Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Co-op America Presents Green Business Leadership Award to Organic Valley

Wisconsin-based Leader in Organic Farming Recognized for Green Innovations in Energy, Building, and Community

December 5, 2007

Washington, DC —Co-op America presented the fifth annual Green Business Leadership Award to Organic Valley Family of Farms, a pioneer within the farming community.  Organic Valley, a cooperative based in LaFarge, WI, was chosen as the winner from amongst five nominees, all of them leaders in the green business field.

“Organic Valley started 20 years ago with $1,000, eight farmers, and a goal of supporting family farms,” said Co-op America’s Green Business Division Director Denise Hamler. “Now, with over $420 million in sales and the most innovative environmental practices in the industry, Organic Valley has proven that being green and being successful can walk hand in hand.  We’re proud to have Organic Valley in our Green Business Network and thrilled they won this year’s Green Business Leadership Award.”

In addition to building a network of successful organic family farms, Organic Valley recently established a “Cashton Greens” Partnership, which includes the first local Green Business Park, a biodiesel site, and a biomass site.  Their 1,200 farmers nationwide develop land conservation, biodiesel, solar, wind and other innovative green technologies on their farms.  Organic Valley also constructed a LEED Silver certified headquarters.

The other four nominees for the Green Business Leadership Award were French Meadow Bakery (Minneapolis, MN), gDiapers (Portland, OR), Social(k) (Springfield, MA ), and Stepping Stones (Cambria, CA).  All are members of Co-op America’s Green Business Network, the largest network of businesses screened for social and environmental responsibility in the U.S.

"Organic Valley is honored to be named Co-op America's Green Business Leader of the Year," said George Siemon, CEO for Organic Valley. "For 20 years our co-op has worked side by side with family farmers, consumers and like-minded businesses to create a sustainable organic community that operates in the interest of family farmers and our environment."

Siemon added:  "This award is especially important to Organic Valley because it is given by our peers. It is a true reflection of cooperation, and as a leader in the growing green industry, our co-op places extra emphasis on forming partnerships that best benefit the organic marketplace."

Last year’s Green Business Leadership Award was presented to New Leaf Paper of San Francisco, CA.

ABOUT THE GROUPS

Organic Valley (http://www.organicvalley.coop) is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,170 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $334 million in 2006 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces more than 200 organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide.

Co-op America (www.greenamerica.org)  is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1982, providing the economic strategies, organizing power and practicing tools for businesses and individuals to address today’s social and environmental problems. Its Green Business Network is the largest national network of businesses screened for their social and environmental responsibility. All 3,500 Green Business Network members can be found at www.greenpages.org.

CONTACT:  Todd Larsen, 202-872-5310 or todd@greenamerica.org.

 


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