NCBA CLUSA member Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, has been named one of Outside magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work in 2015. Every year, Outside magazine recognizes the top 100 companies in the nation that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. The companies that made the list encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious and prioritize giving back to the community.
Organic Valley placed in the top 50 overall and number five in the Health & Wellness category. “This is a group that really walks the walk,” said Tripp Hughes, director of Brand Management for Organic Valley. “Yes, you have to be profitable in order to give the farmer-owners the returns they’re looking for and stay competitive, but as a co-op, we’re also able to make a lot of decisions based on ‘what’s the right thing to do?’”
Organic Valley’s La Farge, Wis., employees are tasked with marketing the farmer-owners’ dairy products, eggs, soy, meat and produce. But they’re also encouraged to visit the cooperative’s farms around the country and to propose new sustainability practices, such as the co-op’s rideshare and “green bike” programs.
Sitting on the edge of the 8,000-acre Kickapoo Valley Reserve in southwest Wisconsin, Organic Valley’s headquarters includes an organic café where breakfast and lunch are served daily. There’s an on-site gym, an employee garden, a mile-loop walking path, and bikes to ride at lunch—all intended to keep employees healthy and grounded in nature.
George Siemon, Organic Valley’s “CEIEIO” and one of its founding farmers, regularly models the casual dress code, wearing jeans and sandals to work. The occasional Amish buggy and horse team can be seen tied to a hitching post out front, and cowboy hats often fill the hat rack in the hallway. There’s definitely “an element of ‘fly your own flag’ here,” Hughes said.
Beyond achieving a place on the list, Outside surveyed Organic Valley staff members, who shared insights on why “CROPPies,” as they affectionately call themselves, choose to work at Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative. In their own words:
– Organic Valley is full of people who love what they’re doing, who are truly invested in making the world a better place, and who accommodate the human-scale needs to make that change happen!
– We are forward-thinking while respecting our past.
– We care about people, animals, our environment and the future of the earth.
– Beyond our passion for our mission, another common thread we have is our love for the great outdoors.
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents approximately 1,800 farmers in 36 states and achieved $972 million in 2014 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs and produce, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. With its regional model, milk is produced, bottled and distributed right in the region where it is farmed to ensure fewer miles from farm to table and to support our local economies. For further information visit www.organicvalley.coop.
December 17, 2015