LA FARGE, WIS. – Organic Valley shared on July 28 that it has achieved consecutive years of profits, reaching $25 million in net income in the most recent year.
The farmer-owned cooperative also announced it used positive cash flows from operations to pay down $21 million of its debt.
Per Organic Valley, it operated at what the cooperative described as a slim profit margin – below 2.5% – as it continued to support small, organic family farms, increasing average pay prices for its farmer members and building capacity to add more small organic family farms in the future.
The cooperative pointed out that a fire at its McMinnville, Ore., creamery in April of 2021 impacted its ability to meet product demand in the past year. Organic Valley shared that it is rebuilding the creamery, with the first stage for loading and processing now complete. It also stated that multiple employees in the region have now been rehired as it rebuilds its dairy processing presence in the Northwest.
"People across the country continue to seek out Organic Valley products,” said Bob Kirchoff, Organic Valley’s chief executive officer. “They want to spend their milk money on something they believe in, and they are helping us save more organic family farms that would otherwise be abandoned by industrial dairy and big ag. 2021 helped set us up to offer membership in our cooperative to small, organic family farms that need a home for their milk, and that is huge. By optimizing our workflow, realigning our structures and maximizing the value of our farmer members' products, we were able to improve our net income once again."
Earlier in 2022, Organic Valley unveiled a new program it will use to work toward carbon neutrality. The cooperative is comprised of close to 1,800 farmers from 34 US states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
"Our cooperative exists because of organic family farms, and advancing our mission is at the center of what we do,” said Steve Pierson, the board president at Organic Valley, who also is a farmer member. “Farming is at a critical juncture right now. Inflation is affecting farmers across the country. And now, more than ever, maintaining a stable pay price for organic family farms is essential to keep our farmers doing what they love: raising animals in harmony with nature to provide nutritious organic food.”