In an effort to provide more organic milk to retailers, Dean Foods Company has partnered with independent farmer coop, CROPP, through Dean Foods' processing plants and refrigerated direct store delivery (DSD) distribution system.
"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, CEO of Dean Foods.
According to a press release, the 50/50 joint venture will serve as a strategic growth platform for both companies. Dean Foods will provide processing services and distribution through its refrigerated distribution network, while Organic Valley will provide a portfolio of brands and products, marketing expertise, and access to an organic milk supply.
"It also allows us to further leverage our manufacturing and distribution network," added Tanner. "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."
As part of the partnership, Dean Foods and Organic Valley will leverage their sales expertise to drive distribution; Dean Foods will use its extensive experience in large format, dollar store, and C-store, while Organic Valley brings expertise in the natural channel, emerging markets, and specialty distributors.
"This partnership reinforces Organic Valley's mission to support more organic farmers and grow our business," said George Siemon, CEO 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 joint venture expects to begin processing and shipping Organic Valley products in mid-to-late 2017.