a cooperative owned and operated by 1,800 family farmers. The cooperative employs a staff of 800 throughout the United States.
• Organic Valley average herd size is 77.
• Co-op membership has doubled in the last 8 years—from 917 in 2006 to 1,800 in 2014.
• CROPP had sales of $972 million in 2014 and is expected to surpass $1 billion in 2015.
• OMSCo has 250 farmer-members spread across the UK and is the only 100% organic, farmer-owned and farmer-run dairy cooperative in the UK.
• OMSCo is Europe's largest dedicated producer of organic milk, managing 65% of the UK's organic milk supply, and is the second largest dedicated organic dairy pool in the world.
• OMSCo is the oldest organic dairy cooperative in the UK, now with an annual revenues of £100 million (approx. $154 million).