Two pioneering organic cooperatives look to the future together

The leading organic farmer cooperative in North America, Organic Valley/CROPP cooperative, 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 organisation while retaining each co-operative’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.

“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, who 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,” explains Richard.

“This is an important development for cooperation in organic agriculture on a global scale,” says Eric Newman, Organic Valley’s vice president. “Both cooperatives recognise 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.”

CROPP owns and operates the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie brands, and is headquartered in La Farge, Wisconsin. 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.

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