Business Strategies / Industry News / Sustainability

Two Organic Cooperatives Partner

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Nov 08, 2015

One of the leading organic farmer cooperatives in North America, Organic Valley/CROPP cooperative, and a leading European organic dairy cooperative, the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo), on Nov. 5 announced an international partnership. Both have significant processing capabilities.

They called it an "historic agreement, in which the two cooperatives will take a membership in each other’s organization while retaining each cooperative’s independence [and] will provide international opportunities and domestic flexibility, offering access to new markets, products, technical expertise and sharing of best practices in organic dairy farming."

“OMSCo and CROPP are the two largest dedicated organic dairy pools in the world, with a combined organic milk supply of almost 1 billion litres,” says Richard Hampton, managing director of OMSCo. “Over recent years we have developed a close working relationship with CROPP, [which] is responsible for the marketing and distribution of OMSCo’s Kingdom Cheddar brand – the only European organic cheese available in the US 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,” Hampton said.

Eric Newman, Organic Valley’s vice president, also noted "the ever-increasing consumer demand for organic dairy products all over the world." He added, “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.”

CROPP owns and operates the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie brands, and is headquartered in La Farge, Wis. The cooperative has 1800 farmer-owners in 32 states, producing organic milk and dairy, meat, eggs and produce.

OMSCo, based in Somerset, UK, is the largest exclusively organic dairy cooperative in Europe and is a fast growing specialist milk pools business, which already has around 20 per cent of sales allocated to export, including the only European organic dairy product certified by the USDA’s National Organic Program.