Dean Foods forms joint venture with Organic Valley

by Rebekah Schouten
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Organic Valley milk
The partnership will bring Organic Valley branded milk to more retailers.

DALLAS — Dean Foods Co. is forming a joint venture with CROPP, an organic farmer cooperative and owner of the Organic Valley Brand. The partnership will bring organic milk to retailers through Dean Foods’ processing plants and refrigerated direct-store delivery distribution system.

George Siemon, Organic Valley
George Siemon, c.e.o. of Organic Valley

“This partnership reinforces Organic Valley's mission to support more organic farmers and grow our business,” said George Siemon, chief executive officer of Organic Valley. “Consumers will enjoy the same Organic Valley quality they've come to know and trust. The same farmers will supply the same organic milk. But now more Organic Valley organic milk will be on more grocery shelves across the country.”

The 50/50 joint venture will serve as a strategic growth platform for both companies, Dean Foods said. CROPP (Cooperative of Regions Organic Producer Pools) will provide a portfolio of Organic Valley products as well as access to an organic milk supply from its dairy farmers. Dean Foods will provide processing services and distribution through its refrigerated distribution network. Both companies will leverage their sales experience to drive distribution. Dean Foods brings experience in such retail channels as large format, dollar store and convenience store, the company said, while Organic Valley brings expertise in the natural channel, emerging markets and specialty distributors.

Gregg Tanner, Dean Foods
Gregg Tanner, c.e.o. of Dean Foods

“Adding Organic Valley to the current lineup of Dean Foods branded dairy products enables Dean Foods to offer retail customers the largest and most comprehensive dairy offering across multiple segments with national brands that consumers know and trust,” said Gregg Tanner, c.e.o. of Dean Foods. “It also allows us to further leverage our manufacturing and distribution network. We believe the dynamic and growing Organic Valley brand of organic milk is the perfect complement to our own category-leading DairyPure and TruMoo brands and gives Dean Foods a strong position in the organic dairy segment.”

The joint venture is expected to begin processing and shipping Organic Valley products in mid-to-late 2017.
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