Organic Valley, the largest U.S. cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, announced that it has created a new route with twelve 100% grass-fed dairies in the mid-Atlantic to increase production of its Organic Valley Grassmilk branded milk products.
The production expansion makes Organic Valley the largest producer of organic, 100% grass-fed dairy in the country, according to the announcement.
The 12 new Organic Valley Grassmilk dairy farmers hail from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania and are connected with an existing milk route winding between the states from Myerstown, Pa., to Dayton, Va. With Organic Valley's regional model, milk is produced, bottled and distributed in the region where it is farmed to ensure fewer miles from farm to table and to support local economies.
Earlier this year, Organic Valley created a new Northeast Grassmilk route leading from New York to Pennsylvania. With the recent additions, the farmer-owned cooperative now has a total of 121 Grassmilk dairies across the country — in California, Wisconsin, Ohio, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. More Grassmilk dairy farmers are expected to join the cooperative in 2017 to support additional growth and new product development, the announcement said.
In addition to being U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic, Grassmilk cows are 100% grass-fed and eat only fresh, organic grasses and dried forages like hay. This milk goes into Organic Valley Grassmilk branded products, which include milk, yogurt and cheese.
In 2011, Organic Valley was the first national brand to launch 100% grass-fed milk nationwide and trademarked the Grassmilk term. In 2013, Organic Valley expanded production from northern California to Wisconsin to allow for national distribution. In 2015, the co-op launched Grassmilk Yogurt.
Consumer demand for grass-fed dairy products has warranted the expanded production and development of product lines, the announcement said.
Organic Valley, organized in 1988, represents more than 1,800 farmers in 36 states. The cooperative produces a variety of organic foods, including milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs and produce, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide.