Dean Foods has formed a new joint venture with organic dairy cooperative CROPP, and will use its processing plants and distribution network to increase the availability of organic milk to US retailers and consumers.
The 50/50 joint venture will serve as a strategic growth platform for both companies, Dallas-based Dean Foods said. It will provide processing services and distribution through its extensive refrigerated distribution network.
As part of the agreement, CROPP’s Organic Valley brand will provide Dean Foods with a select portfolio of products, marketing expertise, and access to an organic milk supply from America’s largest cooperative of organic dairy farmers. Both Dean Foods and Organic Valley will leverage their sales expertise to drive distribution, while Dean Foods will draw on its experience in channels such as large format, dollar store and convenience store.
Organic Valley, Dean Foods added, ‘brings expertise in the natural channel, emerging markets and speciality distributors’.
Dean Foods CEO Gregg Tanner said: “Adding Organic Valley to the current line-up 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. 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 deal comes almost a year to the day that CROPP joined forces with OMSCo, one of Europe’s largest organic cooperatives, to develop new ‘international opportunities’ for its members.
George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley, said: “This partnership reinforces Organic Valley’s mission to support more organic farmers and grow our business. 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 joint venture expects to begin processing and shipping Organic Valley products in mid-to-late 2017.
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